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WWE CUTS, NEW JAPAN AFTER TONY KHAN’S RANT, AJ STYLES AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2021-06-09 10:01:00

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WWE is making more money now than they ever have been, especially when you consider their TV and Peacock deals.  I get that releasing talents such as Strowman, Black, Lana, Riott, etc. likely saves them millions of dollars, but for a billion-dollar company where a few million dollars here and there likely doesn't put much of a dent in their pockets, does Laurinaitis' reasoning for releasing those talents strictly due to "budget cuts" ring hollow and a bit disingenuous?

Do I think WWE needed to make them?  Probably not.  Can they be legitimately called budget cuts?  Absolutely because that is what they do, cut budget.

Even at this stage in his career, AJ Styles is still capable of having great, great singles matches.  Even though he is a tag champ, we all know that in WWE the emphasis is never really on the tag division.  Is his talent being wasted teaming with a guy with the limited in-ring ability as Omos?  Or is he right where he should be, or wants to be, at this stage in his career?

He is a veteran and he is helping to get over a new act.  He has a pretty good relationship with the company so my guess is that he is fine in the position that he is in.  He just turned 44 years old so taking it easier on his body isn’t the worst thing in the world.

On the flipside of the Nick Khan-New Japan conversation, how possible is it for NJPW to be irritated with Tony Khan’s boasting about their relationship to where they would more motivated to keep talking to WWE? I can’t imagine they were thrilled to be name-dropped in all that immaturity.

If I were a prominent executive at New Japan, I would just sit back and laugh at it all.  Yes, I think Tony Khan came off really, really badly but that wouldn’t bother me too much if I worked for NJPW.  The fact that it got people talking about my company would be enough for me to hope he does another rant in the future.  At the end of the day, they will do business where it makes sense to them.

Ruby Riott, Murphy and Aleistar Black?  Vince McMahon is sabotaging the future of his own company…change my mind.

I get what you are saying, he got rid of really good talent.  But if you look at his booking pattern for years now, he has not gotten the most, or even much in many cases, of really good talent.  I think we see that reflected in ratings falling as they have been but as long as TV partners are willing to pay what they are paying, Vince won’t worry about getting rid of really good talent.

Isn't WWE just helping their competitors by releasing talent like Braun, Allester Black, Murphy, and Ruby Riott? They just handed the competition 4 great talents when lockdowns are being lifted and they can go back to live shows, not to mention the others that were previously released, why wouldn't they just hold on to them and run out their contracts?

The short answer is that they didn’t want to keep paying them anymore.  It shows that they aren’t worried about the talents going somewhere else and have it come back and bite them in the butt.  Whether they should be so cocky?  Time will tell.  Mike Epsenhart and I discussed who we think Tony Khan should bring in on last week's episode of The FMB.  You can listen to it on our YouTube channel below (and feel free to subscribe).

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