Last Thursday, we announced that WWE were planning cuts across pretty much every department, after they had got the ball rolling that very day by firing almost a dozen expendable performers from their main roster.
In news that is sure to please Kevin Dunn, the WWE performance center and Triple H's NXT brand unsurprisingly won't escape the cuts and they'll be reducing the number of developmental talent on their books, as SEScoops.com exclusively reported earlier today:
"Last week, WWE released 11 people (Brodus Clay, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Evan Bourne and others) in an effort to reduce company spending. Now, we can confirm that NXT is the next target of these cost cutting measures.
A well-placed source at NXT has confirmed to us that NXT’s budget has already been cut in terms of production and post-production. The talent roster is about to be evaluated, with a number of cuts set to take place in the next month.
WWE is "staggering" the widespread budget cuts so the company appears to be fiscally responsible to Wall Street and doesn’t set off a widespread panic internally."
As long as they only get rid of NXT performers that aren't progressing well and thus would have been highly unlikely to make it onto WWE's main television shows anyway, this shouldn't affect the brand too much and this cost-savings drive is a move WWE has to take, until the company is profitable again.
However, what this does mean is that increasing the number of NXT tapings or doing more frequent live specials on the WWE Network is now out of the question, as it would be cost prohibitive, which is a shame, but also a necessity in these hard times.
Dave Meltzer has officially confirmed the story in his daily news update, so this is more than just a baseless rumor, which is sure to get the developmental wrestlers in Tampa scared to even check their phones until the cull has taken place:
"From checking this out with WWE, the story is accurate. WWE is making cuts to alleviate concerns from Wall Street regarding money losses this year. And also to cut back on those money losses."
It's worth remembering that the main reason for those big money losses is the current unprofitability of the WWE Network, which recent rumors suggest has been struggling ever since WrestleMania 30 to sign up enough new subscribers to cover those kicked off the service for failing to pay the monthly subscription fees.
So far WWE investors have reacted well to the cuts with the stock rising about 50 cents since Thursday morning to $11.74 a share. I suppose that's all that really matters, eh, Cagesiders?