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Reports that Lillian Garcia has been released by WWE are flying around - here's what we know

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UPDATE: Another source says she hasn't been released, and Garcia has issued a statement. Read about both here.

Seems there's a chance Christian and Brooklyn Brawler weren't the only long-time WWE employees released on the sly around the time of May 6's "Black Friday", when the company announced eight performers they were letting go.

Former WWE writer Court Bauer said on a recent MLW Radio broadcast that Lillian Garcia was either among the recent cuts, or being handled in a manner similar to how WWE is allegedly treating Ryback & Mark Henry - keeping them off television and the road while their contracts expire.

Garcia has been on social media saying that she's been out dealing with a family matter and is scheduled to return to Raw on Monday:

Bauer heard this, but says that he spoke to his source at WWE just before he recording the podcast (released on May 13, after Lillian's latest Tweet) who told him she had been released.

In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but recommended), Dave Meltzer stated he had confirmation of Christian's release, but WWE did not respond to him "regarding Garcia". When asked about Lillian on Twitter, he referred the questioner to the Newsletter, so presumably the item in this week's edition (released Thursday, the same day as the ring announcer's latest Tweet) is saying the company's statement to him avoided discussing her.

WWE has been overhauling their announcing team of late, with Arda Orcal moving on and Rich Brennan being released, while Cathy Kelley and Andrea D'Marco have been brought on board. Letting go of their most famous ring announcer since Howard Finkel would be a visible sign of the "new era" they're pushing.

But Garcia's messages about sick family members don't fit with the narrative, and initial feedback to the rumors from fans on Facebook has not been positive - which could be part of why the company doesn't want to announce she's leaving at this time.

So, nothing is official, but considering how much coverage Bauer's comments have gotten without an official denial from WWE, this is definitely worth keeping on our radar.

We'll update you as we have more, Cagesiders.

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