WWE released six wrestlers yesterday, including Braun Strowman, Ruby Riott, and Aleister Black. The news was shocking to digest, with CM Punk and Renee Paquette being especially critical of WWE’s decisions. WWE cut some pretty big names, so it’s only a matter of time before the former WWE stars are signed right off the free agent market.
During an interview on Busted Open Radio, NWA President Billy Corgan was asked if any of the released wrestlers are a good fit for his wrestling promotion. Corgan heaped praise upon Strowman, Riott, and Lana, and explained that he has no idea why WWE would cut performers of this caliber, especially when AEW is gaining so much momentum.
“If [Strowman] was green in NXT, I’d be jumping all over it. I mean...there aren’t a lot of big guys who have that level of ability. So you think like, how do you let a guy like that out the door? I don’t mean to be critical, I’m not making the business decisions. But I don’t know how you let a guy like that out the door.
Ruby Riott, I think has a very, very bright future. Lana? Holy cow, how do you let her go? I mean I’ve seen Lana in person, you know, just behind the scenes. A truly beautiful woman. I mean, marketable to the nines. Has worked very, very hard, best I can see, both what’s in public and what I know behind the scenes, to really improve. I don’t know how you let her go.
I don’t understand it, but again I’m not making those decisions. And whatever their reasons, there’s obviously a lot of speculation, but when you looked at that list you thought, ‘Oh man, this is pretty wild.’ Especially when things are heating up between AEW and WWE, at least in the public’s mind. Maybe WWE doesn’t feel that way. You know, there’s a lot of difference there in terms of the business. But in terms of the public’s mind, you got a little bit of a rivalry going on. AEW obviously has some momentum. I think to dump key talents like that on the market at this time seems [like a] very, very odd decision.”
Yet Corgan’s point remains that some very talented wrestlers were just dumped onto the open market, and that means other wrestling promotions are going to win.