WWE has kicked off 2022 by making sweeping cuts to the NXT and Performance Center staff over the last 24 hours. We learned yesterday about William Regal, Road Dogg, and several more people being released by WWE, and that list was extended today with Gabe Sapolsky and Samoa Joe. The firings are rumored to be specifically focused on removing Triple H’s people from the company.
Wrestling Observer Live’s Bryan Alvarez described the morale in NXT as “bottom of the barrel” following WWE’s decision to fire so many people.
PW Insider’s Mike Johnson provided further insight as to what people are feeling backstage in WWE and NXT right now:
“in speaking to a lot...of current and former NXT talents and staff last night, it became more and more heartbreaking as they all knew it was the end of the place and the era that helped build their careers.”
Even some of the most selfish and/or heartless people in WWE were apparently taken aback by these cuts:
“I can tell you firsthand there were people in the company who rarely have empathy for others as they are out for themselves who were greatly shaken by what went down.”
It sounds like there is a lot of anger and frustration going around behind the scenes, and many people are pointing the finger at WWE President Nick Khan:
“I spoke to a few people who work within Titan Tower last night and this morning and many of them are befuddled, to say the least. Some admitted are angry...A lot of the long-time employees are gone and a lot of people who have migrated over are Nick Khan knights. No one I spoke to yesterday and today were happy. Many were sad. Many were frustrated. Some don’t even know how to guess what might be next.”
It’s easy to blame Nick Khan for many of the shitty things going on in WWE. That he is assuming so much power in the company, perhaps at Triple H’s expense, is certainly a fascinating and important story to keep an eye on. But folks should also make sure that they aren’t so fixated on Nick Khan that they end up absolving Vince McMahon of the responsibility for these firings.
Some wrestlers have a tendency to sound quite foolish after they are released when they are convinced that Vince loved them and someone else in WWE must have had it out for them. The bottom line is that WWE is Vince McMahon’s company, and none of these decisions are made without the approval and knowledge of McMahon.