When WWE released ten people from NXT last week, a lot of fans were surprised they didn’t see Roderick Strong’s name on the list. At 38 years old, he doesn’t fit the company’s current developmental mold. They’ve shown no interest in calling him up to the main roster, and just released the manager of his current stable.
It wasn’t only the fans who were surprised, according to a new report from Fightful Select. There were those inside WWE who expected Roddy’s name to be on last Friday’s list, in part because he’s asked the company to let him out of his contract “multiple times” over the past several months.
Why is WWE keeping Strong around when they’ve slowly been dismantling most of the elements of his pre-2.0 push* (in addition to the releases of fellow Diamond Mine veterans Hideki “Haichiman” Suzuki and Stokely “Malcolm Bivens” Hathaway, the Cruiserweight title Roddy held was phased out when he lost a unification match to Carmelo Hayes)? Per Fightful, he’s been told the company has creative plans in place for him.
What are those? It doesn’t say, but WWE did pitch him on a name change, and he turned down the idea.
Guess we’ll find out — either when Strong is released as part of additional cuts that may be coming, or as a storyline plays out on our screens.
* Strong was rumored to have re-signed with WWE last summer before the reboot, with “big plans” as part of that deal.