Historically, WWE releases a handful of talent each year following WrestleMania as part of a Spring cleaning of sorts. This year, that never happened. However, after the company’s quarterly reports were released late last week, a flurry of terminations were made, leaving the WWE roster five wrestlers smaller.
Maybe the most shocking of the releases was Melina. Although her backstage problems have been well documented, it’s a bit surprising to see one of the more well-rounded women’s wrestlers get the axe. I’m curious to see how her release affects John Morrison’s position within the company. I feel like he may be in line for a push without her around to generate heat on the both of them, but there’s also the possibility that his attitude worsens because of his girlfriend’s release. Morrison has commented on Melina’s release already, citing that he’s “always believed that Melina is the most talented Diva ever employed by World Wrestling Entertainment.”
Chris Masters was also released on Friday, but I don’t think the move surprised anybody. Masters has been used sparingly on TV over the past several months, and he’s been pink slipped and re-hired a number of times in the past. In his post-release commentary, Masters stated that he views this as only a small setback, and that he’s far from done with the business. He is currently taking independent bookings and is slated to make his first post-WWE appearance on a tour of Portugal later this month. Former Hart Dynasty member D.H. Smith is also among the recently unemployed, and like Masters, the second-generation grappler isn’t ready to hang up the boots. Smith will be touring Japan, and there are rumors that he will be transitioning into the world of MMA. Vladimir Kozlov rounds out the latest additions to the Future Endeavors Club.
Meanwhile, Gail Kim claims to have quit the company following last Monday’s edition of Raw. She’s been very outspoken about her departure on her Twitter account over the past week, and it sounds like a return to Impact Wrestling is very likely in the cards for the former Women’s Champion.