WWE continued their spate of cutting talent as part of their budget cuts and major restructuring with another round of releases, this time letting go of top main roster stars including Braun Strowman, Lana, Ruby Roitt, Murphy, and NXT’s Santana Garrett. “WWE has come to terms on the releases of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott, and Santana Garrett. WWE wishes them the best in all of their future endeavors," read a WWE Statement.
Strowman was part of the WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view in the Triple Threat with Drew McIntyre and WWE Champion Bobby Lashley in May and his release comes as a big shock. Joining the company in 2013, Strowman went on to become one-time Universal Champion, a one-time Intercontinental Champion, a two-time RAW Tag Team Champion, the 2019 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, the Greatest Royal Rumble winner, and the 2018 Men’s Money In the Bank winner. He was one of the top faces who was heavily involved in WWE programming during the Pandemic in 2020 and the first half of 2021.
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Lana, who also signed with the company in 2013, wrestled in last Week’s RAW in a losing effort with her partner Naomi to Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose. Thanking her fans, Lana real name CJ Perry took to Twitter to acknowledge their support. “I will never forget the fans and the love they showed me. Whether it was a tank, power-suits, flags, CRUSH, Rusev, 900 partners, weddings, or tables: I tried to always entertain you, and you definitely elevated me. Thank you," she wrote.
Murphy since with WWE in 2013 and was the one-time NXT Tag Team Champion, a one-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion, and a one-time RAW Tag Team Champion. Taking to Twitter he wrote, “So Today ends my 8 years with WWE! What a crazy ride! Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows, but weather I had 3 minutes or 20 minutes I put all my effort into my performances! Nothing is harder when all you want to do is wrestle but you can’t! In my opinion I haven’t even hit my peak yet and I’m excited to see what the next adventure holds. I was lucky enough to work with some of the best talent in the world and learnt a tremendous amount. But trust me… the whole world will know what I meant by ‘Best Kept Secret’ Thank you all!".
Aleister Black was another notable talent to be released and it seems a surprising move as he made his comeback after six months away from TV on in April was engaged in a feud with Big E. Black signed with WWE in 2016 one-time WWE NXT Champion and the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winner with Ricochet. His wife Zelina Vega was released in late 2020 but was reportedly recently re-hired.
Roitt signed with the company in 2016 and was part of the popular Roitt Squad faction with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. With Logan released last year and Roitt now, Morgan remains the only member of the Roitt Squad in the company. Garrett officially signed up with WWE in 2019 but had been working with the company since 2013 making sporadic appearances on NXT TV. She last competed in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match in January, and before that, her last singles match was the loss to Mercedes Martinez at NXT’s Great American Bash Night 2 in July 2020.