Report: Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, Nia Jax Among WWE Stars Released from Contracts

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVNovember 5, 2021

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, Nia Jax, Eva Marie, Ember Moon, Scarlett Bordeaux, Franky Monet and Oney Lorcan were reportedly among the names released by WWE on Thursday.  

PWInsider reported Kross had been let go from the roster, while Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported on the remainder of the departures, which come amid a mass exodus of talent that has taken place in WWE this year.  

Bryan Alvarez @bryanalvarez

Frankie Monet, Ember Moon, Jessi Kamea, Katrina Cortez, Jeet Rama, Oney Lorcan, Trey Baxter, Zayda Ramier, Scarlett, B-Fab, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, Karrion Kross, Harry Smith, Nia Jax, Eva Marie, Keith Lee, and Mia Yim all released "due to budget cuts."

The release of Kross would have been eye-opening to anyone who watched WWE programming over the summer. Kross, with Bordeaux as his mysterious valet, was a dominant NXT champion before debuting on the main roster.

The main-roster version of Kross never seemed to stand a chance, as he was separated from Bordeaux, stripped of his unique entrance and then put into several feuds that went nowhere. He was also given a large hourglass to use during vignettes and strange ring gear that led to widespread mockery on social media.

Kross and Bordeaux, who are a real-life couple, previously had a strong run together in Impact Wrestling and could be a good bet to head back there when their non-competes expire.

Jax has been out of action since being attacked by former tag team partner Shayna Baszler  in September. Her release is a surprise in large part because she is the cousin of The Rock.

Moon is a former NXT champion and NXT women's tag team champion who was seemingly destined for main-roster stardom before she suffered a serious ankle injury. She unsuccessfully challenged Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT championship at NXT TakeOver: In Your House earlier this year.

Perhaps the most surprising release in the bunch is Hit Row member B-Fab, who was part of the faction's SmackDown debut just two weeks ago. While B-Fab clearly was a work in progress in the ring, she flashed mic skills and added a female dynamic to the group that includes Swerve Scott, Ashante "Thee" Adonis and Top Dolla. 

Lee had been rumored for a release earlier this year when he was absent from WWE programming for an extended period, but he revealed his absence was related to health issues. He returned to the ring in July and was recently given a new name of Keith "Bearcat" Lee—a nod to Bearcat Wright—that seemed to be a foreshadow of an incoming push.

Yim, who is engaged to Lee, had not been on WWE programming since the disbandment of the Retribution stable. 

Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado of Lucha House Party have rarely been seen on television the last two years and were undrafted in October's WWE draft. Cortez, Rama and Ramier were seldom-used NXT talents.

Baxter made an impression in the NXT Breakout Tournament, losing in the semifinals to Odyssey Jones, but has not made many television appearances since.

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