Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Styles Talks WWE Releasing Gallows and Anderson
AJ Styles spoke Thursday for the first time about WWE's decision to release Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson as part of a significant cost-cutting effort Wednesday.
Alex McCarthy of TalkSport tweeted video of The Phenomenal One addressing the pair's departure on his Mixer stream:
"That one hurt really bad," Styles said. "The only way I know how to explain it is like these guys are my family, and I couldn't take care of my little brothers. ... I didn't manage to do that, and I feel responsible in some weird way for them being released. It's devastating."
Gallows and Anderson were two of the many Superstars released as the company made cuts across the board to combat revenue lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With COVID-19 forcing WWE to hold shows without fans at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, the company has lost out on ticket and merchandise sales in recent weeks. That includes WrestleMania 36, which was also held at the Performance Center.
Gallows and Anderson were part of one of the top matches at WrestleMania, as they aided Styles in his Boneyard Match against The Undertaker to close out Night 1.
During their four-year run together in WWE, Gallows and Anderson held the Raw Tag Team Championships twice and won the Tag Team World Cup last year.
Once the professional wrestling world is running as usual, Gallows and Anderson should have no shortage of options at their disposal. They teamed together to great success in New Japan Pro-Wrestling previously, so they will likely consider going back there.
AEW is also a possibility since it has built a quality tag team division that includes The Young Bucks, The Lucha Brothers, SCU and others.
Meanwhile, their departure means that The OC is no more in WWE, and it will be interesting to see if Styles goes solo or brings in other recruits to reform the stable.
Update on Samoa Joe's Concussion Recovery
Samoa Joe is still not cleared to compete because of a concussion, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton).
Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported in February that Joe suffered the injury when he hit his head while taking a table bump during a commercial shoot. Satin noted that Joe could miss "a considerable amount of time."
Shortly after Satin's report, WWE suspended Joe 30 days for violating the company's wellness policy.
That suspension is now over, so the fact that Joe still hasn't resurfaced on television has to do with his injury. Meltzer reported that Joe initially suffered a concussion on the Jan. 27 Raw, returned for one week and then suffered a second concussion during the commercial shoot.
Joe has dealt with injuries since WWE called him up to main roster in 2017. Prior to the concussions, Joe missed more than three months from September to December with a broken thumb.
The 41-year-old veteran is a two-time NXT champion and two-time WWE United States champion who is among WWE's best all-around performers when healthy.
Joe was left off WrestleMania for the third time in four years, but he figures to be a key member of the Raw roster whenever he returns.
Although Joe was a babyface before he got injured, he is perhaps an even better heel, so he could excel in any role.
More NXT Releases Reportedly May Be Coming
There are reportedly more NXT cuts expected following WWE's decision to release several Superstars on Wednesday.
According to Meltzer (h/t Middleton), some NXT talent not featured regularly on television are "worried" about their jobs. Meltzer noted that while more NXT releases are likely forthcoming, no additional main roster cuts are expected.
While most of the in-ring competitors let go from WWE were on the main roster, some NXT performers were released as well. Among them was Lio Rush, who had been competing in the cruiserweight division on NXT and was a former Cruiserweight champion.
Other NXT cuts reportedly included Deonna Purrazzo, Aleksandar Jaksic, MJ Jenkins, Dan Matha and Alyssa Marino.
While NXT is technically a developmental brand with several young prospects who are fairly new to the wrestling business, it is also a legitimate third brand in the same vein as Raw and SmackDown and has several well-known performers on the roster.
Although it seems unlikely that top stars such as Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Rhea Ripley, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle and Tommaso Ciampa will have anything to worry about, some lesser-known performers may not have their spots guaranteed.
Developmental talent primarily training at the Performance Center and working live events likely don't make much money compared to some of the more established stars, but if WWE wants to make substantial cuts without losing top stars, there are many wrestlers in training the company could part ways with.
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