Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on NXT Releases, Carmella and More
Another week, another round of releases in WWE.
Wednesday, the company cut several NXT coaches and talent evaluators, leaving the impression that it was the latest move to strip it of anyone previously associated with Triple H's vision for the brand.
As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, according to reports.
The mass NXT layoffs headline a collection of rumors that also includes an injury update on a current champion and plans for the WrestleMania 38 main event.
Update on Wednesday's NXT Releases
Wednesday brought with it another round of releases from NXT, this time in the form of trainers and talent scouts previously brought in by Triple H.
Laid off in the latest round of cuts were:
- William Regal
- Timothy Thatcher
- Danny Burch
- Scott Armstrong
- Brian James ("Road Dogg" Jessie James)
- Hideki Suzuki of Diamond Mine
- Allison Danger
- Dave Kapoor
- Ryan Katz
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported that the cuts were made specifically to remove Triple H's people from power.
WWE alluded to as much in an official statement to Fightful, which read: "With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we've decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Center. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best."
Regardless of who his friends are or what direction NXT is headed, imagine thinking William Regal isn't able to benefit the company. Imagine just letting him go, free to help any other promotion scout and develop talent.
This was a guy who helped lay the foundation for NXT at its height, recognized talent like Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch and directly fueled the women's revolution that WWE would benefit from. He is an invaluable asset to whichever company is smart enough to reach out right now and make an offer.
Ditto everyone else on that list.
There is a reason NXT accomplished what it did, creating the die-hard fan-driven product that All Elite Wrestling would fine-tune and produce every Wednesday night with Dynamite.
Tearing everything down, and releasing those responsible for creating it, is a massive misstep on the part of WWE and something that will come back to bite it, no matter how much neon it tries to throw on its developmental brand.
Carmella Working Hurt
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported Carmella is working through an injury and her segments are being crafted specifically to work around them.
It's for the best then that The Untouchable is currently in a tag team with Zelina Vega that requires her to do less than she would have to as a singles competitor.
The report does not specify what the injury is but Vega has been shouldering the majority of the work of late, which is likely to be a means of protecting Carmella from further injury.
How that affects the team's reign moving forward remains to be seen, as does the severity of the injury.
WrestleMania 38 Update
Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live reported that, despite Brock Lesnar's WWE Championship victory at Day 1 and the shift to a feud with Bobby Lashley in time for the Royal Rumble, the plans remain for a Lesnar-Roman Reigns main event at WrestleMania 38.
However, Alvarez added that it will not be a title vs. title or a unification match.
That last part suggests Lesnar will be dropping the title before WrestleMania, presumably on January 29 at the Rumble. The question is why WWE officials felt the need to take the title off Big E at Day 1 if there are no plans for The Beast Incarnate to carry it through to The Show of Shows on April 2-3.
Big E had his credibility annihilated, and his title reign inexplicably torn down, so the company could deliver a Lesnar win. Maybe WWE felt the need to go above and beyond after the scheduled main event of Day 1 was scrapped at the last second, but it's that short-sighted booking that has hurt its ability to create stars over the last 20 years.
Now, WWE finds itself in a situation where Lesnar is going to hot-shot the title back to someone on Raw and refocus on Reigns, leaving the red brand without a viable and obvious championship program heading into the biggest show of the year.