It is a sad reality to witness your favourite WWE star get banished from the company, a term that in doting proportions is known as ‘released’. There are multiple factors that are at play, determining the fate of a wrestler, that may span from gulf with the company to a below-par showdown.
Sadly, the original reason for the release of s superstar is rarely known and the only palpable words for a fan seem to be “all the best for your future endeavors”.
Spanning from promising NXT superstars to Monster amongst Men, the company has bid adieu to a total of 40 wrestlers alone in 2021 and this is something that doesn’t augur well for business.
Over the span of time spent in the ring, every superstar leaves behind an indelible legacy that can only be felt once that star has left.
Similarly, in this story, we will be taking a look at five superstars whose release may be regretted by WWE in the offing to arrive.
The 31-year-old grappler arrived at the WWE roster in 2015 with a heightened sense of billing. He started wrestling under a façade with the ring name of La Sombra. He made his NXT debut with a resonating victory over Tye Dillinger at NXT Takeover: The End in June 2016.
He claimed the NXT crown by drubbing a soaring Drew McIntyre at NXT Takeover: War Games. Sadly, despite being extremely impressive in NXT, he failed to make it big in the main roster and was shortly seen warming the locker rooms.
Two more major factors that played an important role in his release were his involvement with Charlotte Flair and with his shortcomings in English that didn’t let his story take flight.
The attendance of Zelina Vega in the entourage of Andrade made the clique a more iconic one, but even before it could have flapped its wings, Andrade came multiple croppers.
He was an extremely physical wrestler and loved to make the matches a lot more brutal. He used his towering stature to a good extent, but somewhere down the line, his limited arsenal played a spanner in his growth.
2. Killian Dain
Touted as one of the most destructive wrestlers in recent times, Killian Dain led the faction in WWE called Sanity that found its roots in NXT. Before he joined WWE, he used to wrestle under the ring name Big Damo that was an abbreviation of his full name, Damien O’Connor.
Even before he arrived in NXT, he won the ICW World Heavyweight Championship while he was plying his trade for Insane Championship Wrestling. He fought under several banners before landing a contract with the glamorous WWE.
He started working with the faction called Sanity that starred the likes of Dain himself, Nikki Cross, Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe. This faction created an instant impact under the banner of Yellow and Black and after being drafted to Smackdown, they continued with the rampage.
Killian Dain was particularly destructive, laying waste to whoever came in his way. Sadly, Sanity started losing steam and was drafted back to NXT before finally being dissolved.
Once the faction lost its sheen, Killian Dain had a handful of moments to make it big in WWE. Sadly, while he was in the performance center, taking training, he received the call of being released.
3. Ruby Riott
This is a captivating gimmick that several wrestlers have previously tried. Some have succeeded, while others have failed. Bray Wyatt brought out the very best of what a gimmick of insanity can do, while Ruby Riott couldn’t even come close to what she was capable of.
An extremely talented wrestler, Riott made her debut on January 13th of 2017, where she lost her opening bout to Daria Berenato. She shortly made a significant impact as she went on to attack Sanity and Nikki Cross with the help of Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong.
Despite not being able to lift the titles, she fought vehemently and fought well with the likes of Asuka, Nikki Cross and Ember Moon. She also put up a rock-solid display against Sonya Deville.
She made her first appearance in Smackdown alongside Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, leading to the formation of an infamous Riott Squad. Despite being called the Riott Squad, the glimpses of riots were extremely less and it was more of a fancy dress competition.
The legacy that Ruby built fighting solo was slowly going down the drain, being a part of the Riott squad due to some weird stance that the faction wanted to take. Following the dissolution of the faction, Ruby Riott underwent shoulder surgery and returned to the roster to reconcile with Liv Morgan. On June 2nd, she was released from the company. Despite the availability of Baszler and Rhea Ripley, Ruby had an intense ring presence that was her USP.
WWE’s recent dalliance with the process of releasing superstars may come to bite back immensely in the near future.
4. Aleister Black
Black was surmised as the next big thing in the industry and was in the middle of an intense push that got snuffed out suddenly. He joined WWE and made his debut in April 2017 at NXT Takeover: Orlando.
His first major appearance for NXT came in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament where he participated in a non-championship match against Adrian Neville but was defeated after a brilliant battle.
Black made his televised in-ring debut on 1st April 2017, defeating Andrade Almas. He then shortly fought an excellent feud with Itami and Black emerged victorious. His next rancour with Velveteen Dream ended in a victory for Black again after a fiery display in the ring.
It needed interference from the Undisputed Era for Black to suffer his first pinfall loss. However, Black paid Adam Cole his due in an Extreme Rules match.
He also went on to win the NXT championship by defeating Killian Dain and Andrade Almas on the bounce. He finally made his WWE debut and went on to feature in several star-studded match-ups against the likes of Elias, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Cesaro, Buddy Murphy, AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big E.
He was a big-match performer and was an exceptionally adept wrestler at cutting promos. Sadly, his sudden release will be something that WWE will find hard to come to grips with.
5. Braun Strowman
If there is one name that WWE will be sorely missing out on, that is the Monster Amongst Men, Braun Strowman. He is a one-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time Raw Tag team champion, the winner of the titular match at the Greatest Royal Rumble Event, winner of the 2019 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and a one-time Universal Champion.
He also holds the record for the most elimination in a single Elimination Chamber match, which is a joint record with Shayna Baszler and also is the master of the record for most elimination in a Royal Rumble match with 13 ousters that is another joint record with Brock Lesnar.
Very few wrestlers come with the stature of Braun and that is exactly where WWE will have massive boots to fill. Kane is way past his prime and Big Show has been released. Brock Lesnar is a part-time contender and is currently not on a contract with WWE. Hence, bringing in a monstrous character is something that WWE will face challenges in.
Despite the availability of Roma Reigns and Bobby Lashley, Strowman brought an air of invincibility around him. Unfortunately, that will no longer be up for grabs.