As fans processed the news Thursday that more than 20 WWE and NXT talent had been released, several wrestlers -- both in and out of WWE -- took to social media to offer support and share thoughts about several of those released.
Just a week after completing its merger with UFC and then firing more than 100 office staff, WWE started out Thursday announcing a more-than $1.4 billion deal to broadcast SmackDown on USA Network for five years, then started axing wrestlers. Notable names included Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Top Dolla, Dana Brooke, Elias and Emma.
🚨 TO THOSE WHO WERE JUST RELEASED 🚨
This can be the END of your career…Or it can be the BEGINNING……Look yourself in the mirror and decide. I promise you the work and the MONEY is out there. It’s not easy. It’s a grind. It’s a hustle. It’s frustrating…But it also…Advertisement— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) September 21, 2023
The crowd reactions to @HEELZiggler becoming champion were some of the craziest that I've ever heard. One of my favorite guys to watch work & one of the guys who showed me the importance of having something else that you're passionate about. Thank you Dolph pic.twitter.com/snEuPdOKfQ— Austin Creed (@AustinCreedWins) September 21, 2023
Xavier Woods also posted about eagerly awaiting to see the "unfiltered creativity" of Ali post-WWE.
Kurt Angle shared a photo of himself and Team Angle in solidarity with Shelton:
Team Angle forever. Thank you Shelton for the memories, You’re truly a badass 👊 pic.twitter.com/a6PDF4YZZE— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) September 21, 2023
While it's terrible to watch nearly two dozen people lose their jobs, it's heartening to see so many in the wrestling community speaking up for their former colleagues.