Sports entertainment giant World Wrestling Federation cuts wrestlers, producers, office staff

Owner Vince McMahon reportedly worth $1.9 billion

World Wrestling Federation released over 20 wrestlers and numerous production staff on Wednesday.

Kim Stovring (Flickr')

World Wrestling Federation released over 20 wrestlers and numerous production staff on Wednesday.

Ole Olafson, Reporter

Some fans are calling Wednesday one of the saddest days in Pro Wrestling’s history.

Despite being the only active major sports organization during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deeming WWE an essential business which allowed them to resume live shows without fans on Monday.

Despite wrestling insider Dave Meltzer’s claims that WWE has $500 million in cash reserves and still stands to make a substantial profit in 2020.

Despite all that — mega-wealthy, sports entertainment tycoon Vince McMahon made substantial cuts to the organization earlier in the week.  In what is rumored to be only the first round of such cuts McMahon released around 20 athletes and furloughed numerous office and production workers.

Among the athletes released are Hall-of-Famer Kurt Angle, Rusev, Drake Maverick and tag-team partners Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.

Alfred Konuwa, a Forbes contributor, reported that McMahon and the company, will save approximately $8.4 million in this round of cuts.

Even though WWE held Wrestlemania, their biggest event of the year, on Apr. 4 and 5, the event had to be held behind closed doors, with no fans, instead of at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FLA.  The event was available as a normal PPV but viewers were able to see it on WWE Network during a free monthly trial.

The company’s stock has dropped to less than half its worth since this same time last year.

Konuwa reported that an unnamed, part-owner in a professional league responded to the sports entertainment giant’s cuts.

“I know a few people in the wrestling business, one who lost their job in the furlough today. I understand layoffs. But given WWE’s cash position; the essential business status they negotiated; the unsafe conditions they are already asking workers to commit to; and the fact that they are doing so much better than every other live/place-based business, for them to be the first company in the business to have such a significant layoff is unpalatable,” the anonymous source said.

McMahon could be feeling additional financial pressure from his recently failed, second attempt to launch a professional football league, the XFL.  McMahon’s most recent reincarnation of the league played its first game one week after the Super Bowl.  The league made it through half of their ten-week season before having to suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McMahon had initially issued a statement assuring fans that although the remainder of the current season would have to be cancelled, the XFL would return next year and for many seasons after.  Only a few weeks later, all but a handful of administrative staff were laid off and no mention was made of the league returning next winter.