WWE reportedly released several wrestlers because they complained about issues in Saudi Arabia
As previously noted, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson talked about their WWE departure and their belief that Paul Heyman was the reason why they were on the list of names to be released. Of course, Vince McMahon has the final say on everything so even if the Heyman story is true, it was ultimately up to McMahon on whether or not he wanted to keep them in the company.
It’s no secret that many of the names that were released either high contracts or they were names that had complained privately or publicly about things going on in the company.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that in addition to the high paying contracts being an issue, some wrestlers that were released had complained publicly about the Saudi Arabia travel issues.
Meltzer said, “Everyone knew that the list was all the people that complained about money or had not signed the first deal. If FTR, would have stayed, they probably would have gotten cut because they probably would have gotten so much money to stay and when it would have came time for the cuts they would have been [cut]. Mike Bennett, who got a lot of money to stay and then complained about it [and] Rusev who was having a contract dispute. Those were the guys who were cut. Gallows and Anderson didn’t sign the first offer.”
“Another thing was that the guys who had given the company bad publicity over Saudi Arabia, which was Rusev and Karl Anderson and Joe Hennig, I think. The other one was Andrade but Andrade is in the Flair family so he was safe. There was a lot of bitterness because WWE sees it one way…The reason that there was a problem [with Saudi Arabia] is because guys said there was a problem and everything and there’s all those tweets out there which WWE couldn’t deny and it led to this lawsuit as a matter of fact.”
WWE is currently fighting a class-action lawsuit from shareholders who believe that the company misrepresented their dealings with Saudi Arabia. The lawsuit, filed by the Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri Trust, lists an anonymous WWE Superstar who provided details on what allegedly happened in Saudi Arabia.