Top 10 Most Shocking WWE Releases of 2021

WWE has been hiring as many superstars as they could in the last few years to prevent them from going to other companies, but now things have obviously changed in WWE's management, as they have been releasing many of their employees since 2020. 2021 has been an especially bad year so far when it comes to these releases, and if reports are to be believed, there will be more to come. Let's rank the most shocking WWE releases of the year 2021.
The Top Ten
1 Bray Wyatt Windham Lawrence Rotunda is an American professional wrestler best known for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring name Bray Wyatt and was the leader of The Wyatt Family, and also played the Fiend. He was released from WWE in July 2021.

One of the most shocking releases, not only in the 2020s, but of all time even, Bray Wyatt was released on July 31, 2021, ending his 12-year tenure with WWE. It seems Wyatt was released due to budget cuts as he had one of the biggest contracts in the company.

This is so shocking. WWE won't be the same without the Fiend anymore.

Still can't believe it... And I was so looking forward to his return...

2 Braun Strowman Adam Scherr is an American professional wrestler and former strongman. He is best known for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring name Braun Strowman. In WWE, he is a one-time Universal Champion, a one-time Intercontinental Champion, and a two-time Raw Tag Team Champion.

Listen, people are making a big deal out of these releases, but in all honesty, the only three that really hurts WWE are "Moxley", Rusev, and Strowman. It's a business and the company decided to release some of their performers. Most on this list are not top-notch. On the other hand, I can't stand the fact that they have brought back Cena and Goldberg. What is this? AEW? Once a performer hits 50 or is no longer relevant (Cena), they need to retire or stay retired. AEW is full of "managers" (Arn Anderson, Jake Roberts, Sting, Chavo Guerrero, Tully Blanchard, etc.) of this ilk. This is not the 70s or 80s.

The Monster Among Men was released on June 2, 2021. Strowman's WWE contract reportedly earned him over 1 million dollars per year, and since WWE seems so keen on making as much money as possible, they released him due to budget cuts.

Strowman was basically the only good big man they had under their hands and they just let him go lmao. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised to see him come back with a smaller contract, but still.

This one was so shocking and confusing.

3 Aleister Black Tom Budgen is a Dutch professional wrestler best known for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring name Aleister Black. Prior to signing with WWE, Budgen worked for promotions across Europe, United States, and Japan, under the ring name Tommy End. He was released from WWE in June 2021. He ...read more.

Fans we're shocked when Black was released on June 2, 2021 as WWE reportedly had big plans in the works for him, and had just returned to TV with a new character. Fortunately for Black, WWE made the mistake of not changing his none compete clause in his contract when he was moved from NXT, which allowed him to join AEW after 30 days, 60 days shy of the usual 90 day none compete clause.

They had something going with him and just a few weeks in, BAM, he's gone just like that.

4 Samoa Joe Nuufolau Joel "Joe" Seanoa, better known by his ring name Samoa Joe, is an American professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE and performing on NXT. He is most well known for his time in NXT, where he was a former two time NXT champion.

Though Samoa Joe returned to WWE's NXT shortly after his release, fans we're shocked of the news of his release on April 15, 2021. Joe is arguably one of the best on the mic ever in WWE and wrestling in general, and one of the most believable wrestlers in the ring.

5 The IIconics

I was going to put the Peyton Royce and Billie Kay separately, but let's be honest, they are best remembered for their run as a duo. Both their releases we're shocking as WWE seemed to have plans in the works for their careers as singles stars.

I'm huge fans of them, so this one really broke my heart. The releases this year have been absolutely insane.

6 Buddy Murphy Matthew Adams is an Australian professional wrestler best known for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring names Murphy or Buddy Murphy. He was released from WWE in June 2021.

Released on June 2, 2021, his release was shocking as he is in the prime of his career at 32 years old and is one of the best in-ring talents they had, having great matches with the likes of Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Aleister Black as well as a great run as Cruiserweight Champion.

7 Mickie James Mickie Laree James-Aldis better known as Mickie James, is an American professional wrestler, actress, model and country singer best known for her time with WWE. She was released from WWE in 2021. She then signed with Impact Wrestling that same year.

One of many to have been released on April 15, 2021, it was shocking to say the least as she is a veteran of the wrestling business and has a lot of experience to share.

8 Ric Flair Richard Morgan "Ric" Fliehr, better known by his ring name Ric Flair, is a professional wrestling manager and American retired professional wrestler currently signed to the WWE under a legends appearance contract.

You might wonder how or why Ric Flair is on this list. Well it's simple, he had a Legends Contract with WWE for years now, meaning they could use his name for merchandising and other purposes as well as have him appear on TV. Flair asked for his release and his wish was granted on August 2, 2021.

9 Lana Catherine Joy Perry is an American professional wrestler, actress, dancer, model, professional wrestling manager and singer. She is best known for her time with WWE, where she performed under the name Lana. She was released from WWE in 2021.

Lana was released on June 2, 2021. A shocking release as she was in a team with Naomi, which WWE lacks teams in the women's tag team division. Many fans we're sad she never got to hold gold in her tenure with WWE.

10 Bronson Reed

Such a huge shock. He should've had a much longer reign as the North American Champion.

The Contenders
11 Bobby Fish
12 Kalisto Emanuel Alejandro Rodriguez is a Mexican-American professional wrestler, best known for his time in WWE where he performed under the ring name Kalisto. He was released from WWE in April 2021.
13 Killian Dain
14 Tyler Breeze Mattias Clement is a Canadian professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in WWE, where he competed under the ring name Tyler Breeze. He is a former NXT Tag Team Champion alongside Fandango, in the tag team Breezango. He was released from WWE in June 2021.

Breezango was one of my favorite tag teams, so this one really made me upset.

15 Alexander Wolfe

He even appeared on NXT the night before he was released, crazy.

16 Chelsea Green

Chelsea Green, who you may know is in a relationship with Matt Cardona, also known as Zack Ryder in WWE. She was released on April 15, 2021. There we're a lot of reports that Green was backstage at SmackDown a few times and that there we're plans for her, but it seems all of that was cut.

17 Fandango Curtis Jonathan Hussey is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring name Fandango. He was an NXT Tag Team Champion alongside Tyler Breeze, where they performed under the tag team name Breezango He and Breeze were released from WWE in June ...read more.
18 Tony Nese Anthony "Tony" Nese is an American professional wrestler, currently signed by WWE performing on the Raw brand.
19 Ruby Riott

This one was so shocking and came out of nowhere.

20 Mojo Rawley Dean Muhtadi is an American professional wrestler and former defensive lineman currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Mojo Rawley.
21 Andrade
22 Tom Phillips
23 Jessamyn Duke
24 Tucker

While this one made me upset, I wasn't shocked. Splitting up Heavy Machinery was a huge mistake, and they should've given him something to do after the split.

25 Leon Ruff
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