WWE Releases Dolph Ziggler and Numerous Other Wrestlers

WWE released a number of wrestlers from their contracts on Thursday, with the biggest name being Dolph Ziggler, real name Nic Nemeth.

The move comes amid news that WWE’s “Friday Night SmackDown” show will be moving from Fox to USA Network next year, as well as it being just over a week since the company merged with UFC under Endeavor ownership to form TKO Group Holdings.

Wrestlers released Thursday include Mustafa Ali (Adeel Alam), Aliyah (Nhoof Al-Areebi)Shelton Benjamin, Rick Boogs (Eric Bugenhagen), Dana Brooke, Elias (Jeffrey Sciullo), Emma (Tenille Dashwood), Mansoor, Riddick “Madcap” Moss (Mike Rallis), Shanky (Dilsher Shanky) and Top Dolla (AJ Francis), according to wrestling news outlet Fightful.

Ali, Aliyah, Benjamin, Elias, Mansoor, Moss and Shanky confirmed their departures on social media.

Ali publicly requested a release from WWE under the previous management structure back in January 2022, but his request was denied at the time. He appeared on WWE’s NXT program as recently as Tuesday and was set to wrestle Dominik Mysterio at the upcoming NXT No Mercy special on Peacock.

TKO’s stock fell Thursday morning following the news of “Smackdown” leaving broadcast TV. Some observers have speculated that the releases were made to counter the effect on the stock price.

Hulu also confirmed Thursday that WWE’s programming will be leaving the streaming platform, with episodes set to be removed next week on Monday and Tuesday. Most of WWE’s programming is currently available on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform.

Emma announced her excitement earlier in the day that WWE’s “Elimination Chamber” is headed to her native Australia in February, but she later said she had been released.

The Iron Claw

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