WWE has come to terms with the releases of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett. WWE wishes them the best in all of their future endeavours.

Since the beginning of the afternoon, rumours have been running that some “major names” would soon be cut off the WWE roster. The words “major names” work perfectly for a good half of the wrestlers as Ruby Riott wrestled last Friday on SmackDown alongside Liv Morgan, Aleister was developing a new character and was seen on SmackDown 10 days ago, and Lana wrestled 2 days ago on RAW alongside Naomi.

The release of Braun Strowman is a major surprise. From being the Black Sheep of the Wyatt Family to the Universal Championship, Strowman had become a fan favourite. After a Strongman career, he signed with WWE in early 2013. After his training, he made his NXT live-event debut by the end of 2014. A few months later, he made his main roster debut by attacking Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and establishing himself as the newest member of The Wyatt Family alongside Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Strowman had his first televised singles match on the August 31 episode of Raw, when he defeated Ambrose by disqualification.

On January 24, 2016, Strowman appeared at the Royal Rumble and scored among the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, eliminating five opponents before being eliminated by Brock Lesnar, only to return to the match and helping his fellow Wyatt Family members to eliminate Lesnar. In July, The Wyatt Family began a feud with the WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day, which saw them defeating The New Day in a six-man tag team match on July 24 at Battleground. As part of the 2016 WWE Draft, Strowman was drafted to the RAW brand while Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan were drafted to SmackDown instead, Strowman separated from The Wyatt Family and began his singles career. The former WWE Universal Champion, Intercontinental Champion and 2-time RAW Tag Team Champion last wrestled at Wrestlemania Backlash, Strowman failed to win the title from Lashley in a triple threat match also involving Drew McIntyre. He was said to suffer from injured ribs following this match.

In June 2013, Lana, real name, CJ Perry revealed that she had been signed to WWE and was sent to their developmental branch NXT. She debuted on the October 23, 2013, episode of NXT, under the ring name “Lana”, scouting Alexander Rusev. She would follow him to the main roster. Lana faced off Bella in a tag team match at the WrestleMania 32 pre-show, in what would be Lana’s in-ring debut, which her team (dubbed Team B.A.D. & Blonde) lost. During her whole WWE run, she had never won any title, even if she took part in the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018. After Rusev was released by WWE, she started to team up with Natalya and most recently Naomi.

Ten days or so ago, Aleister put the crowd on fire when he emerged from the shadows and hit a massive superkick in the face of Big E. Aleister Black was back. The story ends here. The Dutch wrestler signed with NXT in 2016. He made a surprise appearance at the first edition of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament finals, losing to Neville in a non-tournament match. Black made his televised in-ring debut at NXT TakeOver: Orlando on 1 April 2017, defeating Andrade “Cien” Almas. Despite multiple feuds, Almas would remain his opponent of choice and the one to whom he won the NXT Championship. Black formed a tag team with Ricochet and the two competed in the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which they won after defeating The Forgotten Sons. At NXT TakeOver: New York on 5 April, Black and Ricochet unsuccessfully faced The War Raiders for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Both men moved to the main roster and Black also continued his team with Ricochet on RAW. He would be involved in many feuds without winning any titles. As part of the 2020 Draft in October, Black was drafted to the SmackDown brand. However following the draft, Black would disappear from television for several months. After a six-month absence, Black returned on April 23, 2021, in a vignette promoting his return. After several weeks of vignettes, Black returned on the May 21 episode of SmackDown, attacking Big E with the Black Mass which allowed Apollo Crews to retain the Intercontinental Championship in the main event.

Ruby Riott, better known as Heidi Lovelace in the indies and in Japan, signed with WWE by the end of 2016. After some feuds with Nikki Cross, Ember Moon and Asuka, she was sent to the main roster a few months later. Ruby Riott, made her main roster debut, alongside Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, by attacking both Becky Lynch and Naomi, turning heel. The following week, the trio, now dubbed The Riott Squad, made its in-ring debut, defeating Flair, Natalya and Naomi in a six-woman tag team match. The trio would be disbanded, reformed with Liv Morgan only. They faced the WWE Women’s Champion Natalya and Tamina last SmackDown in what we couldn’t know was Riott’s last match with WWE.

Murphy signed with WWE in 2013. He would team up with Sawyer Fulton, Elias Samson and then Wesley Blake with whom he won the NXT Tag Team belts. He was called up to the main roster only in 2018, making his debut as a participant in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament. On 6 October 2018, at Super Show-Down in his hometown of Melbourne, Murphy defeated Alexander to win the Cruiserweight Championship, his first singles title in WWE, the first Australian man to accomplish this feat. After losing the title to Tony Nese, he was drafted to SmackDown and feuded with R-Truth, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, Matt Hardy, Zack Ryder and Aleister Black.

In early 2020, he would align himself with The Monday Night Messiah Seth Rollins and AOP. They would win the RAW Tag Team Championships. He would get entangled into a love/hate story with the Mysterios and Seth Rollins as Murphy was getting closer with Rey Mysterio’s daughter, Aalyah. Murphy would later choose Aliyah over Rollins. After a few months off, Murphy returned on the 5 March 2021 episode of SmackDown, trying to reunite with Seth Rollins against Cesaro to which Rollins rebuffed. Murphy would then go on to lose in a match against Cesaro in his last match in WWE.

In September 2013, Garrett received a tryout in WWE’s developmental territory NXT on the September 13, 2013 tapings which aired on tape delay on October 9, where she faced Charlotte accompanied by Bayley in a losing effort. In 2016, though not signed to WWE, Garrett made three appearances on NXT, losing to Asuka, Emma and Billie Kay. On July 13, 2017, Garrett returned as part of the Mae Young Classic, being eliminated from the tournament in the first round by Piper Niven. She made an appearance on the October 26, 2017 episode of NXT, participating in a battle royal which was won by Nikki Cross to determine one of the contenders for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames.

In mid-August 2019, it was announced that Garrett had been officially signed to a contract and would report to the Performance Center before she appeared in the developmental company NXT. On the November 6, 2019, episode of NXT, Santana made her in-ring debut in a losing effort against Taynara Conti. On January 15, 2020, Santana was an entrant in a number one contender’s battle royal to face Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Portland, but was eliminated by Shayna Baszler. On April 17, 2020, episode of Main Event, Garrett debuted on the main roster, losing to Liv Morgan. On the April 20 episode of RAW, Santana made her RAW debut but was quickly defeated by Bianca Belair. Garrett had a losing streak in NXT, losing to the likes of Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Mia Yim, in convincing fashion while also failing to win on the main roster. Garrett ended her losing streak on the June 3, 2020 episode of NXT with a win over Aliyah. On the July 1, 2020, episode of NXT, Santana was squashed by the returning Mercedes Martinez who no-sold her offence. Santana entered the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble at number 12. She was eliminated by Rhea Ripley without eliminating anyone herself.

All pics courtesy of WWE

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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