REPORT: WWE makes another round of cuts with 13 released

WWE has made yet another round of cuts with a dozen releases being reported at the NXT level.

WWE has made yet another round of cuts with a dozen releases being reported at the NXT level.

Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful was the first to report the cuts and listed the following names:

-Bobby Fish
-Bronson Reed
-Jake Atlas
-Ari Sterling
-Kona Reeves
-Stephon Smith
-Leon Ruff
-Tyler Rust
-Zechariah Smith
-Asher Hale
-Giant Zanjeer
-Mercedes Martinez

UPDATE: Denzel Dejournette confirmed he has also been released by the company.

Bronson Reed and others took to Twitter to comment on the news:

Bobby Fish, 44, joined WWE in June 2017 and had a great run as a member of The Undisputed Era until their split earlier this year. With partners Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly, he had two reigns as NXT Tag Team Champion. He had just appeared on this week’s episode of NXT, which was taped two weeks ago, losing to Strong.

Bronson Reed is the former Jonah Rock and seemed poised for a call-up to the main roster after dropping the North American Championship out of nowhere to Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and being brought to Raw for a dark match in June. His last major match was a loss to Adam Cole that aired earlier this month on NXT.

Jake Atlas is 26 and signed in the fall of 2019 and debuted on NXT the following April. He was a lifelong fan and his dream was to join the WWE but never got a sustained push during his time on television.

Ari Sterling is the former Alex Zayne and is wrestling on tonight’s episode of 205 Live. He is 34 and gained fame through Game Changer Wrestling before signing in 2020 and debuted on 205 Live in May of this year and has largely been utilized on that program with one NXT match in June.

Kona Reeves is 30 years old and has been in the NXT system since 2014. He got a makeover in 2018 as “The Finest” Kona Reeves but it didn’t take off and he had not appeared on NXT television since February 2020 where he lost to Keith Lee in 13 seconds.

Leon Ruff (Dartanyon Ruffin) is 25 and came over from EVOLVE and had an entertaining feud with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Johnny Gargano where he got over in the underdog babyface role with a brief reign as North American Champion after beating Gargano. He had signed last fall and was another wrestler set for tonight’s edition of 205 Live.

Stephon Smith
worked as a referee on NXT. He debuted as a wrestler in 2007 and worked as Hokus and Rump Thump among his indie personas including with OVW and IWA: Mid-South before joining WWE.

Tyler Rust was announced as part of the WWE Performance Center class last December. He was right in the middle of a push as a member of The Diamond Mine that just debuted on television recently. He previously competed as Rust Taylor and has been wrestling since 2004.

Zechariah Smith was part of the same Performance Center class as Mercedes Martinez, Jake Atlas, Reginald, and Top Dolla. Smith is a seven-foot-tall former basketball player and played for the Washington Generals. He never made it to television.

Asher Hale signed at the start of 2021 and had wrestled in EVOLVE for four years as Anthony Henry. He made his debut in 2012 and was trained by Sal Rinauro and Todd Sexton. He is 36 years old and mainly appeared on 205 Live with a few appearances on NXT.

Giant Zanjeer was billed as 7-foot-2 and wrestled in India throughout 2018. Cagematch doesn’t list any matches for the big man between November 2018 and January 2021 where he performed on the WWE Superstar Spectacle from the ThunderDome. Zanjeer teamed with Dilsher Shanky, Rey Mysterio & Ricochet against Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura & Baron Corbin. He had not wrestled since that show. He had been trained originally by The Great Khali and appeared in films in India.

Mercedes Martinez, 40, was part of both editions of the Mae Young Classic in 2017 and 2018. After a twenty-year career, she officially joined WWE in January 2020 and was announced as part of that month’s new class at the PC. She was briefly part of the Retribution group on Raw in 2020 but was shortly moved back to NXT. Her last appearance was on the June 29th edition of NXT.

Denzel Dejournette wrestled at Appalachian State as a heavyweight wrestler. He was signed by the company in 2017 and trained at the Performance Center before debuting the following year. He was briefly used on Raw in the weeks following WrestleMania 36 in 2020. They changed his name to Desmond Troy and had his first match of 2021 losing to Joe Gacy in June in a qualifying match on 205 Live for the Breakout Tournament.

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Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.