Every year in WWE the list of wrestlers being wished well on their future endeavours seems extensive.
It could fall under wellness violations, talent not being used properly or even talent being requested to be released due to a fallout with the company/any other reason. As mainstream WWE fans, it can be sad to see, but for independent fans, it gives them a chance to see where each wrestler goes and what happens to them after they have graced our mainstream screens on USA TV (or Fox if it happens to be a Smackdown Live talent).
We continue our look at this years WWE releases, and in particular, a very busy springtime for the company…
April 9th – Dasha Fuentes
Dasha started her career as a wrestler teaming with Dana Brooke and Becky Lynch against Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Devon Taylor in 2015 before quickly becoming a backstage interviewer for NXT. In 2016 Dasha would move to the main roster, interviewing wrestlers primarily on SmackDown Live. She never really was involved in any major angles or did commentary for live TV but she was consistently cited as being one of the best interviewers in WWE.
As revealed by an interview with YouTube personality Chris Van Vilet, Fuentes lost her job after a slip-up during an interview with Roman Reigns on a live episode of Raw where she mentioned that Roman accepted McIntyre’s match instead of saying Roman challenged McIntyre to a match. This slip up eventually led to her being dropped by the company. Dasha currently is the co-host of AEW Dark with Tony Schiavone following her appearance on the November 4th episode. She currently goes by her real name Dasha Gonzalez.
April 12th/July 17th – Rhyno
Rhyno was never formally announced to be released this year but on this date, he was moved to the WWE Alumni section of the page. Former Hardcore, ECW Heavyweight, ECW World Television and United States Champion; Rhyno was no stranger to the WWE Universe prior to his return in 2015. The biggest highlight from his most recent run was winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championships with Heath Slater (becoming the inaugural champions). The team would pretty much be the highlight of SmackDown in 2016 – 2017, with segments involving Heath Slater’s many kids and the team-leading team SmackDown in the 10-on-10 Survivor Series match.
Sadly when they moved to Raw they were somewhat lost in the shuffle, often used in dark matches, squash matches and regular appearances on Main Event. Rhyno decided to leave WWE on April 12th and appeared in a mask for the Impact Wrestling PPV Slammiversary on July 7th (despite not technically being released by WWE until July 17th). Rhino (with a slight change of name due to copyright) now wrestles weekly for IMPACT every Tuesday and is currently in a rivalry with original ECW rival RVD.
April 21st – Goldust
Goldust was never formally announced to be released but did it himself by announcing the day after on Road To Double Or Nothing (AEW PPV) that he would be leaving to have a match with his brother Cody at the PPV event. Goldust has wrestled pretty much continuously (albeit for a few gaps here and there) for the WWE since 1995, having gaps to work for other promotions in 1999 – 2001 (WCW), 2004 – 2005 (TNA), 2007 – 2008 (TNA) and 2012 – 2013 (various independent promotions). Over this time Goldust would become; a 9-time Hardcore Champion, a 3-time Intercontinental Champion, a 2-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Cody Rhodes) and a World Tag Team Champion (with Booker T).
Following the departure of his brother Cody Rhodes (wrestling at this point as Stardust), Goldust would move to the mid-card, teaming and having a rivalry with R Truth (as the Golden Truth) before returning to fight in squash matches, dark matches and appearing on Main Event. Goldust hadn’t wrestled in a televised match since April 2018.
Since leaving WWE Goldust has teamed with his brother Cody as part of The Elite under his real name Dustin Rhodes for All Elite Wrestling. He continues to be in various storylines for this promotion and has taken part in what was arguably one of the best matches of the year at Double Or Nothing against Cody.
April 24th – Shadia Bseiso
Shadia Bseiso was the first woman from the Middle East to sign a WWE contract. Her history includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and appearances for Middle Eastern promotions. Shadia never actually competed inside a WWE ring but appeared as a backstage interviewer during the Mae Young Classic in 2018. There is no word yet as to where Shadia will wrestle or if indeed she will wrestle in the future, but this was an important talent, that never got to see the light of day.
April 24th – Nasser Alruwayeh
Nasser Alruwayeh was WWE’s first superstar to wrestle from Kuwait. Signing in December 2017, he had a few dark matches appearing on NXT including teaming with Mohamed Fahim in a losing match to The Forgotten Sons and appearing in an NXT North American Contendership Halloween Costumed battle royal. There is no word yet on whether he will wrestle again and if so where. Currently his main interest seems to be in weight-lifting which can be seen on his Instagram account.
April 25th – Dean Ambrose
Probably the most established name on this list, Dean Ambrose started his career most famously as a deathmatch wrestler in CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling) in which he became the CZW World Heavyweight Champion. During his career beginning in 2010, he became WWE Champion, 3-time Intercontinental Champion, 2-time Raw Tag Team Champion with Seth Rollins, United States Champion and created a future Hall of Fame faction in The Shield with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
Dean Ambrose is probably the most surprising wrestler in this list as the reason for him leaving WWE would not be immediately apparent. This was until a 28th May 2019 edition of the Talk Is Jericho podcast where he would divulge many frustrations with writers and extensive problems with head booker Vince McMahon. Following this, he decided to create an edgier persona (calling back to his past CZW ring name in Jon Moxley) and tried to get extensive bookings on the independent scene.
Now since leaving WWE, Jon Moxley has become one of the more recognisable stars on AEW and also wrestled in this year’s NJPW G1 Climax tournament. He also has made appearances for promotions such as Northeast Wrestling and FSW (Future Stars of Wrestling). Jon Moxley is becoming one of the more unhinged wrestlers as part of AEW and the writing for his career in his own mind is a massive improvement.
In our final part, we round off the last few months of the year, including a host of last releases to end 2019…
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @bradcassidy170. Thanks for reading!