Wrestling legend Gerald Brisco was one of the WWE employees furloughed by WWE in April. Brisco, 73, has been a top advisor to Vince McMahon for decades but was apparently amongst the employees considered nonessential even as WWE itself obtained essential status to operate during the pandemic. F4WOnline first reported the news as Brisco being released, though Dave Meltzer later clarified he was furloughed. Brisco himself then took to Twitter to confirm the report. "What a writer made a mistake, to set things right," Brisco tweeted. "I have not been let go yet I've been placed on furlough don't know who leaked the wrong news. I hope get back to helping young folks find there dream. If not it been on heck of a run #cantkeepawrestlerdown."
What a writer made a mistake, to set things right. I have not been let go yet I've been placed on furlough don't know who leaked the wrong news. I hope get back to helping young folks find there dream. If not it been on heck of a run #cantkeepawrestlerdown
— Gbrisco🤼♂️ (@Fgbrisco) April 28, 2020
Along with Pat Patterson, Brisco had a memorable role as one of Vince McMahon's "stooges" during the Attitude Era when McMahon first debuted his on-screen heel boss character. However, Brisco was himself a well-known and talented wrestler with a long career going back to the 1960s. Brisco was one of the dozens of wrestlers and backstage talent cut by WWE this month as part of cost-cutting measures to survive the coronavirus pandemic, despite boasting of $500 million in reserves and despite announcing dividends for shareholders the following day totaling $9.3 million, enough to keep everyone employed into 2021.
This followed WWE obtaining a special exemption from Florida's stay-at-home order to continue operating as an "essential" business. The exemption granted the same day a Republican Super PAC headed up by Linda McMahon pledged to spend $18.5 million in the state this year to ensure WWE Hall-of-Famer Donald Trump wins his reelection effort. Then, the next week, WWE announced record profits during their first-quarter financial call, causing stock prices to jump. All of that calls into question the real need for those cost-cutting measures, but what are 46 years of service to a company compared to a few extra dollars in the pockets of shareholders, right?