UPDATE: Desmond Troy (Denzel Dejournette) was also released from his WWE NXT contract on Friday night, confirming via Twitter:
In a move that some will say seems torn out of sketch where the WWE does a poor imitation of The Godfather. Unfortunately, there was nothing funny whatsoever about the news that (at least as of this writing) that 12 WWE and NXT wrestlers were let go by the pro-wrestling company while WWE SmackDown was on the air. The names of those released include Bronson Reed, Tyler Rust, Leonn Ruff, Mercedes Martinez, Bobby Fish, Ari Sterling, Jake Atlas, Kona Reeves, Zechariah Smith, Asher Hale, Giant Zanjeer, and Stephon Smith. Based on social media reaction, the move tonight wasn't one that many saw coming, and many (including veteran professional wrestling news sites) are shocked by both the names included as well as the timing.
The move comes after the WWE engaged in a major wave of releases back in June of this year. The list of names during that those releases included Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Ruby Riott, Lana, Santana Garrett, Buddy Murphy, Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Chase Parker, Matt Martel, and August Grey. As the landscape of professional wrestling becomes more and more competitive and more and more "doors" continue to be thrown open, speculation is already underway over which wrestlers will end up in AEW, ROH, Impact!, NWA, NJPW, and others. Make sure to keep following Bleeding Cool for updates on additional releases as well as reactions from around the wrestling community (Fightful.com first reporting).
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