“Black Sunday” came more than a little late in the year for WWE, as the company’s “spring cleaning” actually took place in the fall as three wrestlers instead of the usual 10-plus were released in one day. It’s common knowledge now that the wrestlers in question are Emma, Darren Young, and Summer Rae, and prior to today, it wasn’t quite sure why WWE decided to part ways with them. A new report, however, offers more clues telling us why WWE let these three wrestlers go.
The new report comes courtesy of Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, and while he appears to have deleted his backstage update on the three recently-released wrestlers, Wrestling Inc. was able to cite the report and explain the reasons behind the releases.
For Young and Summer Rae, it appears to have been a budget-related decision, even if both of them had well-documented battles with injuries in recent months, with Summer not having competed at all since she was drafted to Monday Night Raw last year. The decision was reportedly made during Vince McMahon’s budget meeting on Friday, though it was only on Sunday when the wrestlers were told of the decision and one day before they would have needed to fly out for Raw live taping.
Interestingly, Young was with The Miz, Becky Lynch, and Enzo Amore just a few days before his release as the four WWE Superstars were at the Staples Center for a Los Angeles Clippers game. He had even posted a photo of that promotional appearance on Sunday morning and just hours before WWE announced his release from the company.
As previously reported, Emma has been quite vocal about her release from the WWE. While she’s used positive language as she now makes social media posts under her real name, Tenille Dashwood, the above report had some backstage dirt to dish out regarding the Australian wrestler’s release, though her release was also allegedly due in part to budgetary reasons.
Apparently, WWE had been planning to fire Emma for quite some time due to “significant heat with company officials” and writers, many of whom felt offended by her previous comments on Twitter. As noted by this September report from Daily DDT, Emma had made some sarcastic remarks in the past about not getting the same opportunities as other female colleagues such as Alexa Bliss and Bayley.
With numerous reports of half-empty houses and flagging financial statistics, it's not surprising that Sunday's mini-wave of releases was decided during a budget meeting. Again, it's not surprising that Young and Summer Rae were released as they spent far more time injured than active in the past year. But since today's backstage report jogged our memory on Emma's recent social media rants, we shouldn't be surprised either by her departure despite being in top form in that brief two-match series with Asuka, and playing the most relevant role on TV she'd played in quite some time.