John Cena finally breaks silence on WWE’s mass releases

WWE icon John Cena has finally shared his reaction to the company releasing a long string of talent over the past couple of years.

WWE went on a ruthless release spree in 2021 and let go of 80 on-screen talent, as well as many off-screen employees. Vince McMahon’s promotion garnered major criticism from the wrestling community for hoarding talent without any plans and then releasing said talent by citing budget cuts as the reason.


Former WWE Champion John Cena was a guest on the latest edition of the Rich Eisen Show, where he was asked about his views on the mass releases.

Cena had a lot to say about this touchy subject. He recalled how WWE operated during the Ruthless Aggression Era when he was a rookie in the promotion. The in-ring veteran spoke about how the company released talent twice a year, which made new talent work harder to make a name for themselves.

Check out some notable points that he made below:

“They’re also really bullish on continuing to hire new talent so the NXT Performance Center is… I don’t want to say overwhelmed, but they’re at max capacity. So you have all of these performers and a lot of them aren’t getting a chance to perform and I think that’s the real frustrating thing, both to the WWE and from a stance of a performer,” Cena said.

While he is used to bi-annual cuts, Cena understands it could be a very abrupt move for those not acquainted with it. He sympathizes with everyone who got ‘that sad news.’

“I was brought up in bi-annual cuts and it happened all the time and I just think WWE went through such a long period of not releasing anybody and now they’re kind of getting back into that rhythm again, that it is a very abrupt shift to somebody who’s not familiar with that and I do. My heart goes out to everybody who has to get that sad news because that’s a tough conversation to have,” added Cena.


Cena also added that he was stunned when Stone Cold Steve Austin walked out on WWE in 2002 and was subsequently fired. Cena knew at the time that if someone of the caliber of Austin could get fired, anyone was replaceable.

John Cena himself came incredibly close to getting fired by WWE

John Cena established himself as a credible heel on WWE SmackDown in early 2003, with his rapper gimmick. Shortly before becoming The Dr. of Thugonomics, Cena himself was on the verge of being released in late 2002.

While on a European tour, Cena was freestyling on a bus to pass the time. Fortunately for him, Stephanie McMahon was also on the bus and was impressed with his rapping skills. The rest, as they say, is history.

As for WWE’s mass releases, what annoyed fans was that the company has been reporting huge quarterly profits for a while now but still cited budget cuts as the reason behind many of its firings.

Cena’s response to the releases certainly makes sense, as he comes from a time when WWE was letting go of talent one after the other as well. What do you think of Cena’s reaction to WWE’s mass releases? Sound off in the comment section!

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