Eight NXT on-air talent released by WWE

Six wrestlers and two referees in NXT have been released by WWE.

Dave Meltzer has confirmed that Kavita Devi, Jessamyn Duke, Ezra Judge, Skyler Story, Vanessa Borne, Alexander Wolfe, and referees Drake Wuertz and Jake Clemons have been released from the company. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful was the first to report the cuts, and more are expected.

Wuertz had been a referee for the NXT brand since 2014, and had been seen as recently as this week’s episode of NXT. Wolfe signed with WWE in 2015. He also appeared on last night’s NXT, where he was laid out by members of Imperium after they turned on him. Devi had been training at the WWE Performance Center since 2017, Duke since 2018, Judge since 2019, and Borne since 2016. Story, who previously worked under the name Brandi Lauren in EVOLVE, had started with the company in October.

Fightful additionally reported that Wuertz had “nuclear heat brought on by himself” for the better part of a year. He had to be warned about attending events without a mask and not being vaccinated, and was known for loudly criticizing wrestlers for getting vaccinations or even flu shots. Additonally, there was an incident last year where he stormed out of a Triple H speech prior to the In Your House event. Wuertz left after Triple H mentioned that “(paraphrasing) that all people, races, genders, and religions were welocmed,” with Wuertz becoming upset once relgiion was mentioned.

Wuertz has made controversial statements in recent weeks, most recently at a Seminole County Public School Board meeting back on May 11. In his statement to the board, Wuertz argued that wearing masks in schools assists predators who “wish to prey upon our children”. At a Semionle County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Zoom wearing NXT attire earlier this month, he argued against the mask mandate in the county, saying that “child sex traffickers love COVID masks.”

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Prior to signing with WWE as a referee, Wuertz wrestled regularly in CZW under the name Drake Younger.