Even after clearing 180+ names from their bloated roster, it looks like annual WWE releases are here to stay. The most-recent bout of talent cuts included some of the biggest names from NXT 2.0; including the man who was pegged to be the “Next Brock Lesnar”.
Parker Boudreaux aka Harland was signed to a developmental deal in 2021
The world seemed like Parker Boudreaux’s oyster when he signed with WWE in 2021. The former football player had it all; the physique, the oozing charisma of a monster, and most-importantly perhaps, a look that will remind you of Brock Lesnar circa 2002 immediately upon seeing him. Even Paul Heyman endorsed his “bright future” in the WWE.
His tweet is not a prediction. It’s a spoiler.
Save this #HustleTweet for future historical reference.
— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) January 2, 2021
And then…we met Harland. Now, to be fair to the character, he was debuted as an unstoppable menace. But he was also aligned with Joe Gacy, whose “all-inclusive” shtick has been dubious at best and blatantly offensive at worst. Harland was reduced to the role of muscle guy really soon when WWE figured out his in-ring capabilities weren’t good enough; and then he just disappeared off TV. We now know why.
WWE releases top NXT 2.0 stars like Malcolm Bivens, Persia Pirotta & more
WWE has taken the bold decision to continue to be the Grim Reaper for the careers of indie veterans. Dakota Kai, a 2x NXT Women’s Champion and one of the last remnants of the Black-and-Gold brand, was the first to be announced as “released”. That was followed up with the announcement that 9 other Superstars, including a WWE official, had also been given the sack. The full list is as follows:
- Dakota Kai
- Dexter Lumis
- Malcolm Bivens
- Persia Pirotta
- Draco Anthony
- Paige Prinzivalli aka WWE Referee Blair Baldwin
- Sanjana George aka Vish Kanya
- Mila Malani
- Raelyn Divine
What makes this recent round of releases more frustrating is that some of these names were directly linked to key NXT 2.0 storylines. Persia Pirotta & Dexter Lumis were on the opposing ends of WWE’s hottest couple war since John Cena & Nikki Bella vs The Miz & Maryse; at least from a storyline perspective.
Harland’s former “master” Joe Gacy looks to have pulled several pages out of The Undertaker’s book to replace his disciple, because he summoned an army of druids to replace him in his feud with NXT Champion Bron Breakker.
And most shocking of all is the release of Malcolm Bivens, who was THE presence on Tuesday Nights, regardless of what you thought of him or his work.
Thank you Malcolm Bivens pic.twitter.com/q5MCWaVJqP
— Public Enemies Podcast (@TheEnemiesPE3) April 29, 2022
This latest batch of WWE releases just goes to prove the old locker room taboo to be true; to truly make it in the WWE, you have to play the game by their rules. And even then, there is no guarantee you’ll come out a bona fide Superstar on the other side. We hope the best for all of the names on this list. Where would you like to see them show up next? Let us know in the comments!