With WWE on the verge of signing new developmental talent to coincide with the launch of its Performance Center in Winter Park, Florida, multiple talents situated in the developmental system were released Friday as we reported earlier.
It has been confirmed that Derrick Bateman, Briley Pierce, Sakamoto, Percy Watson, Brandon Traven, Audrey Marie and Anya were let go by the sports-entertainment organization.
Bateman announced on his Twitter account that he is now available for independent bookings and then adding, "Welp see ya later @wwe @WWEUniverse #itsfine."
Pierce, who is the brother of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, stated on his account, "I guarantee that was the funniest and most entertaining "You're released" phone call in WWE history. Bye, everybody!"
Traven remarked on the social networking website, "Staying positive on a bad day..not the end only the beginning...things in life happen for a reason..just had a good lunch with good people. Not the end of the book just the end of the chapter..my journey is far from over"
Though Watson, Marie and Anya have yet to publicly address their standing with WWE, we have confirmed that all three individuals have been let go. Lending credibility to this, their respective profiles have been removed from the official websites of WWE (WWE.com) and NXT Wrestling (FCWWrestling.info).
Bateman, who had been under contract to WWE since 2008, appeared on the final season of NXT before the program was transferred to Florida. He last appeared on WWE programming late last year, and had been making infrequent appearances for NXT.
Briley had been under a developmental contract to WWE since 2011, the highlight of which was a Florida Tag Team Championship reign with Brad Maddox. He was shifted to the role of backstage interviewer for NXT last June, though would still continue to compete. However, he lost the majority of his matches from that point on.
Sakamoto was paired with Tensai last year before being demoted to developmental in November. Having been trained by Taka Michinoku at his Kaientai Dojo wrestling school in Japan, he joined WWE's developmental system in 2011.
Traven competed for various Midwestern independent organizations as Brian Beaker before being signed to a developmental contract last year. He was originally trained by WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race in Missouri.
Watson, a former professional football player, joined WWE in 2009 and would frequently appear on NXT. At times, he appeared on the brink of joining the main roster, but ultimately did not.
Marie had been under contract to WWE since 2011 and was a fixture in the developmental system's women's division.
Anya is a 6'1" Russian kickboxer and martial artist WWE signed last summer. She was recently sidelined due to a broken arm.
According to sources, at least two additional names are expected to be revealed as being no longer under contract to WWE. Despite more releases being rumored, nothing is confirmed as of this writing. We'll keep you posted when we hear more.
Here is a video of some of the talents who were fired eating lunch together: