On Friday night just hours before SmackDown, WWE announced they had released Zelina Vega.
The news shocked wrestling fans. Zelina Vega was one of WWE‘s most promising wrestlers and was, at one point, their most successful manager, having led Andrade to NXT Championship and United States Championship gold. And as a singles competitor, she was growing into her own again, having challenged Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title at Clash of Champions.
Vince McMahon was even said to be high on Vega due to her promos, which had reportedly caught the eye of many other people within the company.
However, Zelina was released on Friday evening not long before SmackDown, which made WWE fans wonder why exactly the company would release such a talented wrestler. Fans suspected it had to do with WWE’s ban of wrestlers making money off third-party apps, specifically Twitch, as Vega has a huge following on Twitch.
According to a report from PWInsider.com’s Mike Johnson, Zelina Vega was told in the “late afternoon” that she would be released. So she was not released because of her tweet about unionization, even if it occurred before WWE’s announcement of her release was posted to social media.
Johnson reports that Vega was “extremely vocal” about keeping her Twitch account, which led wrestlers to tell PWInsider.com that she may have been released by the company in order to “send a message” to all the other wrestlers.
That’s horrible, and hopefully the other wrestlers, especially the people affected the most by this terrible (and seemingly illegal, since WWE wrestlers are independent contractors) ban.
Zelina Vega’s release could end up being the first domino to fall in what could be a long-term fight against Vince McMahon and the sickening control he has over wrestlers as the most powerful man in the wrestling business.
It’s terrible Zelina was released for standing up for herself and for making money with her great Twitch streams. Vince’s greed knows no bounds, and it has led to a very talented wrestler being cut from WWE.
After her reported 90-day non-compete clause ends, she should have no trouble finding work. A move to AEW or a return to Impact Wrestling could be in the cards.