As noted, WWE released Steve Cutler from his contract on Thursday, wishing him the best in his future endeavors.
It’s been reported that Cutler was released after he had heat with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in January. His girlfriend, Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, confirmed on Twitter yesterday that they both tested positive that month.
In an update, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Vince was “livid” when he heard about Cutler coming down with the coronavirus, which had him off TV for a week, which then led to the angle with Corbin being dropped. According to the Observer, it’s believed that Cutler came down with COVID-19 at a New Year’s Eve party.
Vince was reportedly upset with Cutler getting sick at the New Year’s Eve party as he had promised a few wrestlers, such as WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, that they would have a safe working environment when they returned to work. Cutler was around everyone backstage at SmackDown, and that didn’t go over well with Vince as he had already promised some a healthy place to work.
It was also noted that Cutler is believed to be the first pro wrestler to be fired over COVID-19. A Thursday report from Fightful Select noted that Cutler was working the “big man class” at the WWE Performance Center as he had volunteered to take bumps for some of the bigger wrestlers that had been ordered to participate in weekly classes to work on their in-ring skills. The Observer adds that Cutler was actually working the class on Thursday when he got fired.
Cutler was brought back to SmackDown TV in December, with Wesley Blake, as henchmen for King Baron Corbin but the gimmicks were quickly dropped. You can click here for more backstage notes on the departure, and you can click here for Cutler’s post-release statement. He is currently serving a 90-day non-compete clause from his WWE contract.
Stay tuned for more.