Big WWE News: Several Developmental Talents Released!

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PWInsider.com is reporting that, as of last Friday, May 17, WWE has released a total of seven NXT developmental talents as Briley Pierce (Ryan Nemeth), Sakamoto, Anya (Anna Bogomazova), Audrey Marie (Ashley Miller), Brandon Traven, Percy Watson (Nick McNeil), & Derrick Bateman (Michael Hutter) have all been let go from the company. As WWE continues to make more developmental signings and as they prepare to open the new WWE Performance Center in Florida on July 1, which will be the new training facility for the NXT roster.

Of the seven releases, those within WWE are most surprised by the releases of Briley Pierce & Audrey Marie. In the case of Briley Pierce, the surprise comes from the fact that, not only was Pierce an impressive in-ring competitor in NXT, he is also the younger brother of current World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. With Audrey Marie, she has been in WWE’s developmental system since 2011 and several individuals felt that she was ready to be brought to the main roster.

The releases of Percy Watson and Derrick Bateman are likely a sign of things to come as WWE is expected to release more talents who have been in developmental for quite some time, but have either failed to impress or are going nowhere. “Showtime” Percy Watson was a stand-out on the second season of NXT (when it was WWE’s developmental reality show), but finished fifth overall in the season. Percy would compete in several matches on WWE Superstars before becoming a part of the Redemption season of NXT. When the reality series era of NXT was wrapped up and became the new name of WWE’s developmental territory, Percy remained. Percy’s last NXT appearance was in the tournament to crown new NXT Tag Team Champions, but he and partner, Yoshi Tatsu, lost in the first round of the tournament.

Derrick Bateman debuted on the fourth season of NXT, making it to Week 12 of the competition before being eliminated, but Bateman would remain in NXT, taking part in NXT Redemption, where he was paired with Maxine during a rivalry with Johnny Curtis (who now competes as Fandango) before Maxine joined up with Curtis. All of this and a bizarre “whodunit” involving then NXT Host Matt Striker would dominate most of the final NXT season with Bateman ultimately being named the unofficial winner of NXT Redemption.

Another name that may stand out among the seven names released is Sakamoto, who was best known as Lord Tensai’s “worshiper” for the first few months of Tensai’s career. After being dropped as Tensai’s worshiper, Sakamoto would remain in NXT, teaming up with Briley Pierce before his release.

Do you think WWE made a mistake by releasing these seven talents? Post your comments in the box below.

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