WWE.com made the shocking announcement today that WWE has come to terms on the release of nine WWE Superstars, one Diva, and one referee as of today, June 12, as JTG (Jayson Paul), Jinder Mahal (Yuvraj Dhesi), Drew McIntyre (Drew Galloway), Aksana (Zivile Raudoniene), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Theodore Long, Camacho (Tevita Fifita), Brodus Clay (George Murdoch), Yoshi Tatsu (Naofumi Yamamoto), referee Marc Harris, and Evan Bourne (Matt Korklan) have all been let go by the company.
Jayson Paul began his WWE career in 2006 when he joined WWE’s then developmental territory, OVW, under the ring name, “The Neighborhoodie”, where he was put into a tag team with Shad Gaspard called The Gang-Stars. Later that same year, the team was brought to the RAW roster and renamed Cryme Tyme with The Neighborhoodie getting a ring name change to JTG. Cryme Tyme made their main roster debut on October 16, 2006. Upon their debut, Cryme Tyme defeated two members of the then World Tag Team Champions, the Spirit Squad before making their pay-per-view debut at that year’s Cyber Sunday event. After winning a Tag Team Turmoil Match at New Year’s Revolution in 2007, Cryme Tyme mostly competed on Heat and in OVW before returning to RAW in their hometown of New York City, starting a feud with the World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. However, in the middle of this feud over the titles, Cryme Tyme were released from their WWE contracts. After spending much of 2007 wrestling on the independent circuit, Cryme Tyme were re-hired by WWE in 2008, returning to television on the March 31, 2008 edition of RAW and would soon form a partnership with John Cena, assisting Cena in his feud with JBL before splitting off into their own feud with the reigning World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, failing to win the titles at the Unforgiven pay-per-view that year. Cryme Tyme was drafted to the SmackDown brand on April 15, 2009 and quickly entered a feud with the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show; a feud that culminated with Cryme Tyme losing to Jeri-Show at SummerSlam. JTG & Shad would then make fewer and fewer appearances throughout 2009 and, on April 2, 2010, Shad betrayed JTG, ending the Cryme Tyme team. The former tag team partners would face each other in a Strap Match at Extreme Rules that year and, after a rematch on WWE Superstars, Shad was sent to the FCW developmental territory, where he had a few matches before he was released from WWE in November 2010. After the release of his former tag team partner, JTG would spend the remainder of his career appearing on NXT and sporadically appearing on RAW and SmackDown as an enhancement talent. JTG would be the recipient of a “makeover” from Alicia Fox during his time on NXT, winning a match against Yoshi Tatsu shortly after. JTG would continue to make rare television appearances over the next couple of years, being used to put over other talent before his release, bringing an end to a eight-year career in WWE.
Jinder Mahal signed with WWE in 2010, making his television debut on the April 29, 2011 episode of SmackDown, where he greeted The Great Khali & Ranjin Singh backstage. This would kick off a feud between Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali with Jinder repeatedly abusing the giant with it being revealed that Jinder was married to Khali’s sister and, if Khali did anything to Jinder, then Jinder would divorce his sister. After his feud with Khali, Jinder would go on to feud with Ted DiBiase and Sheamus before briefly re-igniting his feud with The Great Khali. Jinder would mostly compete on the newly re-branded NXT, where he had an impressive winning streak. Jinder would be entered into the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first ever NXT Champion and would make it to the Finals of the tournament before he was defeated by Seth Rollins, also ending Jinder’s winning streak in NXT. Jinder continued making sporadic appearances in NXT before resurfacing on the September 23, 2012 episode of SmackDown when he and Drew McIntyre joined forces with Heath Slater in a beat down of Brodus Clay. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre would then become known as 3MB, a trio of glam rockers who didn’t actually play any instruments and claimed to have a hit song that no one had heard. 3MB would mostly compete, and typically lose, to other three man combinations in 6-Man Tag matches throughout 2013. Earlier this year, 3MB added Hornswoggle to their group as 3MB & Hornswoggle engaged in a feud with Los Matadores & El Torito, which culminated in a match on the Payback Pre-Show where Hornswoggle lost a Mask vs. Hair Match to El Torito. Jinder Mahal’s final appearance in WWE will be on tonight’s SmackDown, where he appears as a member of 3MB.
During WWE’s tour of Europe in 2007, Drew Galloway had a tryout match before a SmackDown taping against Sheamus and Galloway was signed to a contract shortly after. On the October 12, 2007 episode of SmackDown, Galloway made his television debut under the ring name, Drew McIntyre. McIntyre would align himself with Dave Taylor on SmackDown, portraying a fan friendly character trying to get dual citizenship in the United States. With the help of Dave Taylor, Drew McIntyre would defeat both of The Major Brothers in back-to-back singles matches before McIntyre was moved to the RAW brand and, after one match against Charlie Haas in January 2008, McIntyre disappeared from television. McIntyre would later resurface in the OVW developmental territory in September, mostly competing in tag team matches. When WWE cut ties with OVW and moved their developmental system to FCW, McIntyre made the move and continued competing in a tag team with Stu Sanders before the team was eventually broken up. McIntyre would then go on to compete in singles competition, getting into the hunt for the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship and, due to an injury suffered by then champion Joe Hennig, the title was vacated and Drew McIntyre would defeat Eric Escobar to win the FCW Florida Heavyweight Title. McIntyre would reign as the FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion until June when he was defeated for the title by Tyler Reks. Drew McIntyre failed to regain the title, but would get an even bigger opportunity as McIntyre would be brought back to the main roster, re-debuting on SmackDown on August 28, 2009. McIntyre would engage in a brief feud with R-Truth and, during this time, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon would dub Drew McIntyre, “The Chosen One”, stating that he personally signed Drew McIntyre because he saw McIntyre as a “future World Champion”. McIntyre would then continue his feud with R-Truth, making his pay-per-view debut at the 2009 Hell in a Cell event, where he defeated R-Truth. After wrapping up his feud with R-Truth, McIntyre would engage in a brief feud with Finlay and would take part in the Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Tag Match at Survivor Series in 2009, where he and Sheamus were the sole survivors of the match. McIntyre would then defeat then Intercontinental Champion John Morrison in a non-title match to earn a shot at the title at WWE TLC. At the pay-per-view, Drew McIntyre would use a thumb to the eye to defeat John Morrison to win the Intercontinental Title, his first main roster title in WWE. As the Intercontinental Champion, Drew McIntyre would start an impressive winning streak that would stretch from the WWE TLC pay-per-view in December until February 25 of 2010, where he was defeated by Kane. However, Mr. McMahon would back up his hand-picked “future World Champion”, forcing SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long to strike McIntyre’s loss from the record books and the Chairman would do the same after McIntyre lost to Matt Hardy, continuing McIntyre’s winning streak. The Intercontinental Champion’s winning streak would finally end on March 19 when McIntyre lost to The Undertaker. McIntyre would make his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania XXVI, where he competed in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, where he was unsuccessful in winning the briefcase. Drew McIntyre would then move on to a feud with Matt Hardy, where he repeatedly assaulted Matt and, as a result, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long suspended McIntyre and stripped him of the Intercontinental Title. However, a week later, Mr. McMahon undermined the GM by re-instating McIntyre as the Intercontinental Champion. McIntyre would then defend the Intercontinental Title against Kofi Kingston at Over The Limit, where Kofi defeated McIntyre for the title. McIntyre would then use his relationship with Mr. McMahon to bully Theodore Long, even forcing the GM to lay down for him in a one-on-one match. At Fatal 4-Way the following month, McIntyre faced Kofi in a rematch for the Intercontinental Title with Theodore Long as the Special Referee. Long would refuse to make the three-count for McIntyre and Matt Hardy would then attack McIntyre, ending the match with Kofi retaining the title. On the June 21 episode of RAW, The Nexus attacked Mr. McMahon, writing the Chairman off of television and ending Drew McIntyre’s reign of preferential treatment in WWE. As a part of their ongoing feud, Theodore Long would inform McIntyre that he had an expired work visa and would be deported back to Scotland (which was actually based in reality as McIntyre’s visa really had expired). McIntyre would return a couple of weeks later, being forced to beg for his job by Theodore Long with Long letting McIntyre keep his job. McIntyre would then continue his feud with Matt Hardy, which also brought in Christian, who helped Matt Hardy out in the feud. As a result of this feud, McIntyre would form a partnership with “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and, on September 19 at the Night of Champions event, the team of Rhodes & McIntyre would win a five-team Tag Team Turmoil Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles. As the tag champions, Rhodes & McIntyre were allowed to appear on both RAW and SmackDown. After making back-to-back title defenses against The Hart Dynasty, Rhodes & McIntyre lost the WWE Tag Team Titles to John Cena & David Otunga (Cena was forced to team with David Otunga as a part of the angle where Nexus leader Wade Barrett had control of John Cena’s career) before Rhodes & McIntyre split as a tag team. After a brief storyline with Kelly Kelly in early 2011, McIntyre was drafted to the RAW brand in April, but would only appear sporadically throughout 2011, mostly appearing on Superstars before re-joining the SmackDown brand in December. Upon his return to SmackDown, McIntyre would re-ignite his feud with Theodore Long as the GM would make McIntyre prove himself worthy of his contract, but after an eight-match losing streak, Long would fire McIntyre. However, a week later, guest General Manager John Laurinaitis reinstated Drew McIntyre to the SmackDown brand and McIntyre would join Laurinaitis’ team for a 12-Man Tag Match at WrestleMania XXVIII, where Laurinaitis’ team defeated Theodore Long’s team, earning Laurinaitis control of both RAW and SmackDown. After some time off for a shoulder injury, McIntyre would return on the May 10 episode of Superstars, where he defeated Ezekiel Jackson. This would be McIntyre’s last win for a while as McIntyre would go back to making sporadic appearances, often being used to put over other talent. When WWE re-branded their developmental territory into NXT, Drew McIntyre took part in the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first ever NXT Champion, but would lose to Seth Rollins in the Semi-Finals. After spending more than a year in NXT, McIntyre would return to the main roster on the September 21, 2013 episode of SmackDown, where McIntyre and Jinder Mahal interfered in a match between Heath Slater and Brodus Clay, helping Slater beat down Brodus, forming the group known as 3MB. Throughout the later part of 2013, McIntyre would mostly serve as a manger for Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal due to a wrist injury before returning to in-ring action in December. On the New Year’s Eve edition of RAW, 3MB challenged Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Titles, but were unsuccessful in winning the titles. 3MB would also compete in a tournament to crown the first ever NXT Tag Team Champions, but were defeated in the First Round of the tournament. Throughout the early part of 2014, 3MB would repeatedly fail to get the better of The Shield, finding themselves on the receiving end of a beating by The Shield, as well as Team Hell No and Brock Lesnar on different occasions. 3MB would also appear as part of Evolution’s backup (along with several other Superstars) during Evolution’s feud with The Shield. Drew McIntyre’s last appearance was as a member of 3MB on the June 13 episode of SmackDown, where they attempted an assault on Roman Reigns, which failed. Throughout his seven-year career in WWE, Drew McIntyre was a one-time Intercontinental Champion and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Cody Rhodes).
Lithuanian fitness model and bodybuilder Zivile Raudoniene was signed by WWE in 2009, debuting in the FCW developmental territory under the ring name, “Olga”, in October of 2009. A month later, Zivile’s ring name was changed to “Aksana” and she began her career as a manager before making her in-ring debut in early 2010. Aksana remained in developmental until she was brought in for Season Three of NXT, making her NXT debut on September 7, 2010 where she teamed with her mentor, Goldust, to face AJ Lee & Primo. In October 2010, Aksana’s mentor, Goldust, proposed to Aksana in order to keep Aksana in the United States. After making her pay-per-view debut at Bragging Rights, Aksana would join Goldust for a feud with Ted DiBiase & Maryse over DiBiase’s Million Dollar Championship, which saw all four of them repeatedly steal the unofficial championship back-and-forth for several weeks. Goldust & Aksana were set to wed on the November 2, 2010 edition of NXT, but Aksana would slap Goldust and walk off, completing Aksana’s heel turn. On August 5, 2011, Aksana would make her official debut as a member of the main roster on SmackDown. debuting as a face, introducing herself to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. This would start a romantic angle between the two that would end in April 2012 when she would began an on-air relationship with the debuting Antonio Cesaro. In October of 2012, Aksana would join forces with Eve Torres in Eve’s feud with Kaitlyn & Layla where Eve was held responsible for an attack on Kaitlyn at the Night of Champions pay-per-view. After Eve “quit” WWE, the partnership ended and Aksana began teaming with Alicia Fox, mostly taking part in multi-Diva matches and competing on Main Event. Aksana would make her debut at WrestleMania XXX, joining 13 other Divas in the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational Match. On June 9, Alicia Fox attacked Aksana following a loss to Divas Champion Paige, ending their partnership. Aksana’s last WWE appearance was on the June 13 episode of SmackDown, where she lost to Alicia Fox.
Two years into his professional wrestling career, Brian Myers was signed to a developmental contract by WWE in 2006 and given the ring name “Brian Majors”. Brian would then join a man he teamed up with on the independent circuit, Bret Matthews, who was given the ring name “Brett Majors”. As The Majors Brothers, the team would twice win the Deep South Wrestling DSW Tag Team Titles, as well as a reign as the OVW Southern Tag Team Champions. In 2007, Brian Majors & Brett Majors were brought up to the main roster and, after dropping the “s” from their last names, The Major Brothers debuted on the ECW brand. After winning their debut match, The Major Brothers would fail to win any matches in either singles or tag team competition before they were drafted to SmackDown in June 2007. The Major Brothers would not achieve much success in the tag division on SmackDown, but the team was then given the biggest push of their careers at Armageddon 2007 when The Major Brothers helped Edge retain the World Heavyweight Championship, using their resemblance to the champion to help Edge retain the title. On the December 21, 2007 edition of SmackDown, The Major Brothers were revealed as acquaintances of Edge and SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero and The Major Brothers were renamed Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder, joining what would become known as the La Familia stable (that would later include Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely). At the 2008 installment of The Great American Bash, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder defeated Finlay & Hornswoggle, Jesse & Festus, and The Miz & John Morrison in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles, the first main roster titles for both Hawkins & Ryder and Hawkins & Ryder went down in the record books as the youngest WWE Tag Team Champions in history. After La Familia began to go their separate ways, Hawkins & Ryder emerged on their own, but would only last a month as the tag champions before they were defeated by Primo & Carlito. On April 15, 2009, Zack Ryder was drafted to the ECW brand while Curt Hawkins stayed on the SmackDown brand, effectively bringing an end to the team. Curt Hawkins would spend the remainder of 2009 and the first few months of 2010 in the FCW developmental territory before re-emerging on the May 13, 2010 episode of WWE Superstars where Hawkins debuted a new tag team with Vance Archer, later referred to as The Gatecrashers. After winning their debut match as a team, Hawkins & Archer revealed that they were given 30 days to “make an impact” and, on back-to-back episodes of SmackDown, The Gatecrashers would attack both MVP and Christian, even defeating MVP & Christian in a tag match. The Gatecrashers were then given long term contracts, but on the October 7 edition of WWE Superstars, the cracks began to show in the partnership between Hawkins & Archer and the team would split shortly after that. Curt Hawkins would then compete as a singles star for the first time in his WWE career, beginning a feud with Trent Barreta that only lasted for a few weeks with both Superstars exchanging victories. On April 26, 2011, Hawkins was drafted to the RAW brand, competing primarily on WWE Superstars throughout May before disappearing from television for several months before re-emerging on the September 8 episode of WWE Superstars as Hawkins debuted a new tag team with Tyler Reks. Hawkins & Reks would then begin appearing on Season Five of NXT (which was dubbed, NXT Redemption), feuding with the likes of The Usos and Yoshi Tatsu & Trent Barreta, while making rare appearances on RAW and WWE Superstars. After a brief time working with John Laurinaitis, Reks & Hawkins made their final NXT appearance on the final episode of NXT Redemption on June 13, 2012
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