KEY POINTS

  • Beth Phoenix announced that she would be stepping away from the commentary booth after NXT WarGames 2021
  • Former WWE Tag Team Champion Scotty 2 Hotty also asked for his release from NXT in early November
  • WWE is working desperately to retain NXT stars Johnny Gargano and Kyle O'Reilly as their contracts are set to expire soon

There is growing discontent among talent and staff working in NXT, particularly from former Divas Champion Beth Phoenix that led to her departure according to a report from Wrestling Observer Live.

Professional wrestling insider Bryan Alvarez reported on the show that Phoenix’s departure may be a sign of things to come for other NXT personnel.

“She has just decided she is done with NXT. Whatever that means, she says it’s due to family, but this also, again might not be the last person. Because no matter what you guys think about me or anyone else saying that it sucks — it does. There are people there who have told me that it’s just not fun anymore,” Alvarez revealed.

Alvarez also added that Phoenix might be angling for an in-ring return in a storyline alongside real-life husband Edge against another real-life couple in The Miz and Maryse.

However, Phoenix was not the only WWE personnel to announce her departure from the brand as former WWE Tag Team Champion Scotty 2 Hotty also asked for his release in late November.

WWE has experienced a culling of the roster due to multiple budget cuts dating back to the summer of 2020.

Notable superstars included among those who were released in the 2021 batch are Bray Wyatt, Keith Lee, Ember Moon, John Morrison, Braun Strowman and Aleister Black.

In early September, former NXT Champion Adam Cole decided not to re-sign with the company as he jumped ship to rival wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

It is also being reported by sources that both Kyle O’Reilly and Johnny Gargano are set to leave the company, with the latter’s contract being only until Friday, December 3.

Should more names leave the company, WWE would be hard-pressed to replace the star power that these people have brought to the company since the brand was rebooted in 2012 and headed by WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H (real name Paul Levesque).

To their credit, they are making a push for young stars to gain more screentime as evidenced by Carmelo Hayes being crowned as NXT North American Champion, Mandy Rose becoming NXT Women’s Champion and her faction, Toxic Attraction, holding the NXT Women’s Tag Team titles.

Tommaso Ciampa is reigning as the NXT Champion and it would not be surprising to see him hand off the title to emerging star Bron Breakker soon after NXT Wargames on Sunday, December 5.

Troubling times are certainly ahead for the company as they desperately hope to retain the stars that made the then-black-and-gold brand a must-watch show.