It’s being reported that Vince McMahon didn’t inform anyone of the names he was going to be releasing in April until after he’d already made the decisions.
On April 15, around 20 main roster WWE stars were released from their contracts as part of cost-cutting measures brought on due to COVID-19.
At the time, Paul Heyman and Bruce Prichard were the executive directors of Raw and SmackDown respectively, which meant they led the creative side of the brands.
There have been reports that the reason AJ Styles was recently drafted from Raw to SmackDown was because of a falling out with Heyman, who is no longer in the role, over the releases of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.
On the Wrestling Observer forums, Dave Meltzer has noted that the releases were all fully Vince McMahon decisions, and he chose the names himself and didn’t even tell anyone, including Heyman and Prichard, until after the decisions had already been made.
“These cuts were all Vince. In the end, all cuts are, but these were not cuts asked for and rubber stamped by Vince, these were Vince cuts who then came to others after and told them. Nobody even got names until after Vince made the decisions. Perhaps Paul & Bruce could have argued, and perhaps they did and perhaps they didn’t because you have to be very careful picking your spots. But when it comes to guys Vince had buyers remorse on the size of the deal, they weren’t changing his mind.”