Nick Khan on How WWE Decides to Release Talent
During a new interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer, Nick Khan, discussed WWE fans blaming him for some of the recent changes in the company, recent budget cuts, and also talent releases that are also attributed to budget cuts. He also addressed the cuts themselves that have been ongoing in WWE since the start of the pandemic shutdowns in April of last year. WWE talents who have recently been released have all been told the decision was related to budget cuts. Below are some highlights.
Khan on fans who blame him for WWE’s problems: “Listen, how I look at things in this business and life, the people who I love and I care for, of course, I care about what they think about me as an individual. The people I don’t know, they’re allowed to have their opinions. It does not affect me in any way. I don’t read it. I don’t look at it. It’s not something that I derive any pleasure or pain from. So, it’s nothing that affects what we do, and how I look at things, in terms of getting blamed for things, when something’s a disaster, I want all of the credit. When something’s a hit, I want none of the credit. If I’m blamed for whatever the fans don’t like, that’s good by me. As long as the good folks I work with who are making hard decisions, if it takes some of it off of them, I’m good with it all day long.”
Nick Khan on what goes into the decisions for the WWE roster cuts: “There’s a collective of us, and keep in mind, at WWE, as you know, there’s one boss — that’s Vince, as we all know. So, between Bruce Prichard, who oversees the entire creative process, between Kevin Dunn, who oversees all of our production, between Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque (Triple H), all are involved in these decisions with ultimately Vince making the final decision on everything.”
Khan on why there have been so many releases in 2021: “I don’t know that there’s one explanation for it. I think ultimately what’s looked at is: Is this person for us are they going to move the needle now or in the imminent future? So — by the way, we had a two-day tryout in Las Vegas, which ended yesterday, which Triple H, and Johnny Laurinaitis, and Bruce Prichard were all across — as were the rest of us. We’ve signed over a dozen new talent coming out of that tryout, and I’m not suggesting, ‘Oh, that’s why we cut the other talent,’ but we’re always looking for what’s next. We live in the present, we live in the future. We don’t live in past. So when people leave and they move on with their life and their careers, that’s good by us. For us, it’s what works for us and our product at that moment in time, and again, what’s going to work down the road. And largely, in-part, the existing roster is based on that.”