With WrestleMania looming, that usually means cuts could be taking place after the big event—we've seen this a lot in the past. However, this year things might be a little different.
WWE usually releases talent after the big show in order to cut some budget costs. What's different this year is FOX’s billion dollar commitment towards the WWE product. With this being the case, WWE is trying to hold onto as much talent as possible moving forward. The company is currently trying to lock in several Divas—and other talents—for long-term commitments.
Getting them to sign might be tougher than we imagine. With the launch of AEW looming, some WWE stars might be inclined to join another company. Plus, we might see a handful of emotional releases due to other reasons, like a Diva getting up there in age and wanting to hang up the boots for good.
We’ll also look at Divas that might get released due to their performance or lack of contribution to the overall product. In truth, these Divas might be better off elsewhere, in a company that actually gives them a proper chance to thrive.
Enjoy the article as we take a look at 10 emotional WWE Diva goodbyes we will have to deal with soon, along with six that might be released by Vince McMahon and the WWE. Let’s get started!
16 Emotional Goodbye - Ronda Rousey
In a surprising twist, it looks Ronda Rousey might be leaving the WWE after WrestleMania. What we still don’t know yet is whether she’s taking time off or leaving for good. A while back, Ric Flair made the claim that Rousey was intent on starting a family—and if that’s actually the case, she’s likely leaving the WWE for quite a bit of time.
It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds though. If Ronda does leave the WWE or even takes time off, it’ll be a big blow to women’s division and WWE’s new contract with FOX. But apart from a direct confirmation from Ronda herself, we don't know what her plans are.
15 Might Be Released - Lana
This situation might end either with a Lana release or the ravishing WWE star choosing to leave the WWE. The company gave her a try in the ring and it seems like the experiment totally bombed. Lana is back alongside Rusev, serving as a manager, but some think that it won’t last.
Lana has a lot of side gigs at the moment, including modeling work. Perhaps once she gets a lucrative try on a movie or TV show, she’ll be out the door. With the women’s division set to expand in the future, Lana might not have a place on the show for much longer.
14 Emotional Goodbye - Asuka
This would be a tough and emotional goodbye for wrestling fans to deal with. We can’t see the WWE giving Asuka her release papers, but we could see Asuka refuse to resign a deal given how much she’s been squandered by the company. Clearly, as of this writing, the emphasis is all on the Charlotte, Becky, and Rousey clash, which is a bummer as Asuka is a great champion herself.
If things don’t change with Asuka’s title run, we can envision the scenario of the current Women’s Champion finding work elsewhere. Let’s just hope things pick up for Asuka after WrestleMania season.
13 Emotional Goodbye - Naomi
Naomi is another wrestler we can see walking out the door given her current status with the company. A former Women’s Champion, Naomi seems to be completely forgotten about as of late, even losing a match to Mandy Rose in seconds.
Some wrestling rumor mills are stating that Naomi, along with the Usos, might be planning an escape to leave the WWE for good. This would be a huge blow given everything Naomi brings to the table, especially in the form of her athleticism. Like Asuka, post-WrestleMania is a crucial point for both Naomi and her relationship with WWE.
12 Possible Release - Maria Kanellis
When AEW made their announcement, lots of WWE employees started dropping off like flies. According to the rumor mill, both Maria and Mike asked for releases as well, though they were not granted. The two claim otherwise, however, and continue along with 205 Live at the moment.
Clearly, Maria’s second run with the company hasn’t brought in the same amount of success as her first. Add to that the fact that her role seems unclear at the moment, and it would come as no surprise if WWE decides to hand Maria her release papers in the next couple of months.
11 Emotional Goodbye - Alicia Fox
After being with WWE for over a decade, it would be tough to see Alicia leave the company. However, in recent years, it seems like she’s been making more of an impact out of the ring with opportunities like Total Divas and her behind the scenes disputes with the likes of Travis Browne.
She added fuel to the fire most recently by entering a WWE ring under the influence at a live event. That agent that allowed this to happen, Arn Anderson, was released by the company. Fox wasn’t let go, but she hasn’t been on WWE programming in quite some time, nor has she been seen backstage. An emotional goodbye might be around the corner.
10 Emotional Goodbye - Brie Bella
Brie Bella’s WWE return wasn’t the smoothest. She injured Liv Morgan with a stiff kick and she was ridiculed online because of it. Add in that she fell into a depression following the incident, and it isn’t too hard to see why Brie may have checked out.
Fans can expect to see Brie on Total Bellas, however, a return to the ring seems unlikely. Brie also expects to have another child with hubby Daniel Bryan in the very near future, so this might further the in-ring return. Sad to say, but we may have seen the last of the former Divas Champion.
9 Possible Release - Carmella
Since joining the main roster, Carmella has absolutely thrived, exceeding lots of expectations. She won the Women’s Championship along with becoming a prominent act in general over on SmackDown Live. She even took part in the first in-ring segment alongside Vince McMahon during the 1,000th episode of SmackDown.
Things got a little rocky lately, though, most recently due to the Corey Graves allegations. As a result of the drama, Carmella was pushed farther down the card, and we aren’t seeing as much of her as usual in recent months. Some assume it might only get worse until she fades to complete irrelevancy.
8 Emotional Goodbye - Paige
Talk about emotional! This one might be a tough pill to swallow for WWE fans in the future. With Paige’s film now released, some have a hard time placing Paige on television moving forward, especially due to the fact that she can’t wrestle anymore.
Paige had a great role as the SmackDown General Manager. When that role was taken away, lots of fans struggled to see Paige’s future. This situation can be expected to unfold in one of two ways; either she sticks around as a manager or she makes an emotional exit from WWE, thus moving on to other non-wrestling-related opportunities.
7 Emotional Goodbye - Tamina
Tamina’s WWE run might be on its last legs, especially with an influx of talent developing down in NXT. Tamina has endured quite a lengthy run with the company, which started almost a decade ago when she was a manager for the Usos in 2010. Her usage was extremely sporadic since that time–though she’s finally on television a little more routinely as of late thanks to the new women’s tag division.
Age 41 however, Tamina’s pro run should be coming to a close sooner rather than later. Surely, she’ll enjoy motherhood full-time once she’s done in the ring as she's a proud mother of two.
6 Possible Release – Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke entered the WWE with no prior experience. She caught on quickly, though, and became a great fit thanks to her charisma and persona. However, most WWE fans would admit she was rushed onto the main roster. Brooke needed more time to develop with NXT–the rush ultimately hurt her overall growth and prime run with the company.
Like some of the other Divas, Brooke tends to be sporadically used by the WWE these days. At this point, it might be better for Dana to wrestle elsewhere—outside of the company—in order to restore her confidence. This could lead to another WWE run in the future.
5 Emotional Goodbye - Mickie James
Mickie almost came to a fateful decision on her wrestling goals back in 2016. Wrestling in front of smaller crowds away from the WWE, she contemplated entering a different field entirely. Perhaps it was fate that WWE would come calling right when these thoughts started creeping into her head! A one-time match with NXT would later turn into a multi-year deal, one both the fans and Mickie thought wasn’t going to happen.
Age 39, James is not the youngest lady in the ring. And with new recruits knocking at the door, there might be an emotional exit for James sooner rather than later.
4 Possible Release - Aliyah
WWE likes to take their time with certain developmental talents. That seems to be the case with Aliyah, who’s been part of the company since 2015. Four years later, there still appear to be no signs of the Ontario, Canada native joining the main roster. Even with NXT, she’s sporadically used at best.
It might be better for the 24-year-old to see what else is out there at this point, outside of the WWE. She needs actual matches more than anything else at this stage. This release might be for the best and it could lead to a future run with the WWE–hopefully, a more prominent one than her existing role.
3 Emotional Goodbye - Natalya
Natalya is set to turn 37 in May. What’s even more surreal is the fact that she’s been wrestling around the world for almost two decades now. She started in 2000 in Canada and went on to join the WWE in 2007. She remains an active part of the roster and has a noteworthy gig on Total Divas.
The time might be coming sooner rather than later for Nattie, though. Surely, even if she does retire, though, she’ll be kept by the WWE in some capacity, whether it be as a brand ambassador or trainer down at the Performance Center.
2 Possible Release - Ruby Riott
Riott entered the WWE with a lot of hype given her work on the indie scene and her brief run with NXT. Fans, however, have been none too pleased with her current booking on the main roster; lots of fans think she deserves a lot better.
With AEW opening its doors, lots of talented Divas that are being overlooked might be inclined to join the new company. Riott might be a perfect fit for the new company and she’ll finally get the proper time to thrive elsewhere. This would be a tough release but one we can totally see happening.
1 Emotional Goodbye - Sasha Banks
At age 27, there isn’t much that Sasha hasn’t done. She’s a multi-time Women’s Champion along with being an NXT Title holder. She also recently added to her belt collection by becoming an inaugural Women’s Tag Champion alongside Bayley. And oh, she also took part in the first-ever women’s Hell in a Cell main event match against Charlotte.
With all these accomplishments, some fear that Banks might look for a different challenge sooner rather than late—like, let’s say, with AEW. Hopefully, WWE will keep Banks busy with new storylines for years to come and fans won't be forced into an emotional goodbye.