With apologies to Bill Goldberg, who’s NXT? Or, more appropriately, who’s no longer with NXT?
Following a number of main roster releases earlier today, a number of the stars from WWE’s third brand were reportedly cut this evening.
Arguably the most famous name on the roster was Dana Brooke, who had been with the company since 2013. After spending three years in NXT, Brooke was moved to the main roster, bouncing between RAW and Smackdown. For the past few years, Brooke was relegated to midcard comedy, including participating in a double-wedding ceremony with Reggie, Tamina, and Tozawa, which was simply a backdrop for the foursome feuding over the 24/7 Championship, which Brooke held 15 times in her career. In June, 2023, Brooke’s career went full-circle when she returned to the NXT brand, though she failed to make any significant impact in the months leading up to today’s release.
Despite the name, WWE never really got maximum value out of the Maximum Male Models, the tag team comprised of Ma.çé and Mån.sôör.
Mace (Brennan Williams) joined the company in 2016 and early on did some commentary under the name Dio Maddin. He was brought to the main roster as part of the ill-fated Retribution faction, a group of mask-wearing villains who were looking to destroy the company from within for flimsily-explained reasons. The gimmick was panned heavily by critics and failed to make an impression with fans, and eventually disbanded.
Mansoor was the first wrestler from Saudi Arabia to sign with WWE, and was prominently-featured in the company’s early shows in that country. But on the domestic front, he was infrequently used on TV, appearing on the company’s Main Event and 205 Live shows.
The two were repackaged as male models with their new, stylized names, in 2022, originally paired with LA Knight (then using the name Max Dupri) and then Maxxine Dupri, and the three of them released a series of popular videos for the company’s YouTube channel, hyping their fashion model gimmick. They were seemingly dropped by Dupri when she aligned herself with the Alpha Academy and the Maximum Male Models were rarely seen in the past few months.
Dabba-Kato started with WWE in 2016, appearing alongside Lio Rush on NXT and competing at the Greatest Royal Rumble under the name Babatunde. After joining the main roster, he won several fights on RAW Underground, the short-lived “shoot-fight” promotion that was introduced on RAW during the pandemic and quickly abandoned. Later, he was repackaged as Commander Azeez, a bodyguard/soldier in the service of Apollo Crews. He and Crews were both featured on NXT in early 2023 but had not been used recently.
Dilsher Shanky, who competed under his last name, had been in WWE since 2020, and was typically aligned with other Indian wrestlers like Jinder Mahal and Veer Mahaan. Clean-shaven and with a less-rugged look than the others, Shanky had a look perfectly-suited for a babyface, and it appeared for a time that was the direction in which he was going, as fans were enjoying his pre- and post-match dancing (more, some would say, than his matches). Shanky appeared earlier this month at the company’s Superstar Spectacle event in India, losing to Gunther in an Intercontinental Championship match.
Other NXT roster members released were: Quincy Elliott, Bryson Montana, Daniel McArthur, and Yulisa León, all of whom who had been sporadically if ever used on TV.