Abbey Laith and 3 Others Released From NXT

Photo: WWE

The WWE releases have begun early, with NXT clearing out some contracts as they look to start signing some new faces from tryouts last year. Sources are reporting that NXT Superstars Abbey Laith, Sage Beckett, and Ming have been released, and most likely Demetrius Bronson as well, although no official statement has been given by the WWE (although WWE doesn’t generally announce NXT releases publicly like they do with main roster talent).


Photo: WWE

The most notable of the four, Abbey Laith’s release was confirmed by both Ryan Satin and Pro Wrestling Sheet as well as Squared Circle Sirens owner Casey Michael (who also runs Developmental Central, a site devoted to NXT and Performance Center recruits) on his personal Twitter account. The 7-year veteran of the ring, trained by WWE Superstar Drew Gulak, was considered one of the WWE’s big catches when she was signed in 2016 alongside Ruby Riott (then Heidi Lovelace). But while Ruby Riott’s career skyrocketed, first as a breakout new star in NXT and then called up to Smackdown Live to lead her own faction, The Riott Squad, Laith languished on NXT Live Events. She had a solid showing in last summer’s Mae Young Classic, but again fell into silence once the tournament was completed. A veteran of CZW, SHIMMER, SHINE and most notably CHIKARA, as Kimber Lee she was the first female wrestler to win a major men’s title when she won the CHIKARA Grand Championship in 2015. Alongside Impact’s Allie (then known as Cherry Bomb), she was also part of the tag team The Kimber Bombs, winning tag titles in both SHIMMER and SHINE.


Photo: WWE

Another huge signee for the NXT women’s division in January of 2017, the woman formerly known as Andrea in SHINE had just returned to wrestling in 2014 after a four year retirement caused by health problems. She had previously competed with Impact Wrestling in 2010 as Rose Lottalove and Betsy Ruth on the independents. During her time on NXT Live Events she worked as Lana‘s manager during Lana’s preparatory NXT stint before her re-debut on Smackdown Live last year as a wrestler. Her release was also confirmed by Squared Circle Sirens.


Photo: WWE

Surprisingly, out of all the WWE’s Chinese signees, 6’8″ Ming had been the most successful. He’d been a regular on NXT Live Events the past year as the bodyguard for Kona Reeves.


Photo: WWE

A former practice squad member for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins, he retired from the gridiron and entered the squared circle when he signed with NXT in 2016. He just made his NXT television debut last September in a losing tag team match against Heavy Machinery, but he hasn’t appeared since, on TV or Live Events. Reports are it was an injury that lead to his potential release.


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Jamie Greer is the Managing Editor and lead writer for Last Word on Pro Wrestling. A lifelong wrestling fan who started with the WWF in the early 80's, he now follows everything from the smallest indie to WWE. He's also written for WrestleZone, The Windsor Star, Windsor Independent and other publications. He lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and son.


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