Jake Atlas and Tyler Rust among today’s NXT releases

Tonight, WWE released a number of NXT contracted wrestlers, including Southern California-trained Jake Atlas and Tyler Rust. The news was first reported by Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp and later confirmed by the wrestlers.

Jake Atlas signed with WWE in October 2019 and reported to the NXT brand in January 2020. With his signing, he became the first Santino Bros. wrestler to sign with WWE. In April 2020, Atlas participated in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship round-robin tournament. He has also appeared several times on WWE’s 205 Live. 

Last month, WWE used Jake Atlas, who was the first openly gay male wrestler to sign with the company, as a Pride Month ambassador (along with Mercedes Martinez, who was also released).

Before his time in WWE, Jake Atlas was a mainstay in the Southern California independent wrestling scene, appearing for every major promotion, including participating in PWG’s 2019 Battle of Los Angeles tournament. He was the 2017 Southern California Rookie of the Year and was named the Southern California Wrestler of the Year for 2019.

Tyler Rust wrestled in Southern California as Ryan Taylor/Russ Taylor and trained at WEF’s School of Hard Knocks. He made his pro-wrestling debut in 2004 and wrestled throughout Southern California. He participated in PWG’s 2010 Battle of Los Angeles.

WWE announced that it signed Rust on On December 2, 2020, and he made his NXT debut that same day.

Other wrestlers released from their contracts by WWE today are Bobby Fish, Bronson Reed, Ari Sterling, Kona Reeves, Leon Ruff, Stephon Smith, Zechariah Smith, Asher Hale, Giant Zanjeer, and former (current?) AWS Champion Mercedes Martinez.

NXT contracts normally include a 30-day no-compete clause, so most of the wrestlers released today will be available to other promotions beginning September 5.

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Steve Bryant
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