— As reported earlier today, WWE has parted ways with Travis “Tyson” Tomko, so his second stint with the company ended before he could even return to television. In an update on the story, he was actually released sometime within the last two weeks, so it was a very recent release. Previously, some believed he may have actually been released a few days after his first match back with the company in December, but it was never confirmed.

Tomko is the eleventh name to depart from the organization within the past four weeks, following Scotty Goldman, Manu, Freddie Prinze, Jr. (creative team writer), John Carle (creative team writer), Afa Anoa’i, Sr. (talent consultant), The Boogeyman, developmental wrestler Kaleb O’Neal, Ryan Braddock and Kizarny. Another creative team writer was let go alongside Carle two weeks ago, although we don’t have his name yet. WWE also recently parted ways with developmental female performer Saylor James (real name Catalina White), although it is unknown how long ago she was released.

— As reported last week, the buyrate for this year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view came in and the number was disappointing to say the least. The show did 445,000 buys, with 40% of those coming from outside of the United States (thus bringing in less revenue to the company). The figure is down from the 575,000 buys the show did last year — a 23% drop. The reaction backstage to the number was said to have been a complete shock to some, although others saw it coming as pay-per-view buyrates have been down in recent months. The main draw of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view is the Rumble match itself and many feel this year’s event year was not hyped as well as previous years. The creative team felt the match would simply sell itself. Apparently, it did not as this year’s Rumble pay-per-view drew it’s lowest buyrate in twelve years.

— This Friday’s edition of Smackdown will be preempted in the Cleveland area as the MyNetworkTV affiliate will be airing the Cleveland State vs. Wake Forest NCAA tournament game in prime time. SmackDown will come on around midnight.

See the poster for Backlash! (>)

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