Fans unhappy after WWE releases superstars including Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Samoa Joe

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Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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WWE announced the release of nine superstars Thursday, days after Wrestlemania 37 that included several former champions and an "IIconic" pair.

Some of the big names that were released include Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Mickie James. Those four superstars combined to hold 12 WWE titles during their time with the company

The most decorated star released, James is a five-time WWE women's champion and one-time Divas champion in over 13 years with the company. She left WWE in 2010 and returned in 2016, but since then was sparingly used. She last competed in the women's Royal Rumble in January, but tweeted she was grateful for her time in the company.

Kay and Royce, both from Australia, rose to popularity during their time in NXT as the The IIConics. Known for their skills on the mic, the duo made it onto the main roster and won the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 35.

The pair were broken up last year and found very limited success since then, even though Kay became a hit with fans with her "resumé" gimmick. Kay took part in the tag team turmoil match on night one of WrestleMania 37.

Fans voiced their displeasure with the release of the pair on social media, asking why the team was forced to split in the first place.

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Two-time NXT Champion and United State Champion Samoa Joe had some memorable matches with Brock Lesnar before injuries forced him into a commentary role. He was on commentary for Wrestlemania 37 and part of the Raw announcing team until this past Monday when Adnan Virk, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were announced as the new team.

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Other wrestlers released include Kalisto, Tucker, Bo Dallas, Wesley Blake and Chelsea Green.

Kalisto signed with WWE in 2013 and was a two-time United State Champion and one-time WWE Cruiserweight and NXT Tag Team Champion. Tucker is best known for being part of Heavy Machinery alongside Otis. He and Kalisto recently competed in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale on last week's Wrestlemania Smackdown.

Dallas is a former NXT champion and won the Raw Tag Team titles with Curtis Axel in 2017. He is the brother of current star Bray Wyatt, also known as The Fiend.

Blake is another former champion as he was one half of the NXT Tag Team champions with Murphy in 2015. Green signed with NXT in 2018 and made her Smackdown debut in November 2020 but broke her wrist.

It's common for WWE to release wrestlers following Wrestlemania. Following last year's event, the company released 20 wrestlers.

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: WWE releases stars including Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce