World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced it is releasing a host of on-screen talents and furloughing a portion of its workforce as part of measures to battle to soften the financial blow in wake of coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Smriti Irani Tests COVID Positive, Urges All Who Came in Contact With Her to Get Tested

The surprising decision comes after it was deemed an “essential service” in Florida. Also Read - eSanjeevani: Govt's Patient to Doctor Telemedicine Service Crosses 1 Lakh Consultation in 15 Days. Know How It Works

Among the superstars who are being let go of include WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle who after retirement was working as a backstage producer with the organisation. Also Read - IPL 2020 News: Sourav Ganguly Calls IPL 'Best Tournament in The World', Happy With Smashing Success in Terms of Ratings, Viewership

Apart from Angle, the list includes Rusev, Drake Maverick . Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins. Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Heath Slater, Eric Young, Rowan, Sarah Logan, No Way Jose, Mike Chioda, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, EC3, Aiden English, Lio Rush, Primo and Epico,

“We wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” WWE said in a tweet.

In a statement, WWE explained its decision saying the given circumstances forced them to reevaluate its “operations” and it has “resulted in the implementation of various short-term cost reductions and cash flow improvement actions.”

The measures include reducing executive and board member compensation, decreasing operating expenses, cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting and, deferring spend on the build out of the company’s new headquarters for at least six months.

However, WWE expects the furloughs to be temporary.

“The Company’s reductions of employee compensation and headcount result in an estimated monthly savings of $4 million along with cash flow improvement of $140 million primarily from the deferral in spending on the Company’s new headquarters,” WWE said in a statement.

“Additionally, the Company has substantial financial resources, both available cash and debt capacity, which currently total approximately $0.5 billion, to manage the challenges ahead,” it added.