WWE today confirmed the releases of Kevin Kiley Jr (Alex Riley), Dylan Postl (Hornswoggle) and Wayne Keown (Zeb Colter).
Riley has had the most prominent role of the three recently, as he had an interview on NXT TV this week to promote an upcoming (already taped) match with Nakamura. He had recently returned from a long-term injury layoff and had been doing a bitter veteran gimmick where he would lash out against recent NXT signings that he didn’t feel were the calibre of athlete he is. He had gained a lot of muscle mass in his time off. He had been with the company since 2007 and was most prominently the sidekick of The Miz when he had his World title run and headlined WrestleMania 27 against John Cena. He won season 2 of the NXT reality show after being mentored by Miz on that show. After floundering on the main roster following his breakup with Miz, he resurfaced as a color commentator on NXT in 2013 before leaving the booth for a short-term feud with Kevin Owens in early 2015. He was injured shortly after and just recently returned to NXT TV.
Hornswoggle has been virtually non-existent on TV since a 30 day wellness violation on September 28th of last year. He’s been with the company almost exactly 10 years, having debuted in May of 2006. After starting out as Fit Finley’s sidekick (later revealed to be his “son”), he had featured roles as Mr McMahon’s illegitimate son and later as a sidekick to the DX team of Triple H and Shawn Michaels. He was also revealed to be the person behind the “anonymous GM” when WWE wanted a quick way out of that storyline. His last featured role was a feud with Torito, the costumed bull mascot of The Matadores (Primo and Epico Colon) tag team. The two had a WeeLC match at Payback in 2014 that was an entertaining spectacle but after that feud fizzled out, it was clear there were no plans for him.
Colter, also known for many years as Dutch Mantel, had been with WWE since 2013, which was second stint with the company. In the mid-90’s he managed the Blu Brothers (Ron and Don Harris) and Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (JBL) as Uncle Zedekiah. He returned in 2013 to manage Jack Swagger. He received a lot of press as an outspoken pro-American xenophobic mouthpiece, even getting mentions from mainstream sources such as Glenn Beck and FOX News. WWE toned down the character after a couple of months while of course led to the Swagger character cooling off as well. He later added Cesaro to his stable as “The Ream Americans”. That pairing was short-lived as Cesaro broke off from the team to align with Paul Heyman. Shortly after that, Colter and Swagger turned face to feud with Rusev and Lana in Rusev’s first main roster feud. Colter was written out of WWE storylines after Rusev broke his leg in a backstage segment. He resurfaced last year in a short-lived run as Alberto Del Rio’s manager and feuding with his former protégé Swagger. After just a few weeks, Del Rio “fired” Colter on RAW and he had not been seen since.