WWE announcer David Otunga will miss this Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view due to a custody battle with Jennifer Hudson over his son. A former in-ring competitor as well, Otunga first made a mark in WWE as part of the popular Nexus faction in 2010, a group made up of the participants in WWE’s inaugural season of NXT. That NXT was of course a long way from its current identity as a developmental brand, and was in some ways more of a reality game show with wrestling matches. Otunga was suited for this, being a former reality star at the time. Other names to come out of this version of NXT include Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, and Heath Slater.
Otunga’s in-ring career never really got off the ground post-Nexus, although he did briefly hold the tag team titles with John Cena. By 2015, Otunga had officially retired as a wrestler, and transitioned over to a position as a WWE announcer. Following the 2016 WWE brand extension draft, Otunga became part of the SmackDown announce team. He would then be moved to Raw in 2017’s superstar shake-up. Due to his acting commitments outside WWE, Otunga was eventually replaced by Booker T on Raw, and Otunga became a pre-show panelist before pay-per-view events on the WWE Network.
Unfortunately, TMZ reports that Otunga will be missing from the Survivor Series pre-show this Sunday, due to a recently ignited custody battle with longtime significant other Jennifer Hudson. The two have been engaged since 2008, but have never married. They have one son, and as their relationship currently disintegrates, their child is being caught in the middle. Hudson recently obtained a protective order against Otunga, and accused him of domestic abuse. Otunga is denying these allegations, and pledges to regain custody of his son.
The TMZ report makes no mention of WWE deciding to pull Otunga from Survivor Series, so it would seem that the decision to miss the show was entirely made by Otunga himself. Considering his current situation, that’s definitely an understandable move to make. There’s no word yet on who will replace him on the pre-show panel.
Depending on the findings of the case between Otunga and Hudson, one wonders if WWE might decide to release Otunga, rather than deal with the possible bad publicity that an ongoing dispute like this could cause. For now though, it appears that the company is content to sit back and see how events play themselves out.
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