WWE Gets Bodyslammed

World Wrestling Entertainment is getting a smackdown of its own, thanks to the deepening recession.

The sports entertainment behemoth, behind such fare as “Friday Night SmackDown,” said Jan. 9 it will cut more than 60 jobs, or about 10 percent of its staff, as part of a broader cost-reduction plan.

The cuts will occur across the board among WWE’s roughly 600 employees, though performers won’t get pile-drived – they are hired through outside contracts and won’t be affected, according to WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman.

Most of the layoffs are expected to take place in the first quarter as part of a plan to trim costs by $20 million. The company will also impose stronger cost controls and other steps.

“With these actions, we believe we can execute our key strategic initiatives, including our digital strategy and international expansion, in a more profitable manner,” CEO Linda McMahon said.

WWE shares fell 46 cents, or about 4 percent, to $10.60 with the news.