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It’s been a busy day today at the WWE Head Offices in Stamford, Connecticut. Ten superstars and one referee have been released from their contracts today. It’s been a while since we had a mass release like this. The last time I recall this many guys getting the chop was back in 2005, a day often referred to by most wrestling fans as “black Wednesday”. On that day, 17 superstars got the chop and this included guys like Mark Jindrak, Maven, Shannon Moore, Dawn Marie, Matt Morgan and the Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray, D-Von and Spike Dudley). It’s never nice seeing anyone lose their job but with the recent call ups of former NXT stars Bo Dallas, Paige, Adam Rose and guys like Kevin Steen & Prince Devitt rumoured to be signing, it was always inedible for releases to happen. I should know that because I’ve recently been made redundant so I understand the hurt these guys may be feeling. So 10 superstars have been released and let’s take a closer look at them:
YOSHI TATSU: He hasn’t really done much in his 6 year stay has he? Besides winning the pre-show Battle Royal at WrestleMania 26 he’s just been a regular fixture on Superstars & NXT. Absolutely loved his entrance music. Had it as my ring tone for months. The language barrier is an obvious barrier which could have resulted in his release. It’s a shame because Yoshi is a talented guy but he just never got the chance to show it on a major stage.
EVAN BOURNE: Bourne is an incredibly gifted wrestler who’s had a lot of injury problems which has hindered his growth. He hasn’t even been on TV for the past two years. The last time he was on TV, he was one half of the popular “Air Boom” tag team with Kofi Kingston. He’s also had two major suspensions which have left a black mark on him in the eyes of management. He’s apparently healthy now so good luck to him. He shall be a major asset to the independents or any other major wrestling promotion.
BRODUS CLAY: So much for him being a “main event player”. He just never lived up to the hype that WWE had in mind for him. He was a monster heel in his NXT and was expected to continue that role upon his main roster debut. He didn’t. He debut as the fun loving “Funkasaurus” dancing before and after his matches with the Funkadactyls. It certainly got a lot of people talking. Nobody saw it coming. In fact, that happened on the same night as Chris Jericho’s return. He worked short matches at first but once they got longer his limitations began to show. They tried to revive his career by teaming him up with Tensai but that only went so far. He turned heel claiming to be a main event player. Now he’s looking for work.
CAMACHO: Once Hunico took over the Sin Cara gimmick, Camacho’s release was always on the cards. The son of former WWE star Haku/Meng, Camacho has been part of the WWE for 5 years and in all honestly he hasn’t done much at all. Aside from being Hunico’s tag partner and riding a bike to the ring, what else has he done? I highly doubt he’ll be back anytime soon.
AKSANA: I’m pretty surprised about Aksana’s release. I honestly thought that she was a talented girl with a lot of charisma. She doesn’t get the chance to show her talent on TV but at Live Events, she’s able to showcase her talents. Aksana spent 5 years in the WWE after being discovered for her powerlifting history. She had a physical style which resulted in Naomi getting an eye injury. It’s harder for those that speak English as a second language. She never really connected with the fans either and I blame booking for that. I genuinely wish Aksana well in the future.
CURT HAWKINS: Hawkins has barley been used in the WWE for the past several years after making an impact with Zack Ryder as one half of the “Edgeheads” who helped Edge cheat to victory. He never really made much of a mark once Ryder’s popularity took off. His partnership with Tyler Rex look promising but once Tyler requested for a release, it was back to the drawing board for Hawkins. He recently opened up his own training school which is rear for guys under contract to do so and maybe that’s one of the reasons why this has happened. He’s only 29 years old so I’m sure he’ll be welcomed back into WWE or be able to find success elsewhere.
THEODORE LONG: I honestly thought that he had a job for life. He is 66 years old and spent most of his time in WWE as the GM of Smackdown where he was known for making a lot of tag team matches and booking people to go “one on one with the Undertaker”. It ended up becoming a running joke amongst internet fans. He was stale though let’s be honest. Teddy got involved in the wrestling business back in 1985 and joined WWE in 1998. He’s been a manager, a ref and a GM. I won’t be surprised if he ended up in the Hall of Fame one day.
JTG: Yes, you’ve read that right. JTG has been released from World Wrestling Entertainment. It feels odd writing that considering how many times he’s avoided these annual releases. It became a constant gag and ended up inspiring the “how long has JTG been employed by WWE” clock. He did have charisma I give him that but never had the ability I thought. So after 7 years, it comes to an end. Never forget.
JINDER MAHAL & DREW MCINTYRE: I’m shocked and stunned by this. 3MB were regulars on TV in recent months so for this to happen is a legit surprise. Jinder debut three years ago and creative tried to push him strong when they did a storyline with him and the Great Khali but it never cached on. He’s only 27 so he still has a lot to offer the wrestling business. Drew McIntyre is someone who never got that much needed break. He was booked heavily early on as “Mr. McMahon’s chosen one” and someone who could potentially become World Champion. He was married to former diva Tiffany, they had a shouting match at a hotel several years ago, management didn’t like that and she was released. They got a divorce too. Drew was never really able to recover from that. Tiffany is currently in TNA so I guess that rules out any chances of him joining. In recent years, Drew has been saddled with the 3MB gimmick. When you’re booked as a comedy character, fans are going to have a tough time taking you seriously after that!
I wish all of these guys the best of luck in whatever they do next as they try to make a name for themselves outside of the WWE. The wrestling business isn’t an easy one and you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth sometimes and today just proved that.