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Spring cleaning has begun in Stamford as this past Friday saw eight members of the WWE roster received their pink slips. It’s always sad seeing someone lose their jobs. I’ve been a victim of it myself and believe me when I say that it does strip a lot away from you. From the eight people who were released on Friday only three of them were big surprises to me. Let’s have a recap on who got the chop.
The biggest surprise of them all has got to be the release of Sandow. I could talk until I’m blue in the face about how WWE blew their opportunity with Sandow. I loved his heel work as the ‘Intellectual Saviour of the Masses’ because he was intelligent enough to make it work. I must admit and say that I had serious concerns about his stunt double gimmick. Normally comedy gimmicks can only get you so far. Sandow took what seemed to be a lame stunt double gimmick and made something out of it. He was one of the most over people on the roster at one point over the past year and a half. I remember being at a TV taping in Liverpool and Sandow got the biggest pop of the night. Louder than Cena, even! People were more focused on Sandow’s antics than the action in the ring. He was hysterical! He was quickly becoming my guilty pleasure at one point. When he finally split from the Miz, I felt as though they rushed the whole storyline. Keeping him off TV when he was portraying Macho Man was dumb. It’s just pure stupidity on WWE’s behalf for keeping someone who was popular everywhere he went off TV. Damien Sandow will forever be remembered as wasted WWE talent.
When he announced his intention to not extend his contract last year, Barrett was on borrowed time. After he was kicked out of the League of Nations on Raw (I was there), it was obvious they were writing him out of future programming until his contract expired. Whenever I think of Wade Barrett, I can’t help but think of what could have been. He’s done a lot in his time at WWE, and he had the natural charisma and talent to pull it all off. I always thought he could have been the first British world champion in WWE had it not been for injuries. It’s hard to hitch your wagon on someone who’s body gives up on him all the time. I would love to see Barrett in ICW. They could have him as the leader of an English based group who talk shit about Scotland all the time. Like Sandow, Barrett will be referred to as a wasted talent.
When you publicly admit that your favourite match of all time is Alicia Fox vs Melina, you’re not going to be taken seriously. When the Funkadactyls split up I thought that even though Naomi was the better worker, Cameron had the better character than Naomi. She hasn’t appeared on TV for a while, and only ever made the odd appearance on NXT from time to time. I don’t think Cameron never had the passion for wrestling. She was using it as a way of boosting her celebrity portfolio, and her music video on Total Divas backs that up. This firing does make a lot of sense.
Santino Marella was forced to retire in 2014 due to a neck injury but continued to work behind the scenes as he was a popular guy amongst the locker room. If you read Chris Jericho’s latest book he writes an entire chapter about how funny Santino is. Santino was always a comic relief character. He had that IT factor about him when it comes to comedy and was used well in that role. There’s this one segment he did on Raw called ‘Tea-Time with Santino’ which was set in Manchester, England and he was having a tea party with Sheamus. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Watching Sheamus trying to not break down laughing is priceless! Also, his post-match celebration at WrestleMania 25 had me on the floor in kinks! I can’t leave out Elimination Chamber 2011. The booking in that match really made you believe that Santino was going to win the World Heavyweight title against Daniel Bryan. It was also that match which makes you realise how talented of a wrestler Marella really is.
‘Dirty’ Dutch Mantel has done it all in professional wrestling. He’s been a wrestler, a manager, a writer, a producer and road agent. When the Zeb Coulter gimmick was introduced it was very intriguing and so different from what we were used to seeing. His partnership with Jack Swagger was the peak of the character, it started to fizzle out after that. He made a return last year with Alberto Del Rio but the partnership didn’t make any sense. You would have imagined that someone with as much experience as him would have had a job waiting for him on creative. Maybe that was always the case but he was content being an on-screen talent, rather than working directly with Vince, hence the cut.
It’s funny because me and my friend were wondering if Hornswoggle was still employed by the company just a few days before this news broke, and it’s even crazy to think that it’s been ten years this month since Hornswoggle, going under the name of ‘Little Bastard’, debut on WWE television as the Leprechaun under the ring who helped out Fit Finlay out in his matches. He was the final cruiserweight champion, Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son (but turned out to be Finlay’s son because that’s wrestling), a mascot for D-Generation X and was revealed to be the anonymous Raw GM (Ugh!!). He really has done a lot of shitty things within those ten years.
With Hornswoggle gone and the Los Matadores gimmick being scrapped, there’s really no place for El Torito anymore. He’s too small to work with anyone else on the roster under a different gimmick which is a shame because El Torito is a gifted luchador.
Alex Riley seemed to have found his way in NXT, but that wasn’t enough to keep his job. He seemed to have a lot of potential when he debuted as the Miz’s sidekick back in 2010. When he split from Miz, there was no telling how far Riley could go. I remember he even scored a clean victory over the Miz at some pay per view, as well. His push ended after a backstage incident when he called out John Cena in front of everyone after Cena pulled a prank on him. A history of injuries didn’t help either. I liked his role as colour commentator down in NXT, I thought that really suited him, but he wanted to be an in-ring talent. He’s only 35 and still has a lot of mileage left in him.
I can’t help but feel that this is only the beginning. What did you make of these cuts? Was it the right decision by WWE?
Feel free to post your comments in the comment section below and I’ll be back again with my next blog.