Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Future Endeavored
Jul 7, 2013 - 2:03:53 AM
"It's time to let you go.."
I know that the subject of "wrestlers being released" is something that has been done by numerous columnists (myself included), but with WWE's "Spring Cleaning" not really happening, even though we're in the summer months now, and with TNA recently releasing a handful of workers, people continue to ask me about it. People keep messaging me, e-mailing me or tweeting me, and asking who I think should get their proverbial walking papers. Instead of answering them over and over again, I figured I would do it in one column, where they could all read my thoughts. Simple and plain.. this is going to be a list of the names from the WWE and TNA rosters that I would release for one reason or another. This isn't about who I would sign to replace these people, but from time-to-time, you might see me mention that a company should sign so-and-so to replace so-and-so because the former is a more talented version of the latter.
Let's start with TNA first, and let's run with the alphabetical list..
Brooke Hogan: This one is kind of an obvious choice, isn't it? With Brooke, TNA has someone who isn't even remotely close to being a mainstream celebrity, even with her time on her father's reality show and with two albums available to purchase. As someone who isn't a real mainstream celebrity, she isn't bringing new eyeballs to the TNA product. People aren't out there in the world saying "Brooke Hogan is involved in pro wrestling now? Oh, shit, I have to watch!" She doesn't wrestle. She certainly can't cut promos worth a damn. She's clearly only there because of who her father is. If you're not helping the cause, you're hurting it. Fuck outta here, Brooke.
Chavo Guerrero: Could he have had a more uneventful stint with TNA? Well, I suppose he could have had a more uneventful stint. He does have two TNA Tag Title reigns and one Ring Ka King Tag Title reign, after all. However, he's a couple weeks shy of being with TNA for one full year now, and he hasn't done anything to stand out or to deserve the praise that he was getting upon signing with the company. If you listened to the knob slobbing he was getting in the beginning, you'd think that Eddie Guerrero had signed with TNA. He's going to be 43 in a few months, and if TNA wants to work on their Hispanic viewing demographic, they could go younger and build for the future. Fuck outta here, Chavo.
Christy Hemme: All.. all.. reports indicate that she is one of the more higher-paid names in the entire promotion. I feel like this is a good time to remind people that she's just a Ring Announcer. I'd be willing to bet a whole lot of money that Justin Roberts doesn't make more money than the large majority of the WWE roster and management. There's no reason at all to hang on to a Ring Announcer that makes so much money. This was a terrible business decision. Fuck outta here, Christy.
Eric Bischoff: If this was 1997, I would be more than happy to have Eric Bischoff on my payroll. If you remember back in those days, the man was ruthless. The man was willing to take on fresh ideas. The man was going to do whatever it takes to be successful. In 2013, he's none of those things. He doesn't have ultimate power anymore. He's an Executive Producer now, and one of his man job descriptions is to help make TNA bigger and better. "Better" is for you to judge. Some people say TNA has improved tenfold and delivers the best pro wrestling product on television today. Others say TNA is a joke. "Bigger", though, makes Bischoff a failure. If you believe the rumors (I'm not here to say whether or not I do), the company is going through all sorts of financial issues. What isn't a rumor is that television ratings and pay-per-view buyrates aren't going up. If your job is to help make the company bigger, and the company isn't bigger, you're a waste of money. Fuck outta here, Eric.
Eric Young: I like Eric Young. I really do. He's a solid in-ring performer, and has proven that he can be an entertaining comedy character with his great sense of humor and comedic timing. However, he just isn't being used right now. He has outside ventures that are taking up his time, and that's fine. I like his show. When you look at his roster spot, though.. there's not much reason to keep him if he isn't going to be used. He has wrestled in a grand total of four matches on television or pay-per-view so far in 2013, and a total of 11 matches on television or pay-per-view in all of 2012. To compare, that's only three matches more than Ricardo Rodriguez has wrestled in that same span of time, and Ricardo, of course, is a manager. As much as I hate to say it.. fuck outta here, Eric.
Garett Bischoff: Fuck outta here, Garett.
Jessie Godderz: Who? I don't know if TNA thought they could find some sort of crossover mainstream appeal by bringing in someone who had competed on Big Brother, but that sure as hell hasn't happened, and this guy isn't remotely close to being ready for a roster spot in a major pro wrestling company. Fuck outta here, Jessie.
Lei'D Tapa: Speaking of someone who isn't ready to be on a major pro wrestling roster.. we have yet another absolute failure of the Gut Check experiment. Instead of using some big names from the independent scene, who would create excitement from people who would be excited to see these people on television, TNA decides to use Gut Check mostly as a feature presentation for people with little-to-no experience in the business, and who then go out and look foolish in their matches. If TNA wants to build the Knockouts division, and they certainly should, based on the quarter-hour ratings that the women regularly get, there are much, much better choices to feature than this woman. Fuck outta here, Lei'D.
Mr. Anderson: This frickin guy is going through the frickin motions, and is wasting a frickin roster spot. As a frickin former WWE name, I bet he gets paid more than a lot of the other frickin people on the frickin roster. He hasn't cut a good frickin promo.. ever.. and he hasn't had a good frickin match in a long, long frickin time. I get that he's a frickin "name", but shouldn't the frickin "names" in your frickin company be able to add something frickin positive? This frickin guy is a frickin clown. Frick outta here, Mr.
ODB: ODB wrestled at Genesis. Genesis was on January 13th. That was the extent of her in-ring work for TNA this year, as far as Impact or live pay-per-views go. She's made a few appearances on the One Night Only brand of pay-per-view, but those certainly shouldn't count for much. Right now, she's just hanging around as a ref for the Knockouts. Let her loose, and bring in more indy talent to help take her place. Lord knows there are plenty of women, from Cheerleader Melissa to LuFisto to Mia Yim and several in between, that could boost the division. Fuck outta here, O.
Rob Terry: With Rob Terry, you have someone that is certainly a physical specimen. He stands out on the roster, because many of the names in TNA are smaller and much less muscular, but this guy is too muscular. All that muscle is holding him back from having any sort of real athleticism. He's been given multiple chances to succeed, but nothing has truly worked. His in-ring work is still too clunky, and it holds him back in all of those chances. If he hasn't really improved by now, it's probably time to cut him loose and look for other powerhouse wrestlers elsewhere. Fuck outta here, Rob.
Rockstar Spud: Spud won TNA British Boot Camp. That's the good news. The bad news is that he won it five-and-a-half months ago, and there's still no sign of him being on the main roster. Another thing that works against him is that he's billed as 5'4" and 130 pounds. Just for the fun sake of comparison, current TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James is billed as 5'4" and 125 pounds. People bitch and whine that someone like Rey Mysterio isn't "believable" when he's on offense, and Mysterio is billed at 5'6" and 170 pounds, essentially making him a giant compared to Spud. Unless Spud is competing in the Knockouts division, nobody's buying him as any type of legit, and keeping him around is only asking for people to complain. No, thank you. Fuck outta here, Rockstar.
Sam Shaw: Hey, it's another failure of the Gut Check experiment. There have been 16 Gut Check contestants. Of those 16, seven were given contracts, eight if you count Joey Ryan, who was kept around. Of those eight, four have already been released from the company, and I have three more included on this list. What a waste of time. Shaw had no business getting the contract to begin with. He's yet another person that isn't even close to being ready for television. Let him gain experience on the indy scene. Fuck outta here, Sam.
Wes Brisco: Hawk Hogan. The man said "Hawk Hogan" in his first promo as a member of Aces & 8's. HAWK FUCKING HOGAN. No. Fuck outta here, Wes. Bum.
This would free up a nice chunk of money, which would really come in handy for a promotion the size of TNA, financial issues or not. It would leave 27 male workers on the active roster and six female workers. From there, TNA could easily craft their roster with indy names, until they've decided they have the right amount of people to move forward with. More money to use on better talent? It's such a simple solution.
Now, on to WWE. I'm going to stay away from NXT as much as possible here, but there might be a developmental name or two that make the list. As I did with TNA, I'll be going in alphabetical order here, not in order of who deserves to be released the most, etc. Here goes..
Aksana: I say this with no hyperbole or exaggeration.. Aksana might be the worst female wrestler I've ever seen. I know people will immediately think of Jackie Gayda, but that's only partially right. Her infamous match with Christopher Nowinski against Trish Stratus and Bradshaw was worse than anything Aksana has done, but you have to put things into perspective. At the time of that match, Jackie was brand new to the wrestling business, with only a small handful of matches in her brief career. Aksana has been wrestling for four years now. Aksana still struggles to do the most basic of moves. That's fine for a small indy promotion wrestling in front of 25 fans every night, but not for WWE. Look for Divas talent elsewhere. Fuck outta here, Aksana.
Alicia Fox: This is someone that the company has tried to push on a few different occasions, even giving her the Divas Title in June 2010, but none of her pushes helped her catch on with live audiences. A lot of that probably has to do with her overall awkwardness in the ring. She's a very athletic woman and all, but damn, she was brutal to watch at times, botching moves and nearly injuring her opponents on numerous occasions. She is barely used as it is, so it might as well be time to let her go. Fuck outta here, Alicia.
Bill DeMott: "Where there's smoke, there's fire." That phrase seems fitting here. There have been so many different stories and rumors of inappropriate conduct by the head trainer at NXT that you have to think something is up, even if all of the rumors aren't true. As a wrestler, DeMott was never terrible or anything, but let's be real.. there are hundreds, if not thousands, of better choices to train the future of the company, and most of those choices wouldn't be in the wrestling news for possible abuse, homophobia, bullying, and so on. Fuck outta here, Bill.
Bo Dallas: Think about John Cena and his "face wrestler that gets booed" crowd reactions. Even with the boos, he gets more cheers than anything (outside of Chicago, that is). He's still someone that people want to see, even if it's wanting to see him get his ass kicked. With Bo Dallas in NXT, you have a face that people simply want to go away. The NXT crowds have become so tired of the guy that sections of the crowd literally turn their backs on him during his entrance and when he wins his matches. Not even Cena at ECW One Night Stand 2006 got that reaction from the crowd. There were, maybe, two people who turned their backs for Cena's entrance, but Bo already gets more. There are "No More Bo" chants. His opponents become de facto faces just by being in the ring with him (Antonio Cesaro on the most recent NXT episode, for example). It's just crazy to watch. They're sick of him this quickly for a reason. He's so "white bread" that his wrestling name should have been Wonder Loaf. Making it even worse is that his brother, Bray Wyatt, is doing such amazing things as a character. This guy is way too one-dimensional (and not even all that good at the one dimension he has) for me to justify keeping him around, so he has to go. Fuck outta here, Bo.
Camacho: Some of you are legit asking "Who?" right now, and it's understandable. He hasn't performed on WWE television in nearly a year on the dot. In all of 2012, he wrestled on television and pay-per-view a grand total of five times. He has spent the majority of his main roster career standing in the corner of Hunico and hanging out with DA BYSICKLE~! It's almost weird to talk about releasing him, since it seems as though the company likes to collect Polynesian wrestlers, but he's not doing anything to keep his spot. Let him go, and he can go back to being an actual Polynesian wrestler, instead of portraying a Mexican thug. Fuck outta here, Camacho.
Darren Young: I know some people are fans of the Prime Time Players, and that's fine. They've had their moments here and there. Those moments are always out of the ring, but they are moments nonetheless. The on-again off-again push that PTP have received hasn't done anything but hurt them, in my opinion, because it's difficult to take them seriously. Even when they win a match, your first thought is automatically "They're just going to lose their next few matches". That's not a good thing. Let them go (spoiler alert for later in the column) and build the tag division with better teams *cough*Briscoes*cough*. Fuck outta here, Darren.
David Otunga: I'll be the first one to admit.. Otunga has gotten more entertaining as a character since he first started. However, he hasn't gotten any better in the ring, and at this point, I don't even know if he's still around as a wrestler. He hasn't made many appearances on television in 2013, only competing twice, one of which was the Royal Rumble. It has been almost eight months since Otunga has been on the winning side of a match (five-on-five Survivor Series match), and it has been nearly 16 months since his last singles match victory on television. Why is he even around anymore? Your guess is as good as mine. It's as though the company is just waiting for huge murder trials, so they can put the lawyer on CNN and the like to break things down. That's a waste of money. Fuck outta here, David.
Ezekiel Jackson: Another person that people have nearly forgotten about due to inactivity on television. He missed a lot of time due to injury, but returned to compete at WrestleMania Axxess. He hasn't been seen since. Is he injured again? Did the company forget about him? Is there an unwritten rule about only pushing one buff black guy at a time, so the rise of Big E Langston had to come with the fall of Ezekiel Jackson? Questions, questions, questions. While Big Zeke has had some impressive power displays in some of his matches, he still isn't a very good wrestler. Uhaa Nation is right there to be signed if the company wants another buff black guy on the roster, and with Uhaa Nation, they would have one that can actually go in the ring. He's also about a full decade younger than Jackson is, so you'd be building for the future. I'm just saying. Fuck outta here, Ezekiel.
Great Khali: He served his purpose at one point. He was never there to be a technical wizard. He was there to be a spectacle, which is something that pro wrestling was built on. Over seven feet tall. Billed, at one point, as being 400 pounds. A different look than any other "giant". He certainly did his job, but now.. now he's going to be 41 years old at the end of August, and he hasn't been able to walk properly in years thanks to deteriorating knees and joints. I get the argument of international appeal and trying to build the market in India, but there have to be better options out there for this job in 2013, right? Right?!? Once again, the company should be focusing on building for the future. Fuck outta here, Great.
JBL: Ooh, controversial and surprising. Well, not much of a surprise to those of you that follow me on Twitter, as I recently expressed my dislike for 2013 JBL's commentary. In his previous stint, he was great. Something fresh. Something new. Something exciting. Now, it's as though he's there to collect a check. He relies on the same jokes and comments over and over and over again. There's no passion in anything he says. Jerry Lawler gets ripped apart by many members of the IWC for how "stale" he is, but right now.. JBL is Jerry Lawler. Most won't admit to it because JBL is an "IWC Darling", but it's the truth. Unless he's going to return to that passion that made people love his commentary in the first place, it's time for both parties to move on. Fuck outta here, J.
Jerry Lawler: Hey, speaking of Jerry Lawler.. this is one of those releases that you'll never see. Lawler will, more than likely, have a job with WWE until the day he dies, or until he no longer wants one. However, this is my column, so we're playing by my rules. The man is past his prime, to say the least, and while he remains over with live audiences, they aren't the ones that have to deal with him every week. If you ask me, someone like William Regal is available to fill JBL and Lawler's roles, and he can do it very well. Even though Lawler is a legendary in-ring performer, he doesn't seem to have the wealth of knowledge that Regal brings to his commentary. Regal can be a face, heel or "regular" commentary guy. He can be serious or humorous. He breaks matches down.. not just saying what is happening, but explaining to the viewers why it's happening or what the wrestlers are thinking. Those days are gone for Lawler, and I'd be willing to bet that he makes a lot more money than Regal does. Saving money, and improving your televised product as you do so? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Fuck outta here, Jerry.
Jinder Mahal: Well, there goes someone stepping up to fill Khali's role as the unofficial ambassador to India. If you've read my columns, it's no surprise that I would include him. I don't like him. I don't think he's very good. I don't think he's entertaining. Not in his previous gimmick, and not as a member of 3MB. He's gone. Goodbye. Aloha. Fuck outta here, Jinder.
JTG: The only reason this man should even have a job in 2013 is that the promotion needs "enhancement talent", but I'm still keeping some of them around, and there's still NXT guys, making someone like JTG expendable. If only Shad Gaspard was still around.. maybe, just maybe, JTG could still be relevant. Ah well. Fuck outta here, J.
Mascarita Dorada: WWE already has a "little person" on the roster in Hornswoggle (who is still over with the younger fans, which is why he isn't on the list). What in the red hell is the reasoning for bringing another one in? Is WWE going to start up a "little person" division, even though they haven't been a draw in pro wrestling for, what, 25 years now? This is just one of those moves that you see, and you can't figure out why WWE went in that particular direction. Stop wasting money. Fuck outta here, Mascarita.
Mason Ryan: Yet another person that the company has tried to push on multiple occasions, all without the crowd deciding to care. Ryan is currently receiving another mini-push in NXT, but he's still the same in-ring worker that he was in the past. Maybe he needs more non-WWE seasoning. He has a "look" that can be successful, without a doubt. Perhaps he just needs to travel the world a bit, picking up a style here and a move there, before making a return. For the time being, though.. fuck outta here, Mason.
Rey Mysterio: This is a somewhat controversial choice. It wasn't all that long ago that Mysterio was the most consistent performer on the entire WWE roster, and was on a tremendous roll where he could step into the ring with anyone and have a really good match, month in and month out. Then, a rash of injuries hit, and nothing has been the same. Since August 2011, Rey has missed a grand total of 18 months due to various injuries. If you aren't good at math, that's 18 of a possible 23 months. Yikes. He's quickly approaching the age of 40, but that's a very experienced 40, as he's been wrestling as a pro since he was 14. For all intents and purposes, all those years of high-flying and high impact moves have given him the body of someone several years older. With Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara, there are still big name Mexican stars on the main roster, and with Samuray del Sol being signed recently, they might have another name that can be big with the Latino demographic in the future. Better to cut ties with Mysterio now, instead of watching him hang on for way too long and then end up needing a wheelchair or a cane when he's in his early-40s because of the wear and tear on his body. Fuck outta here, Rey.
Richie Steamboat: A lot of the problems people have with Bo Dallas, they also have with Richie Steamboat. However, this one is a bit different, as Richie may leave the business on his own. He's dealing with a back injury that some have labeled as a possible career ender. He hasn't wrestled in nearly eight-and-a-half months, with no return in sight, with back surgery keeping him on the shelf for several more months to come. Even when he was healthy, he wasn't impressing most fans. He has his father's lack of natural, overwhelming charisma, but he doesn't have his father's pure wrestling ability to help carry him. He's just kinda.. there. Help him with his recovery, but let him loose. If he can return to the ring, he's someone that could definitely benefit from some of that world travel I mentioned earlier. Pick up some tips and tricks on the indy circuit, soak in some knowledge in Japan.. whatever.. just tour the world and possibly come back down the line as a more seasoned performer. Fuck outta here, Richie.
Rosa Mendes: She's a whole lot of fun to look at (unless you're a fan of booty), but that only goes so far, doesn't it? If I want to look at attractive women, I can do that in a million other places. Why look at attractive women doing something they're terrible at instead of watching them do something they excel at? Maybe I'm just weird like that. Fuck outta here, Rosa.
Titus O'Neil: Darren Young is a better in-ring guy than Titus O'Neil, although Titus seems to be more entertaining as a character. If I'm getting rid of Young, there isn't much point in keeping O'Neil around, is there? Time to bark somewhere else. Fuck outta here, Titus.
Yoshi Tatsu: Yoshi is getting up there in age, folks. He might look like he's still 19, but he's a few weeks away from turning 36, and he's yet another person who isn't being used anymore. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.. if WWE wants to have a Japanese talent on the roster to help build their fan base in Japan, they should be bending over backwards to see if Kazuchika Okada would join the promotion. If you missed the Half-Year In Review show on LoPRadio, not only is Okada my choice for Wrestler Of The Half-Year, but he was involved in my choice for Match Of The Half-Year (VS Hiroshi Tanahashi on April 7th for New Japan's Invasion Attack pay-per-view). He's still plenty young (he'll be 26 in November), isn't the stereotypical smaller Japanese wrestler (6'3" and 240 pounds, which is essentially Randy Orton), and is a better performer. Don't rush him into the ring, and let him work on his English for as much as he needs, and you have a star on your hands, which isn't something you're going to get with Tatsu. Again, this isn't difficult to figure out. It's a win/win scenario for WWE, and even if they couldn't land Okada, there are other options if they feel the need to have a Japanese star on the roster. They just have to search. Fuck outta here, Yoshi.
These moves would leave 50 male wrestlers on the main roster, counting part-timers like Brock Lesnar and "special attractions" like The Undertaker, and nine female wrestlers. The 50 male wrestlers is probably still too high, and I wouldn't have any issues if people like Alex Riley, Brodus Clay, Cameron, Curt Hawkins, Epico, Heath Slater, Hunico, Justin Gabriel, Primo, Santino, Ted DiBiase, Tensai and Zack Ryder were mentioned by all of you as people that should have made the list. Hell, you could throw R-Truth on there, as well. I didn't include many of those names because of the "enhancement talent" idea. You need to have some names on your roster that can do jobs on television.
It's your turn, though, ReaderLand. Did I leave anyone off my list for either company? Did I include someone that has no business being included? This is your chance to sound off. I want to hear from you and see what changes you'd make to the rosters.
Writer's Note: The official LoP Radio schedule for the week will be posted in a little while (chances are, it will already be posted by the time you read this), but don't forget to tune in at 3pm EST on Monday for another episode of The Rant's End, where De joins me as we go into full-fledged Hustle A. Smith & De Bayless mode, ranting about such topics as..
- Wrestling promotions playing "hot potato" with title belts
- The Aaron Hernandez situation
- Dwight Howard (I am a Lakers fan, after all, so you know I have some angry words here)
- The thought of Davey Richards being on the WWE roster
..and much more. Expect some anger. Expect some ranting (hence the show's title). Expect some foul language. This one isn't going to be like your average LoP Radio show. When the show airs, it can be found at the following link..
The Rant's End
All of LoP Radio's shows can be downloaded after they air, either at our BlogTalkRadio page, which will be found in the previous link, or on our iTunes page, which can be found at the following link..
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