My Two Centsss - A Look Back At "Black Thursday" (#ThankYouJTG)
By Super Chrisss
Jun 12, 2014 - 7:46:31 PM
I told you it was coming. Approximately one month ago here on LOP, off the heels of the "WWE stock market crash" if you will, I wrote a column predicting WWE would be making a bunch of roster cuts sometime before August. I figured it had been way too long since the WWE roster had been trimmed down, and due to the cost of the WWE Network, as well as WWE stock taking a major hit, I had a feeling WWE planned to save money by releasing several talents from their contacts. Lo and behold, my prediction (unfortunately) came true, and the following are now unemployed:
* Drew McIntyre
* Jinder Mahal
* Curt Hawkins
* Theodore Long
* Brodus Clay
* Evan Bourne
* Yoshi Tatsu
* Referee Marc Harris
Some surprising names on that list; others not so much. Drew McIntyre is a guy who I will never understand why they gave up on. Rumours are McIntyre lost his push a few years ago because Vince McMahon couldn't believe one of his wrestlers got beat up by a woman (his ex-wife Taryn Taryll/Tiffany). Other people suggest his push as Intercontinental Champion/the Chosen One ended abruptly because he wasn't getting over with the crowds. Personally, I think McIntyre failed because he was pushed too hard, too fast (like Sheamus and Alberto del Rio). I like McIntyre, and I'm sad I will probably never hear "Broken Dreams" on Raw or SmackDown again.
Good riddance to his 3MB brethren, Jinder Mahal. I never liked 3MB, nor did I find a fuck to give about Mahal. He's a terrible wrestler (I still think half his moveset is a running kneelift) combined with zero mic skills and no personality. No loss there. It will be interesting to see if Heath Slater will actually benefit from 3MB being dissolved, or if he will continue to be a jobber. Slaters Gonna Slate, but I think it's the latter.
In the ring, Aksana is an injury waiting to happen. Just ask Naomi. But man, I'm going to miss seeing that body. She may have a weird accent, but there was something about her that's so damn sexy. They should have cast Aksana for Total Divas instead of Rosa Mendes, that's for sure. Speaking of the E! reality show, Rosa, Cameron, and Eva Marie can all be grateful for their roles on Total Divas, because without it, they would have been the ones seeking employment elsewhere, not the Lithuanian.
Curt Hawkins is a terribly under-utilized talent who could definitely succeed in the indies. He just never found his place in the WWE ring. His tag teams with Zack Ryder, Vance Archer, and Tyler Rex were entertaining, but Hawkins just didn't fit in for some reason or another. On the plus side, his wrestling school seems to be doing well, so good for him. Maybe he'll get a chance to prove WWE wrong for releasing him/never really using him.
When I clicked on the LOP headline that read, "WWE Also Releases A Former Authority Figure," I assumed Brad Maddox was gone. I honestly thought Teddy Long was fired a long time ago. What has he been doing these past, umm, two years anyway? Unlike fellow former GM of SmackDown Booker T, Long doesn't appear on pre-show or post-show panels. I assumed Long either left the company or was signed to a Legends Deal. Oh, well. The SmackDown brand died years ago, so we don't need anyone to make tag team main-events anymore.
Wasn't Camacho just on NXT: Takeover? I thought his feud with Adam Rose was solid, and WWE had something planned for him. But apparently not. He should have followed in Hunico's footsteps and played the part of another wrestler. I could totally picture Camacho filling in for an injured or retired masked Kane.
Brodus Clay is another talent who WWE recently re-pushed in NXT. Hell, it was just a month ago that Clay was the number one contender to Adrian Neville's NXT Championship. Am I surprised to see him go? Not really, as WWE clearly didn't know what to do with him as either The Funkasaurus or a monster heel. Tons of Funk might not have been the most dominant tag team of 2013, but their break-up didn't exactly propel Brodus and Sweet T to bigger things...
I saw someone mention on Twitter the other day that the only interesting thing Kofi Kingston could do as a face is to reform Air-Boom with Evan Bourne. Well, Bad Luck Kofi strikes again! Bourne's release isn't shocking whatsoever, as I expected WWE to release him months ago, back when he was still injured or sitting at home waiting for WWE to give him something to do. Unfortunately for Bourne, WWE already has plenty of high-fliers on their roster, and without a Cruiserweight Division, is there really any space for Bourne? Again, I liked the idea of bringing back Air-Boom, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
It's hard to believe Yoshi Tatsu lasted six years with WWE. I honestly don't remember Tatsu doing anything on WWE programming after WWECW turned into NXT. It's too bad, because Tatsu is quite talented in the ring, but I suppose WWE never gave him a chance due to his weak grasp of the English language. I'm pretty sure Tatsu will make loads of money going back to Japan and headlining many events as a "former WWE Superstar", since it's a damn good accolade to have on your work resume, after all. I guess WWE officials weren't listening or simply didn't care about the NXT fans who chanted "We Want Yoshi" at the Full Sail tapings less than a month ago.
Tough break for WWE official Marc Harris. I assume he was let go because he has far less seniority than other referees such as Charles Robinson and Mike Chioda. Also, he might have been the ref who botched a lot of calls in divas matches not that long ago.
Last but not least, we come to the biggest release (in terms of shock value) of "Black Thursday". After nearly a decade of working for the company - including a temporary release in 2007 alongside his former Cryme Tyme partner Shad - JTG's time is up. Shad was released (for a second and final time) in 2010, and ever since going solo, JTG has been a jobber. At least, I think he was. He was never on TV long enough to remind me of his standing with the company, but as we confirmed today, it wasn't very good.
For years, countless fans have speculated how a guy could last so long without doing anything and still keep a job with the largest professional wrestling company in the world. Some thought he had dirt on Vince McMahon; others believed he was in possession of an IronClad Contract, not The Big Show. Alas, the truth has been revealed - JTG is not a Hide and Seek God; he is indeed mortal. How he was able to fly under the radar after almost five years of being anything but a WWE Superstar is an enigma we might never be able to solve. I for one hopes Chris Jericho or Jim Ross persuades JTG to appear on one of their podcasts someday in order to possibly find out how he did it.
JTG, thank you for everything. You may not have done much during your eight years with the company, but who could ever forget this epic moment:
Your Two Centsss: Do you see any of today's released talents going to TNA or Jeff Jarrett's upcoming GFW? Also, do you think WWE will release additional names over the weekend? If so, who?
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