My Two Centsss - Watch Out, WWE Talents - Spring Cleaning Is Coming!
By Super Chrisss
May 18, 2014 - 4:22:17 PM
It has been quite a while since WWE went on a major "firing spree", so to speak. For many years, it was during the months of April and May (following Wrestlemania) that WWE would release a large pool of talent. Most of the unfortunate names let go were wrestlers who were receiving little to no TV time, or ones that had been running in place, and sometimes even veterans who WWE felt had nothing left to contribute to the company. However, other than WWE cutting ties with some developmental talents here or there, as well as a handful of cases where wrestlers opted not to resign with the company, we haven't had a "Black Friday" in many years, when WWE would get rid of their dead weight during a 24-hour period or so (with anywhere between 10 and 20 workers receiving that dreaded "Best of luck in your future endeavours phone call).
I don't want to sound like a pessimist - as it would suck for anyone to find themselves out of a job - but something tells me we're on the verge of a massive exodus of WWE talent. Not only is the WWE payroll larger than ever (especially when you include all the talent down in NXT and developmental) but as I'm sure you've heard by now, WWE took a HUGE hit in the stock market this week, with Vince McMahon losing over $300 million of his own personal cash. Sure, Vince might still be a millionaire, but how the hell can you feel good about losing that amount of money, no matter how rich you are? WWE will be looking to cut expenses somewhere, and I see them starting with their contracted wrestlers, most notably those who they feel aren't making them money and probably never will (their viewpoint, not mine).
Therefore, it's that time of the year where I present my picks for WWE's "Spring Cleaning/Future Endeavoured Club". Before we launch into this year's list, let's take a look at the names I guessed would be out of a job by the end of 2013, shall we?
Talk about an interesting group of people, eh? Riley is still employed (for whatever reason) as he has become the king of the pre-show panel and a crappy NXT commentator. Uso is one-half of the current tag team champions, so for his sake, I'm glad I was wrong about WWE splitting him and his brother up. JTG is God-Knows-Where, explaining to The Big Show the definition of an "ironclad contract". I was right about Zeke and the original Sin Cara, as those were two releases waiting to happen. Why in the blue hell was Randy Orton on that list, you ask? Keep in mind that one year ago, Orton was doing absolutely NOTHING and I was sure he would fail another Wellness Policy Test. Fortunately, I was dead wrong, as he was able to reclaim his spot in the main-event. As for R-Truth? Yeah, he needs to turn heel or just go away already. I went 2 for 7 last year, but let's see how I do for 2014!
When all is said and done, Justin Gabriel will probably go down as one of the most underused superstars in WWE history. He seemed destined to break out after being a member of The Nexus and later The Corre - his 450 Splash was over as hell - but despite a mini-push in late 2012, Gabriel never made an impact. Even his tag team with Tyson Kidd - which ended prematurely due to Tyson suffering a serious injury - never got a fair run on any show not called Superstars or the old NXT. I know WWE wants a star from South Africa (due to tours and stuff) but unfortunately for Gabriel, the newly-debuted Adam Rose also happens to be a South African native. As much as I like Gabriel, without a tag team partner or a cruiserweight division (which WWE should seriously consider reviving), I think his days are numbered. Who would have thought Gabriel would end up as the Marty Jannetty of his former tag team with Heath Slater?
Another sparingly-used talent who has been on the WWE payroll for quite some time is Mr. Tatsu. Unlike Gabriel, I don't believe WWE ever gave him a chance to get over, as the only push I recall Tatsu getting was when he showed up on NXT wearing some weird face paint a year or two ago. That didn't last long, and this was before NXT became the awesome show it is now...so yeah. I assume that WWE keeps Tatsu employed because he gets to wrestle when they tour Japan, but if KENTA is indeed WWE-bound, I see Tatsu being KENTA's first opponent for a while (similar to how Chavo Guerrero was Sin Cara's first opponent) before Yoshi is finally shown the door.
When The World's Strongest Man shocked the world by faking his retirement on an episode of Raw last summer, one of the reasons his speech was so effective was because it felt like his time was up. Henry has been with the WWE since the mid-90s, and prior to his Hall of Pain/World Heavyweight Champion run in 2011, the only notable thing Henry had done throughout his career was help Mae Young give birth to a hand. Even a year ago, Henry wasn't exactly a spring chicken and he looked like he was ready to call it a day. WWE hasn't even used Henry effectively since his match with John Cena at last year's Money in the Bank, and it feels like Henry has been doing nothing but job since dropping the world title back in 2012. When you think about how often Henry has been sidelined with some sort of injury over the years, it's almost surprising WWE hasn't already pulled the plug. I'll miss Henry, as he plays a badass so, so well, but it seems like he lost his place in today's WWE quite some time ago.
If it wasn't for 3MB, this guy would have been released a long time ago. One of the saving graces about being a member of 3MB is even though the trio jobs to everyone and their mothers, at least they don't wrestle a lot of singles matches. In Mahal's case, this is definitely a good thing, as I don't think he's improved at all since being called up to the main roster as The Great Khali's brother-in-law (or something like that) - the guy is still awful in the ring. I feel like 99% of Mahal's moveset consists of jumping knee-lifts, I really do. I believe it's only a matter of time until WWE decides it's time to break up 3MB, give Drew McIntyre a renewed singles push, keep Slater as an entertaining jobber, and release Mahal. Good riddance.
Speaking of jobbers...hello there, Mr. Woods! Honestly, Woods is a fairly recent NXT call-up that I just don't get. His gimmick was awful and annoying down in Full Sail, and I don't understand why he got promoted to the main roster before the likes of Sami Zayn or The Ascension. Furthermore, Woods' only storyline upon his Raw debut was a feud with Brodus Clay because he borrowed/stole The Funkadactyls one night. That feud sure worked out well, as Woods is nothing but a jobber struggling for TV time while Brodus has been demoted to NXT. Woods isn't a bad wrestler, as he's in his 30s and has wrestled for other promotions like TNA, but WWE is looking towards the future, and it may be too late for Woods to amount to anything. Here's to another enhancement talent with whom I would have no issue being removed from my TV screen!
Can someone please explain to me how the hell Rosa still has a job with the number one wrestling company in the world? She has been employed by the WWE for years, yet she has accomplished next to nothing. She hasn't learned how to wrestle a decent match, she's not attractive (especially with that Marilyn Monroe haircut she's got going on), and she hasn't been relevant since she served as Primo & Epico's valet. Although to be fair, I would gladly take Rosa over El Torito any day of the week. Man, I hate that bull. In all seriousness, the rumours of Rosa performing "backstage favours" for Michael Hayes must have some truth behidn them, because there's no other explanation for why she has been employed for this long.
I'm a Peep. I really am. But even I have a feeling that 2014 will be the year WWE finally parts ways with Christian (on their terms, not his). Like fellow veteran Henry, Christian seems to be on the injured list more often than not, and when Captain Charisma is ready to compete, WWE never seems to have any idea what to do with him. It's a shame, because Christian was red-hot back in 2011, and his feud with Randy Orton really established him as a key player, something that could have happened had Christian not grown impatient and left for TNA in 2005. Something tells me Vince never got over Christian's "betrayal" which is why even though he had the fans solidly behind him, it was always felt like something was holding Christian back from achieving true greatness. Or maybe it was Christian's face, as it has been heavily rumoured over the years that Vince thinks Christian has an ugly face. Who knows? I just can't shake the feeling that Christian's days as an active competitor are coming to an end, whether he's ready to hang up his boots or not.
I could list a few additional names, but seven has always been my lucky number so we'll stick with that. Just to quickly recap, I believe WWE will either release or choose not to renew the following superstars' contracts sometime in 2014:
Keep in mind, some of the people I thought would be released last year ended up either winning a championship or returning to the main-event scene, so I could be very wrong once again. No matter what though, I do believe we'll be getting a huge talent release party sometime soon, with far more than seven people sitting on the unemployment line. If I was a midcard or lower-card WWE talent, I'd definitely start feeling nervous right about now.
Your Two Centsss: Who do you see being no longer employed by the WWE a year from now?
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