WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
by Mike Aldren of the Wrestling Globe Newsletter
Candice Michelle (Candice Beckman-Ehrlich) and Sim Snuka (Jim Reiher,
Jr.) were released earlier today. WWE.com reported that the company had comes to terms on their releases and wished them “the best in all future endeavors.”
Candice Michelle, 30, was somewhat of a surprise as she was due to return from injury this weekend, which makes one wonder if her cards were marked long ago, as we had heard from multiple sources that she had fallen out of favor with management. WWE rarely releases people while they are injured, the most recent exception being referee Mickey Henson, who was battling cancer and fired during the January budget cuts, after he was assured that his job was safe.
Candice was hired in 2004 after she participated in the Diva Search competition. Outside of wrestling, she was known as the Go Daddy Girl, performing in the company’s annual Super Bowl commercials. She had also worked for Playboy and appeared in softcore adult movies under the name Mackenzie Montgomery as well as featuring in the HBO series Hotel Erotica.
While training to wrestle on the road in her two years with the company she competed mostly in bikini contests and did guest referee spots. She became the first ever Diva Search contestant to win the Women’s title in June 2007, defeating Melina at the Vengeance PPV. Although far from being a polished worker she was getting rave reviews for her in-ring work, but at the same time she was earning a bad rap for her attitude behind the scenes.
At one time she had a real-life feud Melina in their WWE.com blogs after Candice accused Melina of stealing one of her moves. Melina responded by posting a picture of herself performing the same move during an indy show in 2003, proving that she had been using the move long before Candice had even stepped foot in a ring. Candice then wrote a blog in response that WWE.com refused to publish. The off-screen fighting eventually translated into an on-screen storyline until a string of injuries ended Candice’ run.
During a TV match with Beth Pheonix in October 2007 she fractured her clavicle (http://tinyurl.com/6k9k29) when Phoenix ran into the ropes, causing her to fall face-first off of the turnbuckle onto her face, neck, and shoulders necessitating a rushed finish and putting her out of action for five months. Candice made her in-ring return in March 2008, teaming with Maria against Jillian Hall and Victoria. During the match, she reinjured her shoulder (http://tinyurl.com/lbk5bm) by tearing the scar tissue over her previously fractured clavicle. Unlike the previous injury, she broke the bone in several places, virtually shattering her shoulder. She underwent surgery which put her back on the inured list for a further seven months.
She returned last September but it became immediately apparent that she was never going to be the same. Despite that she was pushed in a feud for the Women’s title concluding in a match against Pheonix at No Mercy in October. For the next few months she was rarely featured before disappearing in March due to an undisclosed ankle injury. She appeared as the the guest time keeper during the Diva Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 25. A couple of weeks later she was drafted to Smackdown as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft, but was never seen again.
A couple of hours ago Candice posted the message “I am free to grow!” on her Twitter.
Sim Snuka, 37, the son of Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, had been on the endangered list for months. He started late in the business, previously working a youth counselor and a TV cameraman in Utah, coming up through developmental in 2005. He also trained with his father in New Jersey.
As the character Deuce he was paired with Cliff Compton (Domino) and Kara Drew (Cherry) as The Throwbacks who later simply became known as Deuce ‘n Domino. They debuted on Smackdown in January 2007 but their 1950s greaser gimmick never really got over despite a run with the tag titles. The team was eventually split in June 2008. Snuka was drafted to Raw, and Compton and Drew were later released.
His highlight on Raw was a storyline where he attempted to join a group led by Randy Orton. He teamed with Cody Rhodes against Cryme Tyme, and the deal was the winner of the pin fall would get to join Orton’s group.
Rhodes got the pin so Snuka remained the outcast. He then, along with Manu, brought back Ted DiBiase (who Orton had previously punted) to help them attack Orton and Rhodes, only to be swerved and attacked by DiBiase, Orton and Rhodes, who formed The Legacy.
Snuka hasn’t been used at all this year, not even at house shows. He has pretty much been sitting at home for the past few months waiting for creative to figure out what to do with him. When most guys are released the company line is usually “creative had nothing for you,” but in this case it may really be true.
He had a tryout as an announcer at the WWE TV Studio in February, but that didn’t work out.
He also had a Wrestlemania moment attempting to catch The Undertaker as a planted camera man at Wrestlemania 25, but that didn’t work out very well either. (http://tinyurl.com/mry26x)
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This week’s ClickWrestle Match of the Week is Athena vs. Candice LeRae from April 5, 2014.