The WWE's Cutting Spree
November 6, 2004 by Avi Krebs
The WWE is in the process of thinning out its talent roster, and it seems like
the Raw brand is getting hit the hardest as 8 superstars from Raw have been let
go, as well as 2 from Smackdown. The most recent dismissal of these individuals
reminds me of a Royal Rumble match where the ring fills with superstars whose
sole purpose are to just provide filler until that one big name rushes down to
the ring and disposes of them all in quick order. Their work is done; they
receive their paycheck and basically have the rest of the night off. In the case
of the most recent recipients of the pink slip, they're going to be enjoying
plenty of nights off. Although none of them could be considered headliners; and
their dismissal probably doesn't shake the wrestling world like Pat Patterson's
departure, this article will give them their due, or maybe not.
Billy Gunn: I think his departure might not be as permanent as some of the
others, but it looked like the once called "Rockabilly" was getting very little
exposure over the past few weeks. He returned as Mr. Ass, and was partnered with
the likes of Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas. Neither partner really jelled with
Gunn like Chuck, Road Dogg or even his storyline brother Bart Gunn did. His stay
in the WWE was long enough to be considered noteworthy. He even was crowned King
of the Ring in 1999. He may have never won the big one, but with a handle like
Mr. Ass, he certainly won't be forgotten.
Albert: He was big, he was hairy, he went through more names in a few years
than most wrestlers do in decades of the business, but no matter what character
he played, Albert was the same brute who made fans question just how he managed
to stay with the company as long as he did. He had the size and girth that the
WWE loves to expose every week, too bad there was very little else he had to
offer to really make himself nothing more than one of those guys you'd fast
forward through to avoid seeing his matches. His popularity was probably at its
peak (As little as that may be) when paired with Test. Although it was Trish
Stratus who deserves most of the credit for making the team popular, she got all
the attention anyways.
Test: In this writer's humble opinion, Test is the one who could have been
something great, if he debuted back in the mid nineties where most wrestlers did
not look like spokesmen for anabolic steroids. Test had the package, good looks,
size, muscles galore, and a very rudimentary selection of wrestling moves that
would have worked wonders many years ago. It seems the biggest problem with Test
is with every gimmick he was involved in; he was really the bit player. Examples
include, his staged marriage to Stephanie McMahon, his involvement with T&A, his
time with the Corporation, right up to his bizarre triangle with Stacy Keibler
and (from the where the hell is he now file) Scott Steiner. He never seemed to
get the push everyone assumed he would get. Well he has one thing going for him;
he still has his testicles.
Gail Kim: It isn't really surprising that the WWE chooses to cut the females
who can wrestle, (Kim, Jazz) yet Gail Kim's stay in the WWE could be considered
rocky at best. How can you build up a character properly when she wins the big
prize in her first night on the job" After she lost the belt, she was basically
tossed to the side and used mostly for run-ins and feuds that would be settled
on Heat. Her heel turn did little to boost her popularity. Yet when most people
did see her in action, they saw a lady who actually knew how to wrestle. Guess
sex appeal really pays off considering Diva search winners Christy and the
ghastly Carmella get more air time.
Nidia: For those who watched the inaugural Tough Enough, it seemed to be
interesting that Nidia got the nod for the contract over the more physically
competent Taylor. Then again, that little thing called sex appeal plays a big
role. If a former playboy playmate can get a contract, then surely an exotic
dancer is almost a given. Her roles on SmackDown were laughable. She played
Jamie Noble's hick girlfriend, she then became blind, and then she switched to
Raw. Her stock though seemed to be on the rise. Her wrestling ability wasn't
exactly polished, but it looked like with time (in OVW), she could have been a
perennial contender for the women's title.
Chuck Palumbo: He made his debut as a member of the WCW/ECW invasion, however
even despite being part of some pretty outrageous angles; good ol' Chuck's feet
never really left the ground. He experienced his most popularity teaming with
Billy. He also spent time with Sean O Haire and the Full Blooded Italians, but
neither of those gigs stuck and Chuck was left a sitting duck on a Raw roster,
with no one to feud with and no real value to the company.
Jazz: Probably the most disappointing cut amongst those no longer with the
company, Jazz much like Gail Kim had her big push way too early. She practically
destroyed the competition and won the women's championship before you could say
"wazzupwitdat"" Although calling her a diva may have been a stretch, one can't
argue with what she got done in the ring. While the others focused on hair
pulling and chic kicks, Jazz at least showed some form of wrestling that could
have made her the Diesel of the divas. Alas, it looks like that will now never
happen. Interestingly enough the leggy but useless Stacey Keibler, and the buxom
and untalented Torrie Wilson still remain the yard stick in which all other
divas are measured.
Rodney Mack: Who could honestly be a wrestling fan and say they forget about
the White Man Challenge" Orchestrated by Theodore Long, it reminds us of the
throwback years circa 1993 when jobbers were used to make the super stars look
good. Rodney Mack looked unstoppable, until a big white boy named Goldberg beat
him so badly that it resulted in Long moving to Smackdown. "The Mack" went
through more injuries than storylines. I can't even recall him being in many if
any pay-per-views during his brief tenure. There's always a possibility that
Mack could return someday, but this cracker isn't going to bet his bottom dollar
on it. Believe dat.
Johnny Stamboli: Much like his fellow fired FBI partner Palumbo, Stamboli is
best describes as a non-factor no matter which brand he was a part of. He will
certainly be remembered more for his out of the ring actions as oppose to what
he did in the squared circle. Documented as a true wrestler for the fans,
Stamboli was one of those few class acts who made an extra effort to give back
to his fans, whether it's signing an extra autograph or making a special
appearance. In a business where egos are as big as the bodies, Stamboli's heart
and dedication was never questioned.
Rico: A former American Gladiator, a former Las Vegas cop, and now a former
WWE superstar. Man, does this guy have difficulty holding down a job or what"
For what it's worth, Rico's flamboyancy was his big ticket to the dance. Such a
magnitude hasn't been seen since the Genius preached and pranced around in the
early 1990s. No matter whom he was placed into a stable with, whether it was the
Ambiguously Gay Duo (Billy and Chuck), or the McCrary twins (Rosey and Jamal),
or the Newlyweds Nick and Jessica (Charlie Haas and Miss Jackie), Rico always
made himself the centre of attention. Much like road kill, we were compelled to
So there you have it, ten former WWE employees who now join the unemployment
line. If the TNA was smart, they would sign at least half of these athletes to
contracts considering all of them (with the debatable exception of Albert) can
still provide plenty of value to any wrestling federation. Whether it is
athleticism, character, strength, or dexterity, the WWE's loss could be some
other fed's gain. So here's hoping that the WWE stops cutting middle card
talent. They may not get the same attention as the main event superstars, but
their removal from the company is bound to leave at least a small effect on the
otherwise indestructible giant known as the WWE. If anything, those future Royal
Rumbles are just not going to be the same again.
by Avi Krebs..
Alan Reeve wrote:
You're right the three that really surprised me were Rico who seemed to be getting a big push with Hass Jazz probably one of the hardest women I've seen wrestle but she was never a looker was she. and Billy Gunn a big star since 98 with DX and I think deserved a push at the U.S tile but did'nt have anything to do did.
Great coloum! hope you write more for the site || p.s I think Hass & Heidenrich & Richards are next
Vanessa Adams wrote:
ive read much on the profiles of the wwe superstars and many were released. I agree, with the bamas that they released such as Test, Scott steiner etc. They really had no great gimmick or great wrestling skill and if you don't your gone. I hope more would be cut from the wwe roster, Im tired of seeing Scotty in the back doing nothing, Carlito not being able to wrestle good( C'MON he has a wrestling background and wrestling like that, it doesn't impress me). Tyson Tomko is just average i just don't like him, the same with shannon i was shock to see him not released yet. The latest people that has impressed me lately are, Shelton, Snitsky, Randy, Cena and of course the one there before them. Shelton has proved he has great wrestling skills he speaks for himself. Snitsky is awesome, if you can send kane to the hospital your a great wrestler and entertainer in my book. Randy, is going to the top he's the next "The Rock"( well, that's how he's promoted) and Cena F-U's everybody.
Cut list( also my christmas list)
John Bradshaw Layfield
Jack Mitchell wrote:
Venessa, I totally agree with your philosiphy on get cut from the WWE. But you were wrong about the WWE cutting La Resistance. Both Coway and Grenier are a great tag team. I mean, look. La Resistance has been int this business for about 2 years. And in 2004, thaey became Tag Champions. It took them one year to win the titles twice. Now, I know their not that impressive (maybe b/c they don't have finishers), but if they continue to win the Tag Team titles more than once in a year, they might be one of the greatest tag teams ever in WWE history.
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