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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Dropping the Ball
July 7, 2004 by Lucas Odparlik


The WWE has built interest around wrestlers several times in their history of professional wrestling. Here's a look at the many times they've dropped the ball on wrestlers who could have made it in the WWE.

Brock Lesnar: Quite possibly one of the WWE's biggest and most heavily promoted stars, Lesnar left the WWE to pursue a football career with the NFL. He was the youngest WWE champion and was the total package. Had the WWE used him right, his passion may have stuck around and he wouldn't have walked out. The biggest loss the WWE has ever received, in my opinion.

Goldberg: The WWE got WCW's biggest star and what did Vince do to him" He made him into a comedy act. Soon after that was dropped, his momentum was lost. He did have a World title reign, but only for two months before jobbing out to Triple H. This upset him, as it should have, and he decided it was about time he left. He had unlimited potential and is a proven great draw. He left because of the politics Vince played.

American Dragon: Wow. The biggest flop I can think of would be AmDrag. Trained by Shawn Michaels at his academy alongside Spanky, Paul London, and others, AmDrag was under a developmental contract with the WWE. The WWE released him awhile back after promising him a spot on the roster if he would cut his hair. He cut his hair and they released him. What's that all about" American Dragon was a huge star on the indy circuit before he signed with the WWE. After he was released, he's an even bigger star wrestling in Japan and the American indy circuit. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, and the WWE gave up on him.

AJ Styles: He turned down a contract because of living conditions and wanting to stay close to home. However, money talks. The WWE could have offered him a high wage salary and guaranteed decent storylines for him. Instead they only offered him a mediocre developmental deal which he had no choice but to turn down. The WWE let TNA's biggest star slip between their fingers.

Scott Steiner: Yes, he is old. Yes, he is broken down. Yes, he isn't as good as he used to be. However, his heel aura is still there. The WWE heavily promoted "Big Poppa Pump" and when he debuted at Survivor Series he made a huge impact. Then at the Royal Rumble, he got a DQ win over Triple H in a horrible match. Trips didn't carry him as he should have, which is why the match suffered. After that, he had several mini-fueds with Nowinski and 3MW. His tag team with Test was actually quite good, even though their fued was horrendous. The WWE stopped teaming them for no reason at all. A great heel, who the WWE is dropping. After November, say goodbye to "Freakzilla."

Ron "H2O" Waterman: He looks a lot like Scott Steiner except he can actually wrestle. That and he was young and healthy at the time of his release. Released from his developmental contract a few years back.

Nathan Jones: Billed as a monster, who actually gave off the aura of one, the WWE brought Jones in hoping to make an impact. Upon his arrival, he threatened the Undertaker and vowed to win the WWE title. He even choked Michael Cole out Andre-style. He was mega over and his true history involving prison actually made him an intriguing character. He may not have been the greatest wrestler, but he surely had the image and the character for the part. So, instead of fueding him with the Undertaker, the WWE teamed him with Taker instead. I'm not sure how they decided that'd help him fued with Taker, but they did it anyways. Anyways, Jones went on to botch up matches and waste our time. He walked out after being frustrated with the direction of his character on a tour of Australia.

Spanky: At the time of his signing, Spanky, also known as Brian Kendrick, was one of the hottest commodities on the independent scene. The WWE signed him with high expectations and put him in an angle in which he tried to gain a SmackDown! contract. He went toe-to-toe with Kurt Angle and almost won the match. He could have been the WWE's biggest draw for the Cruiserweight division had they utilized him correctly. He has the charisma, mic skills, and wrestling skills. Even when he was in the tag team with Paul London, the WWE didn't utilize him correctly. Instead of making the duo tag team champions, they jobbed them out. Spanky quit awhile ago to pursue a career in the indies and Japan again. He has since won the World-1 Light Heavyweight Tag titles with Low Ki.

"The Predator" Sylvester Terkay: Now the US Champion in Zero-One wrestling over in Japan. He beat Steve Corino for the belt. Fact: The only man to ever beat Kurt Angle in actual NCAA wrestling, he is a former NCAA champion. He could have been the next Brock Lesnar, as he's very popular in SoCal and Japan. The WWE dropped the ball when they released him from his developmental contract.

Ultimo Dragon: Ultimo Dragon debuted with the WWE sometime around last year. He was heavily promoted and scored an impressive debut win against Shannon Moore. Soon after, the WWE got him involved in a program with Kyo Dai, Tajiri's former faction, and old rival Rey Mysterio. Instead of going forth with the genius program, the WWE dropped it for some reason and demoted Dragon to Velocity. With all of his momentum lost, he jobbed on Velocity for the better part of his WWE career. Even when he finally made his Wrestlemania debut this year, he was jobbed early in the match. Granted, he'll be returning in Fall to the WWE, but at this time it seems the WWE have failed to use one of the premier cruiserweights in the world.

"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig: Mr. Perfect came back for the 2002 Royal Rumble. He was one of the final four and looked to be headed for success in the new millenium. So what does the WWE do" They job him out to Steve Austin and take him off of TV. He could have won that World title he never won had the WWE used him right. He was still a world class premier wrestler at the time of his release. He was released because of a scuffle with Lesnar. He died a few months later...

Zack Gowen: While he may not have been the greatest worker, the WWE did drop the ball with "Tenacious Z." Instead of using him as a special attraction draw, the WWE played the sympathy angle and got him involved in the horrendous Mr. America/McMahon fued. Out of this fued, he was assaulted by McMahon, had his leg pulled off by Roddy Piper, and was embarrassed by Sable. His last appearance had him mauled by Brock Lesnar. A month later, he cut a promo saying he will make a comeback. Instead, the WWE got rid of him and lost any draw they may have had with him.

Goldust: After he recovered from injury, the WWE released him. Why" I have no idea. He still had some appeal, star power, and was still a decent wrestler. If pushed right he could have had another successful IC title run. Instead he was released.

Chris Kanyon: After coming back from an injury that could have almost killed him, paralyzed him, or ended his career, things looked to be good for Kanyon. Instead the WWE decided it'd be best to let him job on Velocity. He did this for quite some time until the WWE decided to pair him with Shannon Moore. The team was successful, but the WWE broke the two up for no apparent reason. Kanyon then had a solid match with Mysterio on SmackDown! and was ultimately released. "The Innovator of Offense" could have been a prominent United States championship contender, but is instead sitting at home because of the WWE.

"The Cat" Ernest Miller: After much, much unneeded hype, the Cat debuted on SmackDown!. Originally starting with the WWE as an announcer alongside Josh Mathews on Velocity, the Cat annoyed us with his lame one-liners and comments. For some reason, the WWE decided that this warranted him a singles push in wrestling. They paired him with a butler, Lamont, and hyped him for weeks. When he finally debuted all he did was orgasm over Torrie Wilson and dance with her. He eventually stole a kiss from Sable, starting a mini-fued with Vince McMahon that went nowhere. His biggest match was at the Royal Rumble, he got in no offense and just danced around before being tossed out. Truly a waste of time, effort, and well...everything.

Sean O'Haire: When he came back as a singles' player, he looked to make a huge splash on SmackDown!. Using a "Devil's Advocate" gimmick, O'Haire pressured others to indulge their temptations and be sinful. His gimmick was very over and his response was decent. Instead of pushing him to the moon, the WWE waited a month until pairing him with Roddy Piper. Instead of putting the heat on O'Haire, it was instead shifted to Piper. With this O'Haire lost all his momentum and became the lackey of Piper dropping his advocate gimmick. Upon Roddy Piper's release from the company, O'Haire went to Velocity and dominated there. Soon after he was sent down to OVW and eventually released. He is now pursuing mixed martial arts post-WWE.

by Lucas Odparlik..


Mike Petralia wrote:
Dont agree on much you have to say here. Lesnar:What more could lesnar asked for was in story lines with hogan,angle, eddie, benoit all good story lines he was well over with the crowd as a heel, Lesnar left on his terms not becuase of WWE. Golderg: Not even close to WCW's biggest star. WHat about Flair,Hogan,Sting,Outsiders,Booker T. Goldberg had 3 moves. Dragon: Who" lol its the wrestlers job to get over with the crowd. Styles: You made this arguement for me. AJ Styles left becuase of living conditions then good he doesnt deserve to be in the wwf, Flairs been away form his family for 3 decades. You sacrafice for this business my friend. Another key point you make hes TNA biggest star, TNA also has Jarret as their champ he could never make it past teh IC belt in the WWE who says styles could. Steiner: Can you say the guy is so big that he cant do half the stuff he once did. These guys are profesionals, dont rely on HHH to carry a man that was wrestling at wrestlmania (9) 3 yrs before HHH was. Ron: Again who" Jones: I agree on you with this one. Spanky:I agree but his name doesnt help much if he wants to be taken serious. Predator: There are alot of popular wrestlers in Japan that came over here and were not popular what makes him different. Dragon: Agree, but wasnt taht over with the crowd. Perfect: Agree, but hes doen so much in the past in the WWF so they never really dropped the ball with him. Gowen: This pisses me off, seriously. They dropped the ball by bringing this kid in, bad attitude in the back, and he has one leg, i dont want to see a guy hop around id rather see midgets. Goldust: His career was coming to an end, what can you say. Kaynon: I dont know The Cat: He wasnt good in WCW and he wasnt good in the WWE. Ohare: Agree

Your leaving out the fact that there just not room for everyone and most of tehse guys dont compare with the current WWE talent. What about some of the great jobs the WWE has done, Cena,Orton, Benjamen, tehy made Eddie into a bigger star than hes ever been.
Jason Weeks wrote:
this article should be titled Why Vince McMahon is a Idiot. He has for the most part never known how to use anyone but the people he likes and to hell with what the fans want. That list and a hand full of other people that are still in the WWE are being underused by vince. That article is also why he DESPERATLEY needs competition. Linda said it best, "competition is good for everyone" , and without it the WWE has been going down the tubes rather quickly, the recent WWE storylines have already proven this fact. After reading this and watcvhing the most recent WWE programming, I rember now why I stopped watching it. Vince relly needs to get his act together. anyway thanks for your time and good article.
wrote:

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