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 turn away.

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) Tyson Tomko Shannon Moore Nunzio Orlando Jordan Carlito John Bradshaw Layfield Christian Simon Dean Sylvain Grenier Rob Conway Rene Dupree Viscera
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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