The Hot Topic: A Cut Above Pt 1

Rob Taylor


Greetings to this special edition of THT, over the next few days, I will be looking at the cuts made by WWE over recent days, and in the final part, looking at the new talent brought in to replace them…

Losing your job sucks at the best of times, however most of us have the luxury of an “Employment Contract”, which means we have to an extent, an element of security in our work. Wrestlers are self-employed, when signing with an organisation like WWE they are simply signing “Exclusivity” deals, which mean they agree to work only for that company (or agreed alternatives) for the term of the deal… When the company chooses to disperse with a talent, they simply make a call and can in reality rip up the contract…

In recent years, WWE has made a fixture of a draft, followed by a heavy release schedule, this year, financial imperatives, fuelled by the shift of Smackdown to Fridays and dwindling live crowds are forcing the cuts to be savage, let’s take a look at those gone already, and who could be next!!

The Dudley Boyz & Spike: Arguably the most “shocking” but equally, the most logical cuts. The Dudz have not, with the exception of One Night Stand been on WWE TV for many months, but drawing mid-high 6 figure salary’s… Their match at ONS was a win for them, but in reality sealed their fates, The fans were not as into them as before, and by allying with ECW against WWE, it would affect their WWE fans, and remember, D-Von in particular is alleged to have caused outside scenes, the last guy to do this, Rhyno, was fired… These guys had a good innings, they got stale, so it’s time to let them go, Spike more so… After all, WWE will likely call them if they do an ECW show next year… If all 3 don’t go to TNA.

Kenzo Suzuki: This guy was a bust from his debut, he never lived up to his hype and left himself open to ridicule at times for his “skills”. He is simply not a WWE level star, he might have a place in TNA or will return to Japan.

Charlie Haas & Jackie: A Hell of a wedding present… But let’s face it, Haas has gone backwards while Shelton rocketed forward. Jackie made a lot of her time in WWE but with a new crop of Divas coming in…her time is over, which brings me to…

Dawn Marie: The moment she announced her pregnancy, she was done…. Sure we all wish her the best for her new child, but will we really miss her on WWE TV?

Maven: Arguably a shock, but let’s look at it this way… Maven won Tough Enough I, he won a one year contract, that is nearly 5 years ago… To even be part of WWE that long down the track is a testament to his raw talent, and I do believe he will be back in WWE in a couple of years, but for now, he needs seasoning, the kind that ROH or Japan can bring…

Matt Morgan: This guy was not working, the stutter gimmick sucked royally, and though he had improved in the ring since the last run, his new look was a bust…WWE tried with him and it didn’t work out… TNA will probably be able to do something half decent with him though…ditto for…

Kevin Fertig: Mordacai was a total failiure, and clearly creative could find no way to actually rescue the man playing him… He had a good look and some interesting skills, TNA will no doubt give him a tryout though I think New Japan or even the UK scene would be a good place for him to improve…

Akio: He ran his course, pure and simple, he was not a “spectacular” cruiserweight, and thus his stock had plummeted in light of recent signings… which leads me to

Billy Kidman: In his 4 years in WWE he has managed one decent feud, his split with London arguably he would have been booted out a year ago if not for his marriage to Torrie, but bearing in mind the new Diva Search, could she be far behind? Billy is a lock for TNA, he will fit right into a feud with Daniels…

Shannon Moore: Being Matt Hardy’s best buddy…is anyone remotely surprised at this? just as no one will be to see him back if Matt does choose to return…If Matt goes to TNA, he will go straight into the X-Division…

Mark Jindrak: This one genuinely surprised me, as he was part of the “Draft Trades”, one can only assume that once he got to RAW WWE changed their minds, I would have liked to see him team with Masters for a while… but… I think Mark may come back one day, but for now I can see TNA lapping him up as he would make a great partner for “The Outlaw”…

Then, the vets…Marty Jannetty is no shock whatsoever, Shawn’s injury and finding his “favourite” tag partner in Hogan scuppered what WWE had signed him for, at least we got to see the Rockers one more time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marty re-hired as a trainer in the future…

Gangrel also didn’t work out, Vis kinda took off on his own and there was little point in trying a new gimmick with him…

Well, thats the list so far, more will come…my personal view on who it could be…

Torrie: She is kinda yesterdays news as a Diva, used less and less and now Billy is gone, it could be the final curtain…

Teddy Long: His time as GM is up, and a big signal of this is that Regal moved to SD in the draft, I don’t think anyone could argue that Regal was the best GM character WWE had, probably ever, and with Batista as champion (and Regal’s much documented friendship with Trips) who better to cause Batista trouble…softening him up for his buddy’s revenge perhaps?

Daivari: If the spoilers are to believed…and I hope they are not cos god help us if they are going that way then this could be the last we see of this guy… If so, he’ll be back one day, he is only 20 after all…

Doug Basham: Danny was traded to RAW and is arguably the better bet of the two as he is younger… Doug has little to offer SD on his own in the cold light of day…

Chris Masters: Possible, as he hasn’t quite had the impact WWE clearly expected, though he is growing on me… I think he might just escape, but no one is safe in this…

Hardcore Holly: He has kinda ridden it a few times and this time I think his luck will run out… While he is a veteran of the locker room, his value to the organisation is less than it has ever been… If Holly survives I’ll be surprised…

Val Venis: He might have a little value left as part of the Diva Search, but I think in reality his time has come to an end… There is nothing WWE can really do with him except use him to put over new guys…

Eugene: This would be the saddest of all, cos Nick Dinsmore deserves better, but he is hurt (and we know from Test, that WWE doesn’t wait till you are better) and Eugene has an inherent problem, at somepoint they either have to expose him as a fraud, or run the gimmick into the ground, which would be awful either way… He goes now, and is re-hired in a year or so, when he comes in with a whole new gimmck…

Hurricane and Rosey might just get away with it cos they have Stacy now… Ivory is close but she does present with Todd Grisham, so she has at least some value, although if Torrie stayed and not Ivory…

Let’s face it anything could happen… Thats it for now, but I will post the next part of this in a few days time, let’s see how many I get right!!!

As ever mail your feedback to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com

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