Every Monday and Friday I write a wrestling column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. I talk about the reality of Hero's release and why he wasn't a good enough WWE soldier.
The ironic thing with Hero is he's wildly popular with the hardcore wrestling crowd. He's classified as an “indie” guy due to his success around the world in smaller promotions. However, he didn't fit the typical “indie” stereotype.
He didn't wear kick pads when he didn't kick. He didn't flip when he didn't need to flip. He didn't have a finisher that could only be done to guys of a certain size and didn't require 20 seconds to set up.
He wasn't guilty of doing the same match every time which consists of 40 moves that look more like a trampoline exhibition than a wrestling match. He didn't have unnecessary movement of doing something in five steps when it could have been be done in three.
He had psychology. He had facials. He was 6-foot-4 and 200-plus pounds. He had long hair and a beard. He could hit his finisher in one second against anybody of any size. He looked like a guy who could get things done.
He had a good feud with veteran William Regal in NXT. WWE bought into his hard hitting gimmick. The name he worked under in NXT was Kassius Ohno, a direct play to his gimmick. Kassius was pronounced Cassius as in Muhammad Ali's birth name. The gave him the initials K.O. Which is also used when speaking in fighting about a knockout.
So what went wrong?
In WWE, a good soldier is more valuable than a talented soldier. They don't care how big of a following you have, what you accomplished elsewhere or how many styles you know in the ring. You must pay WWE dues and WWE respect.