Ready, Aim, Fire

Mark Madden

3mbWWE fired 10 people. That’s a reflection on those 10 people, certainly, but equally a reflection on WWE’s inability to use them properly. It’s about cutting payroll, cutting losses and taking a big bite of the WWE Network’s stink sandwich.

In a recent column, I mooted Tyson Kidd’s future. Outside of mic skills, Kidd is an absolute natural. Stick him in a tag team with somebody that can talk. Give him a manager. Effective personnel management masks deficiencies. Paul Heyman made The Public Enemy stars, and they were a steaming pile of deficiencies.

WWE looks at deficiencies and just gets frustrated.

Creatively, WWE is at low tide. The worst since Duke “The Dumpster” Droese.

Kidd will either be a luchador, or the clear-cut “lesser half” of his marriage with Natalya. Not terrific options. Not great for the marriage, either.

Natalya and Ashley Flair (Charlotte) had the best women’s match in recent memory at NXT Takeover. Neither tangibly benefited. That’s not a feeder system. It’s a pretense thereof. What you do there doesn’t matter much, if at all.

Perhaps the biggest example of WWE underutilization is William Regal.

Regal has been snubbed his whole career. He’s had some rough personal issues occasionally, and I’m happy to say he’s beaten those.

But I honestly can’t name a wrestler as skilled as Regal in every facet of the business who got used as poorly. His look, his work, his promos, his psychology…I’m not sure how much better Regal could have been. Regal should have been at or near the top of the card. He came close, but never really was.

I don’t blame him. I blame poor management. In WWE and WCW.

Now Regal is 46. He’s an announcer. And still underutilized.

Regal does color for NXT. He’s excellent. He tells a story. He accentuates the product and the participants. He’s well-spoken. He’s witty, but doesn’t overwhelm. Regal is the best color commentator working for WWE.

Yet he remains in NXT.

Tell me again…what’s the point of NXT?

In my previous column, I described how bad JBL is on color. I wasn’t quite descriptive enough, or critical enough. JBL is VOMITOUS. JBL is actually bad beyond description. Jerry Lawler is OK, but sounds worn out.

ROH color analyst Steve Corino is average.

But Lawler makes Corino sound like Roddy Piper in his Georgia heyday. JBL makes Corino sound like Walter Cronkite during Viet Nam.

Regal is a good man. He’s likely happy to have made (and be making) a living in the profession he loves. But Regal knows he’s better than what he’s got.

How does this happen? How does a major talent like Regal work at WWE for 17 years and get constantly put on the backburner?

Because the McMahons don’t know as much as you think they do, and nowhere near as much as they think they do. The evidence is mounting.

More people used to watch wrestling than currently watch wrestling. Always remember that. If the audience likes it but the audience is constantly dwindling, it’s not a good product.

When Brie Bella slapped Stephanie McMahon, I thought it was a shoot. I never saw Steph sell before.

Steve Regal > Randy Orton. All day long.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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