“TNA has actually been doing that for a few weeks with Sharkboy. In the gauntlet on Impact he was bandaged and taped all over. My point TNA > ECW.”
The above was from a WrestleZone reader, replying to my weekly ECW take. Floorwax (whoever he or she may be) was referring to the current angle with indy wrestler Colin Delaney (aka Olsen) coming out every week, beaten up worse than the week before. Floorwax’s comment got me to thinking about this issue – because WWE HAS stolen an awful lot away from its “lowly” competition in the past few years.
Umaga was their response to Samoa Joe, and he got over. Kelly Kelly and Balls are shades of Ms. Brooks and Eric Young. “The Alpha Male” Marcus Cor Von was, of course, really “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown. Ring of Honor gave them CM Punk, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, and Bobby Lashley.
Okay, they didn’t give them Lashley. I was just seeing if you were still paying attention.
Anyway, you’ve probably read the news that WWE has harvested two more TNA stars: Ron “The Truth” Killings and “Wild Cat” Chris Harris. I’ve been thinking about just why WWE has pursued these two wrestlers, and what, exactly, they will mean to the company.
Letâ<80><99>s note, first, that both of these wrestlers have supposedly signed â<80><9c>specialâ<80> contracts with WWE…meaning they wonâ<80><99>t have to spend any time in WWEâ<80><99>s developmental system. Does TNA have a special place in WWEâ<80><99>s eyes now, that their stars might also be WWE stars? I think that, perhaps, this is true.
WWE can try to not acknowledge TNA all they want. After all, they arenâ<80><99>t really COMPETING with them. Still, we all know that WWE is watching the number two company, with great interest in what itâ<80><99>s doing, on a weekly basis.
Killings was, of course, in WWE before, performing as K-Kwik. They are already familiar with Killings and know what he brings to the table. That said, K-Kwik was never a big name in WWE, and theyâ<80><99>ll probably be packaging him as Ron Killings – or something else altogether. Wouldnâ<80><99>t this (the repackaging process) merit some time in WWE developmental, if this were a typical case…at least in WWEâ<80><99>s eyes?
Even stranger a case is that of Chris Harris. Harris has never been in WWE. He was in WCW, but he was certainly an undercarder there. Typically, WWE would want him to be repackaged, trained, etc. However, they donâ<80><99>t in this case. Why? Well, for one, Harris has apparently asked for a â<80><9c>no developmentalâ<80> clause in his contract. Two, WWE officials have SEEN Harris already, and theyâ<80><99>ve LIKED him. Like with Killings – who has come highly recommended by Rey Mysterio and MVP – they want him for their own.
Theyâ<80><99>re both big guys. Not huge. Certainly not bigger than the average WWE main eventer. But big, nonetheless. K-Kwik has a unique style which WWE may try to make more generic. Theyâ<80><99>ll love Harrisâ<80><99> old school look and ring sensibilities. They both have presence. How will they do in WWE? Time will tell, but I definitely see Harris getting the bigger push. I donâ<80><99>t have my crystal ball this time, so these are just guesses, but hereâ<80><99>s how I could see Killings and Harris being used on WWE TV upon their debuts – assuming both of their debuts are, in fact, imminent.
Killings will either go under Ron Killings or a new name. No â<80><9c>K-Kwikâ<80> this time around. Heâ<80><99>ll be a member of the ECW roster, with some Smackdown appearances. Eventually, theyâ<80><99>ll put him in either a tag team or a stable. Heâ<80><99>ll probably make a tag title run sometime in the near future.
Harris will begin as a member of the Smackdown roster, but heâ<80><99>ll be traded to Raw and given a push. He could very well be an intercontinental title contender. Jim Ross will have an appreciation for the â<80><9c>Wild Catâ<80> (who wonâ<80><99>t be using that nickname in WWE).
The most significant thing here is, arguably, that WWE has taken notice of a smaller wrestling promotion. THAT is good for business, which, in turn, is great for us as fans.
Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler / Inside Wrestling. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.