November 4, 2004
The cuts keep coming at WWE
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
Add yet another four names to the list of releases this week, bringing the total up to a shocking ten WWE stars who no longer have jobs. Husband and wife Jazz and Rodney Mack as well as FBI member Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli and Rico are gone from the company.
The decimation of the RAW Woman’s division is the big story coming out of these releases. The promotion is now left with Trish Stratus and Molly Holly as the only heel females against Stacy Kiebler, Victoria and Lita. Diva search winner Christy and runner up Carmella are still with the company as well, but don’t wrestle. With the release of Gail Kim and Jazz, two of the better female wrestlers on the roster, it could be a sign that the Woman’s division is on its last legs.
Jazz was popular in ECW’s final days and made her WWE debut at Survivor Series 2001 in a six-woman match for the vacant Woman’s belt, which Trish Stratus won. Her feuds with Stratus helped Trish to improve and also resulted in more respect from the fans for Stratus as the matches were some of the better woman’s bouts in recent memory.
Jazz’s husband Rodney Mack was barely a blip on the radar. Originally called Red Dog, he debuted as a side kick to John Cena before moving over to RAW. He was briefly managed by Teddy Long and used mostly as enhancement talent.
The release of Stamboli is a big loss for the WWE. The former WCW star is incredibly agile and strong with a great look and charisma. He was popular with fans in part due to his willingness to meet fans outside of arena’s and wait until everyone had autographs and pictures. Stamboli was brutally misused and could have been a major star in the company had he been on TV and given something to do.
Rico was a long time OVW roster member before finally being called up in 2002 as Chuck and Billy's "Stylist." The former American Gladiators winner was 37 when he joined WWE but still had a great build and was a talented wrestler. After being dumped by Chuck and Billy at their gay wedding, he formed Three Minute Warning with Rosie and Jamal. When Jamal was released Rico was caught in purgatory until forming a moderately successful love triangle tag team with Charlie Haas and Miss Jackie. The two held the tag titles this year before Rico was injured, however he recently returned to television saving Jackie from a Kidman shooting star press. Rico was another popular wrestler in part due to his approachability at events and friendliness to fans.
These cuts make a total of 34 people who have left the company in 2004.