SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Tue, November 9, 2004



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

WWE Survivor Series


House of Hardcore VII


Signmania VIII


Beulah McGillicutty


Big Event 7 fan fest


Raw in Buffalo


SHIMMER tapings







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





SLAM! Speaks: WWE roster cuts
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist


As we all know by now, WWE made a significant amount of roster cuts last week.

Gail Kim, Rico, Jazz, Rodney Mack, Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, Test, A-Train, Billy Gunn and Nidia were cut last week in one of the largest lay-off weeks in company history. The cuts surprised many observers, both by the personalities and number that were released. The buzz in some circles is that the cuts aren't even over yet.

With this in mind, the SLAM! staff has gathered for an emergency meeting, and offered their opinions as to why the cuts have happened. Here's what we thought.

Bob Kapur
As far as motivation for the cuts, that's easy: money. Why keep incurring an expense for wrestlers that aren't paying back dividends in terms of house show attendance, PPV buys or merchandise? Sure, one might say it's unfair to sacrifice the talent, not for their failings, but rather those of the writers who don't know how to effectively use them. Unfortunately, that's business.

Yves Leroux
As is every legitimate business venture throughout the world today, so is Sport Entertainment and WWE is no different. The bottom line: $'s.

To have talent waiting in the wings being paid to encourage the active rosters doesn't make any of the shareholders happy.

My take is that it was strictly a business decision as the year comes to an end. Actually, I am surprised it didn't happen before. On a business standpoint, to keep employees standing by for possible future use is not smart business, and to make it like a valid decision, Vince McMahon will have to let even more wrestlers go before the year is over. I would say another six or seven is probably what will happen by the year's end.

Those firings can only bring positive news to the WWE, especially if it involves bookers with terrible ideas.

Corey David Lacroix
The inspiration for this decision is simple... desperation. WWE doesn't know how to turn business around. Spare me the, "oh but the business is in a slump" argument; as Eric Bischoff once said, "If business is in a slump, it's self inflicted."

End result, non-utilized talent laid off, which will go a long way in appeasing Wall Street in showing WWE made a profit for the fiscal year, helped by a reduction/elimination in wages. With the money the McMahons make alone they could have easily saved some jobs, but since when has morality out paced profits in corporate America?

Jon Waldman
It would be easy for me to say that the latest round of cuts are simply a financial matter, but I think it's a bit deeper than that.

As has been reported, WWE is looking to possibly switch networks when their contract with Viacom runs out. Currently, WWE runs five hours of programming on Spike TV (Raw - 2, Velocity - 1, Heat - 1, Experience - 1). It's safe to say that there are very few networks that would give that much time to WWE, especially with very low ratings for some shows. If you look at the names on the list, most have been primarily working on either Velocity or Heat over the past couple years (the exceptions being Gail Kim and Rico). So these cuts really were to one segment of the WWE population, and there will be other secondary show mainstays (like Stevie Richards, Shannon Moore and Rosie) that will be cut as WWE re-adjusts their programming hours.

Jason Clevett
I had very mixed emotions while having the unfortunate job of updating who was released last week. Part of me truly felt for the guys who were being released, as with the state of the wrestling business they don’t have a great deal of options to earn a income. I do truly hope they saved money over the course of their careers.

That said, business is business and in this case, some of the cuts were necessary; however, the release of Gail Kim, Jazz and Rico makes no sense to me, as Jazz and Kim had lots to offer the women’s division and Rico was well received by the live crowds and had a great angle running with Miss Jackie and Charlie Haas.

I wouldn’t have an issue with talent releases if it meant that WWE was going to be signing new talent from the indy scene who can fill the void with exciting matches and some fresh characters. Unfortunately, I suspect instead WWE will be bringing in more tall muscular guys who either aren’t given the chance to show what they can do, or aren’t very good to begin with.

This could be a positive business move, but somehow I don’t think so.

Greg Oliver
If it means fresh faces on the WWE shows, then any cuts are good, despite the obvious personal repercussions to the people involved. It is times like this when the territory system makes sense -- if someone isn't cutting it in your territory, send them somewhere else. Perhaps they'll catch on there and you can make a mint with them later.

Now it's your turn. Why do you think WWE made so many roster cuts this past week? Do you think there will be more? E-mail us and share your thoughts with the wrestling world.