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SLAM! Readers Speak: WWE roster cuts
By SLAM! Wrestling Readers


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist


The recent round of WWE roster cuts struck a nerve with the SLAM! staff, and judging by our mailbag, it hit a nerve with our readers.

Reader opinion varied considerably as to who should have and should not have been cut, but the over-riding theme was that this was a financial cutback. Check out how the readers responded.

Cory Ennis

The reason I think WWE made all those cuts from roster last week is because Vincent K. McMahon is nothing but a Donald Trump wannabe, and he wants all the money in the world he can get his grubby hands on; so he let go these wrestlers from the roster to stop losing money. My guess who is let go next would be Stacy Keibler, for the simple fact she is with Test (Andrew Martin).

diva77sindel

I think there's more to it than paycuts. I think it's as simple as Triple H decided to inflict his power and voted to fire these guys and Stephanie backed him up, simple as that. Let's face it - these are some of the little guys that HHH probabaly had the most beef with: Billy Gunn, Test and not to mention poor Nidia. Stephanie told her right after appearing on SmackDown that she needed to lose a few pounds.

At any rate, it's sad that they let some of them go. But some like Gail Kim, Rodney Mack and Jazz really didn't belong. I think they need to focus on the talent that has been there instead of focusing so much on bringing in so many newbies. I can live without Snitzky, Christy, Carmella, Maria, Simon Dean, Hassan and even Akio, Mark Henry and Garrison Cade. Really, WWE needs a reality check. New isn't always fresher. They are overloading us with too many new faces. I would much rather have a blast from the past than these newbies.

I think futhermore, Lilian Garcia will be the next to go, and if that is the case I will start a petition, because Christy absolutely sucks!

Roy Anderson

There isn't enough room for all the wrestlers on Raw or Smackdow, and I for one don't watch Heat or Velocity. McMahon should drop those shows and bring back WCW Nitro in their place. That way there would be more room for the talent that's going unused.

Brad Hudson

In my opinion, WWE should have done some house cleaning long ago. The roster has been far too heavy ever since McMahon absorbed WCW. These wrestlers were underutilized and some of the least engaging of the entire roster. Maybe they'll have better luck with TNA.

Out of all the people who were fired, the only one I cannot quite understand is Rico. I was at the Ottawa house show in October and Rico was one of the standouts. He did not get the biggest pop of the night, but the crowd was obviously entertained. Rico even managed to get Heidenreich over, which is really saying something. Rico really knows how to get a live crowd worked up and out of the whole Ottawa show he is the only one my kids still talk about.

On the other hand, the release of Gail Kim has been a long time coming. I am sure Gail is talented, just not at wrestling. The other divas were probably tired of having to carry this glorified jobber.

Some suggestions for the WWE's next round of layoffs: Luthor Reigns, JBL, Scotty2Hotty, Nunzio, Chris Nowinski, Coach, Mark Henry and Tyson Tomko. HHH and HBK will never be laid off, but perhaps a good long vacation could be arranged until fans actually want to see them again.

Ian Hamilton

WWE's decision to release some of the talent last week was baffling to say the least. Okay, the likes of Test, Billy Gunn and A-Train have done nothing as of late - but I cannot understand why they let go Jazz, Gail Kim and Rico.

Jazz and Gail were a part of the Women's Division which has always worked on a two-woman rotation (I'm struggling to remember when the women's title picture had more than one contender at a time); while Rico actually had a gimmick that was over. The releases of Mack, Stamboli and Palumbo weren't surprising - they were dead weight to begin with, and no amount of repackaging could have saved them.

WWE's pretty much down to their bare bones - and they will struggle if they get any injuries. Of course, new guys will be called up from OVW to replace them. But if they're all like Tyson Tomko, I have to ask, was it worth getting rid of the guys who were barely over, and replacing them with muscleheads who don't have a cat in hell's chance of being popular?

(Editor's note: As long as Vince is in charge, there will always be a place for the muscleheads.)

James King

When facing an industry downturn and decreasing revenues, traditional business practice dictates a retrenchment strategy. It's easy to argue that the McMahons pay themselves too much and that the creative team dropped the ball by underutilizing certain performers. However, since something needed to be done to satisfy shareholders and shakeup a stagnant product, I think the recent cuts were more than justified. What better way to improve profitability than to cut costs by eliminating non-revenue generating resources?

As long as WWE continues to flounder, expect more of the same.

Jose Gomez

The cuts absolutely made perfect sense.

Gail Kim was a bad cut, but her entire push in WWE was badly done. The Matrix thing had been done a million times and that was her angle as she entered. Immediately entering she wins WWE women's championship. What happened to paying your dues and earning belts? From then, she got injured and then wasn't the same. And her submission move that she kept using to rack up wins? A simple sidewalk slam could have broken that move up.

Again making less sense, adios to Gail Kim. Rico, Jazz, Rodney Mack, Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, Test, A-Train, Billy Gunn and Nidia were simply people who didn't generate any interest. Billy was fine in DX but on his own he cannot push anything. He's a victim of his own success. Jazz was a good talent, but she wasn't very appealing at all. Rico, Rodney Mack, Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo and A-Train had never generated a slight bit of interest at all and long needed to go. They were boring and very predictable. Test will always be a Kevin Nash wannabe. Nidia just never lived up to her tough enough fame unlike Maven who's living up to it.

Hopefully WWE will get rid of more worthless talents like Rosie, Steve Richards, The Hurricane, Shannon Moore, Dawn Marie, Rene Dupree, Akio, Nunzio, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Al Snow. Let's bring in some fresh talent because these losers generate no excitement and aren't worth it. If anything, WWE needs to raid some of NWA-TNA's X divison and other talent soon.

Craig Veltman

I think WWE cut Johnny Stamboli, Rodney Mack, Jazz and A-Train because they were hardly used. Rico, Test, Chuck Palumbo and Billy Gunn were salary dumps. They were paid big bucks and not getting the pops that they should have. Nobody really cared too much about Nidia and her talents were questionable at best. Batista and Luther Reigns could sell a move better than her. Gail Kim is a surprise. Could be some backstage politics there. Lets get some fresh faces in there, some new story lines and more creativity.

Steve Clark

I teach my economics class that competition is good for the industry. It raises the bar for competing companies and the benefits go to the consumers, in this case, wrestling fans. When WCW and WWF(E) were going head to head, the story-lines were hot and the competition for viewership and talent was intense.

Now, with WWE as the only major player left and TNA a slowly emerging power, the seeds are there for a strong competitor in the market place. WWE released this talent for two reasons. First and foremost, for the most part, they were not strong players on their current roster and it was a way to save money. Secondly, I'm sure that part of the WWE mentality is that they hope that the talent catches on with TNA and boost the popularity in that company so they, in part, can be a player in the market. If that happens, and that is a big if, then WWE has someone they can raise the bar with rather than competing with itself, which is what it has been done since it bought out WCW.

A viable competitor with hot characters and storylines are something that the WWE can work against in terms of story lines and then snapping up emerging talent.

Mark Gaughan

With regards to the WWE cuts, I can't see them as anything but a good thing.

The only contribution of Rodney Mack, Chuck Palumbo, A-Train, Billy Gunn and Nidia to the WWE was ensuring that everyone had a chance for a bathroom break. They didn't draw, and drawing money in the WWE is what its all about.

Jazz and Gail Kim did have something to offer WWE in the Women's Division, but then again its very saturated with the likes of Stratus, Victoria, Molly Holly on the wrestling side, with Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie providing the diva-side on Smackdown!

What ceases to amaze me however, is that Johnny Stamboli has been cut. For a big man he had good agility, could work the mic and carried the WWE version of the FBI. This smacks of incompetence when WWE continues to employ the likes of Scott Taylor and his ten-year old gimmick, Stevie Richards and Mark Henry -- ten-year contract, eh Vince ;+) ...


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