SLAM! Readers Speak: WWE roster cuts
SLAM! Wrestling Readers
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.
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).
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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-- compiled by Jon Waldman