July 6, 2005
WWE cuts eight
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
As expected, the axe fell for eight World Wrestling Entertainment superstars today as the Stamford, CT-based company announced through its website that Spike Dudley, Kevin "Mordecai" Fertig, Maven, Mark Jindrak, Shannon Moore, James "Akio" Yun, David "Gangrel" Heath and Billy Kidman had been released.
Some of the releases can be labeled as surprises. Jindrak was traded less than a week ago to Raw from Smackdown, while Spike Dudley was very effective in his role as Cruiserweight Champion and leader of the Dudley Boyz. Spike most recently appeared at the ECW One Night Stand, helping light a table on fire in the main event.
Heath was working in Ohio Valley Wrestling but never returned to the main roster aside from a brief appearance against the Undertaker in 2004. Fertig's WWE run as Mordecai was unsuccessful, and had recently been back in OVW. Maven, who was a co-winner of the the inaugural Tough Enough, recently teamed with Simon Dean, prior to Dean's move to Smackdown in a Draft Lottery trade.
The biggest loss hits the WWE Cruiserweight Division, which lost Spike, Akio, Moore and Kidman. Akio had recently been working on Velocity with Cruiserweight Champion Paul London. Moore, a former WCW Cruiserweight standout, has been mostly enhancement talent since serving as a lackey to Matt Hardy. Kidman joined WWE when the company purchased World Championship Wrestling, and has held the Cruiserweight title on several occasions as well as a run as tag champions last fall with London. He is married to Torrie Wilson and had been talking about retiring recently due to cumulated injuries.
Last fall, more then 11 WWE stars were cut in one week. It is unknown if other talent will be leaving the company in the near future.
Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more on this developing story.