November 18, 2008
WWE releases Armando Estrada
Perhaps giving new meaning to the "Survivor Series" event, WWE has announced yet another release from their roster -- former ECW GM and manager of Umaga, Armando Estrada.
"World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of ECW Superstar Armando Estrada as of Nov. 18, 2008. WWE wishes him the best in all future endeavors," reads the mention of the parting of ways on WWE.com.
After spending time in the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion, Armando Alejandro Estrada (real name Hazem Ali) shot to prominence as the manager of Umaga in April 2006.
In an interview with SLAM! Wrestling in February 2007, he admitted that he was a team player, willing to do what he was asked to do -- but that he also wanted to wrestle.
"I do what I'm told," he said. "For now, they just want me to be the mouthpiece. I have absolutely no problem with that. We're challenging for the title this week. What a great position to be in, possibly representing as WWE champion. If I'm called upon to get in the ring and get my hands dirty, I'm always ready, I've always got the boots ready to go."
His fancy duds, cigars and rolling "R-R-Rs" during his interviews brought him more cheers than was deemed acceptable by WWE writing staff, and he was demoted to a role in ECW.
As the figurehead General Manager on the ECW program, he was integral to many storylines, yet not a major focus of the program. He would eventually put his position on the line in a bout against Colin Delaney, who was trying to land an ECW contract. Estrada's loss resulted in his disappearance from TV, and now, from WWE altogether.