June 19, 2009
Axe swings for Candice Michelle, Sim Snuka
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling

As Spring comes to a close, the WWE roster cleaner was active again today as Sim Snuka and Candice Michelle were handed their pink slips.

In separate postings on wwe.com, the fed stated that, "World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of SmackDown Superstar Candice Michelle as of today, June 19, 2009. WWE wishes Candice the best in all future endeavors," and, "World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstar Sim Snuka as of today, June 19, 2009. WWE wishes Sim the best in all future endeavors."

Perhaps the more surprising of the two releases was Candice Michelle, who had a strong measure of popularity with fans despite being injured for the better part of the last couple years. Candice, real name Candice Michelle Beckman-Ehrlich, joined WWE following the 2004 Raw Diva Search. She would at first make her home on Raw, mainly competing in bikini contests and the like, but would move in 2005 to Smackdown, joining up with Torrie Wilson. The two would later move to Raw and bring Victoria into their stable, renaming themselves the Ladies in Pink (aka Vince's Devils). During this era, Candice would pose for Playboy and eventually ignite a feud with now former stablemate Wilson.

As Candice continued on Raw, her in-ring work would become a larger feature on the show and she would eventually enter the Women's Title picture. Candice would rest the title away from Melina and in 2007 would enter into a feud with Beth Phoenix, during which time she suffered a severe neck injury, the first of what would be a series of times on the shelf.

Candice was moved back to Smackdown in the 2009 WWE Draft but never wrestled on the Friday night brand's shows.

Snuka, the son of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka, had been a member of the Raw roster most recently, but had not appeared on WWE TV in quite some time. His last appearance was during the formative days of Legacy, when he and the previously fired Manu were ex-communicated from the group during Randy Orton's whittling down of the group.

Snuka, real name James Reiher Jr., debuted in WWE after honing his skills in Ohio Valley Wrestling. At the time, he teamed with Domino and Cherry in a 50s greaser throwback trio and went under the name Deuce. After having an impressive run in OVW, the group was brought to Smackdown and began making their presence felt on the Friday night brand, almost immediately entering into a feud with then WWE Tag Team champs Brian Kendrick and Paul London. Deuce and Domino would defeat London and Kendrick for the titles, ending a near year-long reign for the Ring of Honour alumns.

The two would later drop their belts to Matt Hardy and MVP and it wouldn't be long before the two split. Soon, Deuce was headed to Raw in the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft and was re-made into the Sim Snuka character. Snuka would, unfortunately, not have many matches on Raw despite his tie to the emerging Legacy group.

Snuka's last WWE appearance was actually in disguise, as he posed as a cameraman during the WrestleMania 25 match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, and failed to catch 'Taker during a dangerous Tope Suicida spot during the bout.

At one point, Snuka had been rumoured to be part of the announcing team for the returning WWE Superstars, but this did not happen.

Snuka and Michelle join Umaga and Mr. Kennedy on the list of recent WWE releases.

Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more WWE roster moves and information.


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