Ricky Ortiz the latest WWE release
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
With Brian Kendrick's release from WWE still fresh in fan's minds, the Fed announced its latest cut on Saturday. The victim -- former XFLer Ricky Ortiz.
"WWE has come to terms on the release of SmackDown Superstar Ricky Ortiz as of today, Aug. 8, 2009. We wish Ricky the best in all future endeavors."
Ortiz, real name Richard Young, first gained notoriety on the gridiron, spending time in the NFL (on the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad in 1999), Canadian Football League (2000 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders) and Arena Football League (2000-01 and 2002-2004). Ortiz also played in the Vince McMahon-owned-and-operated XFL for the Orlando Rage in 2001.
After his football career ended, Ortiz made the transfer over to wrestling and gained experience in Ohio Valley Wrestling, starting in 2006. He would make his WWE debut two years later during ECW's July 1 broadcast, first under the moniker Atlas Ortiz. His name changed to Ricky the following week. Ortiz would enjoy a five-month winning streak to kick off his WWE career, besting several different opponents, before being defeated by fellow newcomer Jack Swagger.
Following this run, Ortiz would continue on ECW intermittently competing for the Tuesday night brand. In April, however, Ortiz's fate would change as he was transferred to Smackdown in the 2009 WWE Draft. Ortiz would make sporadic appearances on Friday nights, including this past week's episode, in which he was quickly defeated by The Great Khali.
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