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   Fri, February 26, 2010



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WWE releases two wrestlers, a diva and a ref


Gregory Helms at Fan Axxess at WrestleMania 25. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea


It's a dark Friday in the world of World Wrestling Entertainment. The company announced today the release of three of its wrestlers -- Paul Burchill, Maria Kanellis, and Gregory Helms, who also worked as The Hurricane, as well as referee Scott Armstrong.

In its typical fashion, the announcement came on WWE.com with the traditional best wishes:

"WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Paul Burchill as of today February 26, 2010. We wish Paul Burchill the best in all future endeavors."

"WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Shane Helms (Hurricane) as of today February 26, 2010. We wish Shane Helms (Hurricane) the best in all future endeavors."

"WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Diva Maria as of today February 26, 2010. We wish Maria the best in all future endeavors."

Maria was quick to respond to WWE's story in a posting via her Twitter account.

"Alright guys let's talk. I did not ask for my release. I was released," the 2009 Diva of the Year said.

Kanellis expressed mixed emotions as she moves on to the next stage of her life. "I am still going to kick ass in other areas!! I am excited about the future! But I am sad about never getting the Championship. I am sad about not getting the chance to go to Wrestlemania again," she stated. Passion is my Motivation! Time to Sing! Time to work for Charity! Time to Dance! Time to be Alive again!"

Both Helms and Burchill had been a part of the just-finished ECW brand.

Burchill had floundered for years, with WWE never quite giving him a solid push, with or without his storyline sister Katie Lea Burchill.

For a time, as The Hurricane, Helms was one of the most popular figures in WWE, but a serious neck injury and surgery in May 2007 derailed the run. Upon his return to in-ring action in December 2008, without the costume, he was involved in a few storylines, on Smackdown and ECW, but never took off again. Recently, he was arrested in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky along with Chris Jericho for public intoxication; both were released upon paying the bail bond.

WHAT YOU THINK
Which release comes as a bigger surprise today?
Gregory Helms - 22%
Paul Burchill - 8%
Neither - 70%
In a recent interview, Kanellis -- who had been on the Smackdown brand -- had said that her lifespan in wrestling wasn't going to be that long. She had recently started a recording career as well.

Referee Scott Armstrong was used regularly on the Smackdown and ECW programs. He is the son of "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, and brother to wrestlers B.G. James and Brad Armstrong.

RELATED LINKS

  • Gregory Helms bio
  • Paul Burchill bio
  • Maria Kanellis story archive

    -- Compiled by SLAM! Wrestling staff, including Greg Oliver and Jon Waldman