November 19, 2010
Pre-winter cleanup sees six releases from WWE
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
WWE made adjustments to their roster today, trimming the crew down by four Superstars and two Divas.
Word began leaking on the web early in the afternoon on Friday, and at 2:30 ET, the Fed officially announced via Twitter and WWE.com that the wrestlers released are Shad Gaspard, Luke Gallows, Vance Archer and Caylen Croft and WWE Divas Tiffany and Jillian Hall.
None of the released superstars had been on Raw or Smackdown in recent weeks, save for Hall.
Jillian Hall, real name Jillian Fletcher, came to WWE through their developmental system in OVW. Originally known on the indie scene as Macaela Mercedes, Hall would debut in WWE in 2005 alongside MNM as their publicist. She would later move on to work with JBL, all the while sporting a growth on the side of her face (later eaten by The Boogeyman.
Hall would transition into a well-established gimmick of being a wannabe pop singer. Jillian not only sang her own music and covered other artists in the ring, but would also release several Christmas songs on the web. Her career was highlighted by a single Divas title run, which lasted less than one day.
Shad Gaspard first caught the eye of WWE's scouts during Tough Enough's second season. Though he was disqualified from the competition in 2002 for failing a physical, he was invited to train in OVW. He would spend four years in the developmental territory before coming to WWE as a member of Cryme Tyme alongside JTG in 2006. The tandem became popular in WWE, despite not capturing any Tag Team gold. The tandem split in 2010. with Shad turning on his partner. Shad had most recently begun working as a heel but would not spend a long time on the main roster before being sent down to Florida Championship Wrestling.
Luke Gallows, a.k.a. Drew Hankinson, was in his third gimmick with WWE at the time of release. Originally, he was brought in as the "fake" Kane, adorned in the original gear including his mask. After the gimmick ran for a couple months, Hankinson returned to WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling. He was re-packaged as Festus, alongside partner Jesse, in a duo reminiscent of Of Mice and Men. As a tandem, Jesse and Festus became popular babyfaces, but were unable to claim WWE gold.
In 2009, Hankinson was again re-packaged, this time as Luke Gallows, and was recruited to join CM Punk's Straight Edge Society. Gallows remained alongside Punk until earlier this year, when the SES was broken up.
Tiffany (Taryn Terrell) was a recruit from the 2007 Raw Diva Search. She came to ECW in 2008 as the Assistant General Manager to Teddy Long. She would later become the official GM of the brand. Once ECW was dissolved, Tiffany came to Smackdown and began competing in the Women's Division. Terrell, the real-life wife of Drew McIntyre, had recently been suspended by WWE.
Archer had previously been known by his real name, Lance Hoyt, in TNA. Signed by WWE in 2009, Archer debuted in WWE in 2009, appearing on ECW programming. He had most recently formed a tag team with Curt Hawkins, which separated in October. Archer had appeared earlier this month against fellow departee Luke Gallows on Superstars.
Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more information on the WWE roster.