In a move that seemed to come from out of left field, the WWE released Tyler Reks on Wednesday. Reks was part of a tag team with Curt Hawkins, and while the pairing didn't receive a ton of television time, they did have somewhat of a cult following.
According to WrestlingInc.com, the WWE granted Reks his release because he requested it. He is a new father and wanted to spend time with his family, which the WWE travel schedule obviously doesn't allow much time for. I'm glad Reks was released for the right reasons, but what does his departure mean for Hawkins?
Hawkins is extremely talented in the ring and can hold his own on the mic as well, but it seems like he has been held back for quite some time. Hawkins and Reks were a solid team that deserved more exposure than they ultimately received, but Hawkins is probably better off now than he was before.
The fact of the matter is that the tag-team division is a mess and the writers aren't committed to it, so Hawkins and Reks weren't going to ascend much higher than they did. It seems like the Prime Time Players and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are the only teams that exist in the collective minds of the WWE brass, so Hawkins and Reks were fighting a losing battle.
Now that Hawkins is flying solo, he has several options. I just hope that he doesn't maintain jobber status and ultimately continue to be a sacrificial lamb to guys like Ryback and Brodus Clay. Hawkins is simply better than that and deserves a chance to shine. Whatever the case, I feel like a program with Zack Ryder would push Hawkins in the right direction.
Hawkins and Ryder had great success as a tag team and even became Tag Team Champions, so they have a history together. A feud between them would be great since they're both extremely underrated in terms of their respective wrestling skills and personalities. Perhaps they wouldn't be given a pay-per-view match, but it would be a start.
Once that feud ends, I would like to see them team back up out of mutual respect. I wouldn't have been in favor of this a few months ago since Ryder was paving his own way as a singles wrestler, but all of that momentum was halted for some unknown reason. Ryder is in need of a boost in his own right and a reprisal of his team with Hawkins could be just what the doctor ordered.
I know that I said the tag-team division is in rough shape, but a guy like Ryder could thrive since he gets a crowd reaction. I feel like the only reason why Kofi and Truth still have belts is because they are both fairly popular with the fans. Therefore, Ryder and Hawkins could possibly swoop in and win them if Kofi and Truth drop them to a heel team.
While Reks' release may have barely registered on the radar for many fans, it truly could cause a shakeup in the WWE. I realize that the writers could just as easily disregard Hawkins, but I'm hopeful that they'll realize his talent and put him in a position to succeed. As much as I did like his team with Reks, there was no avenue to relevance.
Hawkins needs some help if he is going to climb the next rung of the ladder and Ryder may be the guy to do it. I'll certainly miss Reks since I thought he had a good look, was solid in the ring and had some personality, but at the same time I'm very optimistic about what Reks' departure could mean for Hawkins in the future.