Each week, I analyze the career of a past or present WWE Superstar that saw their career go from heights never before reached to an all-time low for a variety of reasons. This week's edition will focus on the controversial career of Tyson Kidd over the course of the last three years.
In February 2009, Tyson Kidd made his WWE debut on the ECW brand alongside Natalya, defeating a local athlete. He sported a unique haircut and was billed as one of the last competitors to be trained in the Hart Dungeon, which made him stand out from the start.
He remained undefeated for a number of months before suffering his first singles loss at the hands of Evan Bourne following a distraction from his arch-rival Finlay. Once Kidd and Finlay squared off one-on-one, the re-debuting DH Smith interrupted the bout and pounded the Irishman, turning heel in the process.
Now going under the name of David Hart Smith, he joined Kidd and Natalya in forming the Hart Trilogy, which was later named the Hart Dynasty. The trio ran rampant in the Land of Extreme before being traded to SmackDown in late June.
Upon their arrival on the blue brand, they entered a feud with Cryme Tyme, in which the two tandems would trade victories each week. Despite their numerous victories, they were unable to become the No. 1 contenders to the Unified Tag Team Championships during the course of the year.
However, the Hart Dynasty took part in Team SmackDown at that year's Bragging Rights pay-per-view, where they emerged victorious against Team Raw. On the Christmas edition of SmackDown, they contended for the tag team titles against D-Generation X, but came up short.
Despite their loss, they looked extremely strong in defeat following a great matchup against the seasoned veterans.
At the start of 2010, they briefly feuded with the duo of The Great Khali and Matt Hardy that ultimately lead nowhere. Neither Smith nor Kidd competed in that year's Royal Rumble, as both noted on Twitter that they were disappointed over the fact they were excluded from the annual bout.
They made their in-ring WrestleMania debut in the WreslteMania 26 dark match prior to the event, losing a multi-man battle royal to Yoshi Tatsu. Nonetheless, they appeared later in evening alongside their fellow Hart family members during Bret Hart's No Holds Barred match with Vince McMahon, performing a Hart Attack to McMahon outside the ring, and therefore turning face.
In the subsequent weeks, they appeared alongside Bret Hart on various editions of Raw and targeted the Miz and Big Show for their Unified Tag Team titles. At Extreme Rules, they defeated the dynamic duo in a Tag Team Gauntlet Match in the opening contest to earn themselves a title opportunity the following night on Raw.
With the Hitman at ringside, the Hart Dynasty defeated ShoMiz on the April 26 edition of Raw to win the Unified Tag Team Championships for the first time in their respective careers. The following day, all three members of the stable were sent packing to Monday nights a part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft, meaning the straps changed shows as well.
Over the next few months, they successfully retained their titles at the Over the Limit and Money in the Bank pay-per-views against the likes of the Miz and Chris Jericho and the Usos, respectively.
They were on the verge of joining Team WWE to fight Nexus at SummerSlam, but were ambushed by the black and yellow stable days before the event.
They were awarded a pair of new belts one night removed from SummerSlam by Bret Hart himself and were officially proclaimed the WWE Tag Team Champions, but were sporadically used after that. Very little emphasis was put on the tag team division for the remainder of the year, which caused the Hart Dynasty to drop their titles in an unadvertised Tag Team Turmoil Match to Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre at Night of Champions.
They failed the regain the titles on more than one occasion and lost almost every match they were involved in from that point forward. Due to their constant losing, tension was teased between Smith and Kidd, while Natalya attempted to play peacemaker.
On the Old School edition of Raw in mid-November, Kidd ultimately turned heel on Smith by not tagging in during their match against Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel. The following week, Kidd debuted new entrance music and a new aggressive attitude during his match against John Morrison, but was defeated by the Shaman of Sexy.
Smith and Kidd briefly feuded for the remainder of 2010, and although they traded victories, no rubber match was scheduled. It was also during this time that Kidd debuted a new bodyguard who went by the name of Jackson Andrews, but he was scrapped from Kidd's act no more than a month later.
Nonetheless, Kidd received something of a push when he began to be featured on Raw weekly, and even pinned then-United States Champion Daniel Bryan on an edition of WWE Superstars. Despite his upset victory, he later lost to the American Dragon in quick fashion on Raw a few weeks later.
At the Slammy Awards, Kidd presented an award alongside Kelly Kelly, whom he bashed repeatedly for being a "stupid blonde." This segment proved that Kidd had some skill on the mic, so it still baffles me as to why they don't hand him a mic more often on television.
Sadly, his heel turn went to complete waste heading into 2011, as he was back to competing on Superstars on a regular basis. His on-screen relationship with Natalya came to an end after the Hart Dynasty dissolved, which lead to the daughter of Jim Neidhart locking Kidd in a Sharpshooter during a mixed tag team match in March.
When you're tapping out to your ex-girlfriend, you know you and your career are in trouble.
He was named as one of the Pros for the newest season of NXT, where he mentored Lucky Cannon. Regardless of Cannon's elimination a short while later, Kidd continued to compete on the program against a variety of opponents.
In April, Kidd was shipped back to SmackDown via the 2011 WWE Supplemental Draft. He made his official debut for the blue brand on the May 6 edition of SmackDown, but came up short against Sin Cara.
WWE officials must have thought Kidd's mic skills needed some work, so they assigned him a number of managers starting in May. The first was Michael P.S. Hayes, who turned on Kidd a week later following a loss to Yoshi Tatsu.
The question at the start of every edition of WWE Superstars during that time was "who will be managing Kidd this week?" The names included Vickie Guerrero, JTG, Matt Striker and even the returning Armando Estrada. But none of them stuck, which left Kidd on his own once again.
During his time on NXT: Redemption, he rivaled Tatsu and mocked him for worshiping an action figure. Despite the silly storyline, the matches were excellent and were some of the best non-televised bouts all year.
Thankfully, he finally shaved the last bit of hair he had left on his head by mid-2011, since he could at least now be taken seriously as a competitor. He made sporadic appearances on SmackDown throughout the remainder of the year, but mostly jobbed to the likes of Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara and Kofi Kinston.
By 2012, Kidd underwent a face turn that was made obvious by his in-ring mannerisms and pandering to the crowd. He began to win more matches as time went on and was allowed more time to work on his mic skills during promos on NXT.
Days before WrestleMania 28, he lost a match to Justin Gabriel, but the two showed mutual respect for one another afterward, thus signaling a partnership. They teamed together a mere three days later on the WrestleMania 28 pre-show, losing a Triple Threat Tag Team title match to Primo and Epico.
During the contest, Gabriel badly injured his wrist following a botched maneuver, which meant he was sidelined indefinitely. They reunited two months later, where the duo has since scored various victories.
They participated in a Fatal 4 Way featuring three other tandems, but were unsuccessful. On the June 30 edition of SmackDown, Kidd shockingly qualified for the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match after upsetting Jack Swagger, which would signal his biggest victory to date.
It was widely rumored that Kidd was in for a push heading in to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, which was evident when he quickly defeated Tensai on Raw three days later. The WWE Universe began to take notice of Kidd and his amazing abilities, which was long overdue.
At the event, Kidd was unable to retrieve the briefcase, but still had an extremely impressive showing. Despite that, his push came to an abrupt halt and was no longer featured on WWE programming as prominently.
Sure, he still appears on Raw and SmackDown from time to time, but it's usually only to put someone else over. You'd think WWE would continue to push Kidd towards one of the mid-card titles following his performance at Money in the Bank, but sadly, that wasn't the case.
Thankfully, his newly named International Airstrike partnership with Gabriel has earned him a spot in the WWE Tag Team title tournament, but it's doubtful they'll emerge victorious. Kidd has already paid his dues in the tag division, so I'd much rather see him contending for either the Intercontinental or United States Championship in the foreseeable future.
While International Airstrike is an enjoyable tag team, they might not be winning gold anytime soon. Kidd is long overdue for a push in singles competition, and his tremendous wrestling ability can prove that.
I proposed the idea of having Kidd wrestle under the same moniker the Miz did a few years back, when he once named himself The Calgary Kid. Seeing that Kidd is billed from Calgary, it'd be the perfect fit, and might help rejuvenate his career.
Despite his in-ring name, Tyson is no "kid." At the age of 32, there's not much time left for him to be used to his full potential, so I surely hope it is better utilized sooner rather than later.
With this being my 19th edition of WWE Pushed to Punished, only more edition remains until the series takes yet another brief hiatus. Be sure to drop your thoughts on Tyson Kidd below and any other Superstars you'd like to see me analyze for next week's ending edition.