In a world where superstar managers are few and far between, Abraham Washington was on his way to becoming wrestling's Jimmy Graham.
Jimmy Graham is the superstar tight end who plays for the New Orleans Saints. He is one of the few NFL tight ends worthy of early-round consideration in fantasy football drafts, as his value is strengthened by the perceived thinness at his position.
Abraham Washington could have been that guy in the WWE. When it comes to wrestling managers, Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman are the best at their position. Managers aren't as frequent in today's WWE as they once were; therefore, the respective worth of Guerrero and Heyman skyrockets.
Each are constantly infused in top storylines and high-profile TV segments. Each is trusted to carry angles with their gifts of gab and star power. For talented managers, WWE is a feast, and right now Guerrero and Heyman are well fed.
Abraham Washington was being groomed to join that elite fraternity. His charisma was unquestionable. Bolstered by a strong stage presence, silky smooth delivery and snide urban humor, Washington was developed in ECW through his talk show The Abraham Washington Show.
As unwatchable as the show was in ECW, Washington's potential as a mouthpiece was evident. Once ECW folded, Washington—now touted as an agent and owner of his own All World Promotions outfit—joined up with upstart tag team The Prime Time Players. His sideline microphone antics, while obnoxious, fit his boisterous carnival-barking persona.
The tag team division was surging, and the trio of Washington and The Prime Time Players shined just as bright.
With strong momentum and that new-gimmick smell still fresh in the air, the only thing stopping Abraham Washington was Abraham Washington.
And stop himself he did.
Washington made not one but two gaffes that would lead to his abrupt release.
The first slip-up should have been his last. During a singles match between Prime Time Player Titus O'Neil and Kofi Kingston, Washington screamed into his portable microphone:
Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant in a hotel in Colorado. He's unstoppable!
The analogy made reference to the very serious sexual-assault allegations faced by the Lakers Superstar in 2003. Not only was the joke outdated, it was out of line.
Lead announcer Michael Cole apologized on-air for the ill-advised quip, but shockingly AW stuck around. That is, until he tweeted (h/t The Connecticut Post):
#AWPromotion$ says vote for Linda McMahon!!! The PTP'z support Linda and so should you!
That would be all she wrote for the now-controversial onetime rising star. The Prime Time Players would slowly sink into irrelevance for several months following AW's departure. To this day, the WWE Tag Team Championships have eluded them.
Now known as Brian Jossie, AW has sunk into his own world of obscurity. His brand is now on life support, surviving solely through a feisty Twitter account.
There was room in the WWE for an AW, a dynamic manager who could talk casual viewers into a building. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before AW talked himself right out of that room.
#BTNW: Mr. Kennedy | Goldberg-Hogan | Championship Scramble | Jeff Hardy | Vampiro | WCW Invasion | Buff Bagwell | Michael Cole | Summer of Punk | Lionheart Chris Jericho | 2.21.11 | Abraham Washington (AW)
This summer series examines talents, moments and matches that crumbled under the weight of their immense potential.