A Look at the Recently Released Superstars: Forgotten Already?
Hello Buzzers, I'm back.
Three months ago, WWE released several superstars and divas in what was known as the spring cleaning.
After learning the news, many fans went buzzing around feeling upset for some of the superstars released.
In the following days, I read dozens of articles talking about the end of an era and the biggest disappointment. But honestly speaking, I felt that some people were just making a very big deal out of a normal thing that could always happen.
Prior to those releases, we had few other superstars released too. We also had other releases in the past few weeks, including the infamous release of Bryan Danielson that was also received as shocking news for many IWC members.
By now, I really think that most of those superstars are nearly forgotten and never missed. But still, I'm sure some story lines were just ruined because of certain releases.
In the following slides, we'll have a look at the released superstars and divas.
I'll just try to evaluate each superstar prior to his/her release. This will help us have a batter idea how effective that release was.
The only surprise for me was the fact that this superstar was still here.
No disrespect to him, but prior to the release we rarely saw him, and many people almost thought he's not here anymore.
His last appearance was in the WM 26 battle royal (dark match). This appearance came after being absent for more than one year. That's what he seemed to be doing every time, making an appearance after a relatively long absence.
In summary, this superstar spent 12 years with WWE, which is fairly considered as a long time. He had several gimmicks, but the most remembered were "Smackdown's number one announcer" and his late "Kung Fu Naki" gimmick.
His release wasn't a shock at all, and I'm sure nobody even remembers him by now.
Slam Master J (Jesse)
This wrestler made his debut as part of a tag team featuring him as Jesse with Festus (Luke Gallows). They had some successful matches but failed to win any tag title.
After their split, Festus returned with a new gimmick and joined a promising stable.
However, unlike his former partner, Jesse was unlucky with his Slam Master J gimmick. He seemed to be lost with no story lines to go with.
His release was nothing more than getting rid of unused properties.
Unfortunately for him, I'm sure he left no space and nobody remembers him by now, even after watching Luke Gallows.
Jimmy Wang Yang
This superstar had great technical skills.
But again, like many other superstars, he hasn't been used much in his final months. Furthermore, he had some drug issues which caused him a suspension.
In the final months prior to his release, he was making some brief appearances on Smackdown and Superstars.
Another release that won't be remembered for long. Maybe a cruiserweight section could have helped him and made him stay.
Mike Knox had the shape and strength. But he simply lacked a feud and a story line.
We remember his story lines with Kelly Kelly during her Kelly's Exposé angles. We also remember his early push at ECW before feuding with CM Punk and losing all matches against him.
Later, he was part of losing teams in several matches. His move to RAW was the best for him as he feuded with Rey Mysterio and even joined the Elimination Chamber match.
But like many other superstars, in his final months, he was jobbing to other wrestlers on Smackdown & Superstars, before he disappeared for months.
His release just came to remind us that he was still there. Other than this, he was already forgotten.
Even if some people felt that he was tough and promising, but we all know that WWE can't use all their superstars, so they just release some of them. That's the case of Mike Knox. Which again means that he hasn't left any space.
Yeah, I know that Charlie Haas wasn't part of the April 22 releases. But his release was announced this year on February 28. Prior to this date, he was absent for nearly three months.
We all remember this superstar when he was part of "the world's greatest tag team" with Shelton Benjamin. They were able to capture the WWE tag team championship. They sure had some good ring skills.
His last gimmick was simply imitating other wrestlers. Later, he made some brief appearances before being released.
We sure miss some special moments he had, but his release wasn't a surprise at all because it came after several months of his absence. Furthermore, lets face it, he wasn't very successful in singles competition as he didn't win any title.
Maria was released on February 26. Nobody saw this coming because she was part of a story line with Mickie James against Lay-Cool. She also began a relationship with Matt Hardy prior to her release. Add to this the fact that she was the winner of the Slammy Award for Diva of the Year.
Many people gave several reasons to her release. But it seems that it was due to what she said in an interview about her future with WWE and her singing career, or maybe due to her participation in the celebrity's apprentice.
She was fine with her dumb interviewer gimmick. She also had many other segments including her relation with Santino, the playboy story line, and numerous feuds with other divas.
She used to receive some good pops from the crowd, but I'm sure no one will miss her weak ring skills (like many divas). But still, many guys will miss her, and I wonder why? Maybe the photo can explain.
Katie Lea Burchill
Katie Lea Burchill was a perfect example of misused divas. This diva had good skills and she was two times women's champion at OVW.
She had a story line with Paul Burchill as her brother when she joined WWE. She spent most of her time at ECW where she had several feuds and matches, including tag team contests and women's title matches against Mickie James. However, she came up short to capturing the championship.
After this, she started jobbing to the Bella twins.
Later, she moved to RAW just to continue jobbing on this show, in addition to other jobbing duties in WWE Superstars.
Many people were sad to hear that she has been released. But lets face it, prior to her release she didn't have any legit storyline, and she seemed to be a normal diva who loses a lot and lacks any character.
I'm sure many people already forgot about her, and she didn't leave any space because she hasn't been used right in her last months. The reason which made her release a bit unsurprising.
This wrestler made several appearances in the past few years. But his only real and lengthy appearance began in 2008. He appeared with Katie Lea Burchill where they were on-screen siblings.
Though he is four times OVW heavyweight champion, he never won any title with WWE.
He had numerous feuds on RAW & ECW but he lost most of his matches. He still won some contests against Tommy Dreamer and Brian Kendrick. In addition to mixed tag team wins with his sister.
This guy looks powerful, but unfortunatley for him, he seems to be having no place with WWE. He had long losing streaks. His last feud was against Gregory Helms.
After the end of ECW, he was released, probably because WWE thought he has no place. I'm sure many people thought he deserved a better treatment.
That's another superstar who wasn't really used well, and who's probably forgotten by now.
Like Paul Burchill, he was a victim of the ECW's closure.
His most popular gimmick was the Hurricane. The biggest match of his career was against The Rock in 2003, where he was able to pin the people's champion after a distraction from Stonecold.
But I can fairly say that his Gregory Helms character was more successful in singles competition. He was able to win numerous matches and capture the cruiserweight title.
In his last two years, he returned with the Hurricane gimmick. He was close to capturing the US title but just came up short.
His last match was against Paul Burchill where he was the winner.
WWE released him from his contract after spending nine years with the company.
It's fair to say that he had some good moments with WWE, but of course they weren't the best moments. However, he showed some good ring skills.
I think many people are not really missing him right now, but whenever he's mentioned, the Hurricane gimmick would be the first thing to come to our mind.
Finally, after mentioning all those jobbers and misused wrestlers and how ineffective their releases were, we get to business and mention top superstars. Right?
Nope, you're simply mistaken!
Don't get me wrong, I know that Benjamin is one of the best athletic wrestlers when it comes to ring skills. But just tell me how many people are still talking about Shelton Benjamin and his release? Some members here just mention him from time to time as an athletic superstar who never received a push.
What are the good things you remember about him? They can be counted on one hand!
His paring with Charlie Haas as the "World's Greatest Tag Team," his impressing three winning streaks against Triple H, his eight months reign as the Intercontinental champion after beating Y2J and his other eight months reign as US champion after beating Matt Hardy.
Yes, those were great moments for him, but they are the only great moments.
We can also remember some memorable matches for him against Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Chris Benoit, and John Cena. But of course, despite his outstanding performance, he lost all those contests.
Other than the momma story line, he never had legit segments and story lines that could help him improve and shine in this promotion. He seemed to be lacking any mic skills. Furthermore, even with his great athleticism, he wasn't a charismatic character who receives huge pops.
I'm not trying to say that he didn't deserve a push, but WWE were only using him as an upper mid-card at first, and later as a mid-card and a jobber.
How many world title shots has he received in his career? Zero!!!
Yes, the closest moment for him to any world title was in a royal rumble match or in MIB match. He didn't even win the ECW championship, a title that was held by jobbers like Chavo Guerrero.
He called himself the golden standard, but in his final months, he was no more than a golden jobber. He nearly lost all his matches and the only matches he won were royal rumble and money in the bank qualifying matches just to make him part of those events.
He participated in every MIB match at Wrestlemania just to job to the others in those matches. Even in the last royal rumble match, he was great, but just for one minute!!!
What I'm trying to say is that his status was really awful before he left, and he was really misused. So why have a great superstar like him if he'd only be jobbing?
Many members here thought that he should have stayed. But why did you want him to stay? So you can watch him job to more wrestlers? Maybe to Hornswoggle?
It was better for him to get released rather then being an underrated superstar, unless you wanted him to continue jobbing for several more years before you realize that he won't get his deserved push.
Some people said that his release is an end of an era! What era? If you mean jobbing era then fine.
Finally, and to be honest, he never left any space after his release because WWE never helped him earn any remarkable spot.
Carlito was once a contender for the world title several years ago.
We all remember his unique Smackdown debut when he defeated John Cena for the US title. We also remember his other unique RAW debut when he ended Shelton Benjamin's reign as the Intercontinental championship.
But recently, he was no more than an ultimate jobber.
Though, he was paired again with his brother Primo, but Carlito violated the wellness program policy.
To be fair, WWE offered him rehabilitaion facility, but he refused. This led to his release two months ago.
Unfortunately for him, many people already forgot about him, maybe because his release was due to drugs issues.
And now I can say that this was one of the most shocking releases to the fans. This might be the only roster who is still mentioned till now, and who really left a big space in her division. Not to mention the "We want Mickie" chants by the crowd after her release.
Mickie James was in the women's title scene, she was in the midst of a feud and she was one of the few divas left who can actually wrestle. We all still remember her memorable matches against Trish Stratus and Lita.
But due to several issues like being late to the bus during WWE's European tour and her future singing career, she has been surprisingly released by WWE.
Prior to her release, Smackdown divas division was hundred times better than RAW's divison. We were able to watch relatively lengthy matches between her and McCool. James was in the women's title scene feuding with team Lay-Cool, specifically with Michelle McCool.
I have to admit that the story line was a bit humiliating for James, especially when she was mocked and called "Piggy" James.
Now, after her release, and after Beth Phoenix's injury, the divas division on Smackdown became similar to RAW with the same two minute matches because it lacked any top faces.
Even if some people may hate her, but that's a diva who really left a big gap after leaving and someone to be missed by many fans.
Till the divas division on SD improves, many people will wish she was never released.
However, let me be clear here. I just mentioned those points because that's what many people were saying.
For me, I'm sure that her release harmed the divas division, and I think she would have had some good feuds with Kelly Kelly as her partner.
But let's be realistic, WWE seems to be caring less for their divas. So if you ask me, the SD divas division was about to worsen even if Mickie was still there. I'm sure we would have seen the same repetitive matches and segments every week due to the low number of divas.
Releases may be coming any time and sometimes we should just deal with them normally because they're part of WWE.
The most shocking release for most fans was the release of Bryan Danielson AKA Daniel Bryan.
Though he started with a losing streak at NXT, but it was obvious that he was the most featured rookie among all the other NXT rookies.
After his elimination, he was placed in matches against Batista and his former mentor the Mizz. He really showed some great technical skills and was able to pin his pro.
Many people predicted a bright future for him. He seemed to be effective in the Nexus invasion, but unfortunately, during this angle, he strangled Justin Roberts with his own tie. This action was considered "too violent" by WWE, and they simply released him.
Nobody wanted to believe it, and many people thought that it was only kayfabe.
But after learning the real news and reasons behind the release, I felt that the IWC members were about to riot. All their hopes and predictions about this promising superstar were melting before their eyes.
If he hadn't been released, I'm sure he would have been a main character in the Nexus invasion and it would have definitely been different.
But to what extent? The Nexus angle has become boring week after week, given the fact that the whole angles were just hit and run.
But still, his character was distinctive and the fans were all chanting for him after his release.
However, I'll have to say it again, a release doesn't mean the end of the world, and we'll all continue watching WWE.
Maybe, by the end of the Nexus angle, many people will not miss him anymore. But I hope he returns one day.
Finally, I'll have to admit that this article might not be an interesting and entertaining show. But I only wrote it to remind you that we once had several superstars released.
I also wanted to point out to the fact that no matter how surprising a release might be, we'll always continue watching WWE and forget about the released superstar sooner or later.
As you noticed, most of those superstars are already forgotten, while others are on their way to be the same. I'm sure you miss HBK more than any other superstar here.
Whether it was for violent scenes, drug issues, bad discipline, or just spring cleaning, the releases will always occur in WWE.
We shouldn't make a big deal out of every release and consider it as the end of the world.
All said and done, all comments and opinions are welcome here. I'll be glad if you tell me who was considered as the most shocking release and who's release was an effective one.
P.S. : The lady in the photo is Savanna, the former ECW & NXT ring announcer who was also released several weeks ago.