Imagine yourself, a WWE superstar in an airport, at home, or anywhere for that matter, and you get a phone call stating you have been released from your contract. Several reactions may happen: anger, frustration, anxiety, or even relief. Those are the emotions may superstars, or should I say independent contractors, have been feeling as of late with the recent downsizing of the talent roster. In my belief, this has occurred for several reasons.
First, the WWE is clearing its roster with superstars that the creative team can not do anything with and are making headway for the developmental talent in Florida. This is not the creative team’s fault, but rather the wrestler’s who are failing to make the best of their characters and opportunities. Recently, ECW has been the haven for up and coming wrestlers like Ricky Ortiz, Shawn Spears, and Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne). Since its inception in 1994, ECW has always been the breeding ground for WWE wrestlers. I believe WWE will now use ECW as a show where new talent can show what they have. It will also prove a very exciting time for ECW and hopefully will drive the ratings up on Tuesday nights. I am dying to see how some of these young guys and girls will start interacting and the storylines it will bring. More importantly you have talent like Joe Hennig, son of the late Mr. Perfect, and Stampede Wrestling’s own T.J. Wilson, a prodigy and product of the Hart’s Dungeon Wrestling School in Calgary, in the mix and can only bring promise to WWE’s roster
Second, more and more we see talent coming over from TNA. WWE has taken wrestlers pushed aside in TNA’s organization and have been making them superstars. Talent like Mickie James, CM Punk, Paul London, and MVP were stars that TNA failed to recognize and lost sight of. WWE saw their potential, ran with them, and are now reaping all the benefits. Now WWE has signed Ron Killings and Gail Kim. Two pioneers of the Men and Women’s division have made the jump. Fact: Huge loss for TNA and a huge gain for the WWE. WWE has proven their success in creating stars built from the ground up and are only continuing this with their recent actions. TNA is repeating the failures, in turn, of WCW: Investing in talent already made famous by another organization.
In closing, releasing talent is always controversial. Although, superstars released somehow always find their way back to the WWE. People who don’t find their way back are the ones with an axe to grind. However, people have to realize that the wrestling industry is a business and the WWE has to do what is good for business. Young talent call-ups and big jumps from other organizations prove to be a ratings boost and a recipe for exciting television. I can’t wait to see what these combinations will bring in the upcoming year.