WWE: The Curious Case of Ken Anderson

No NameContributor IIIApril 22, 2011

Ken Anderson should be a major player in WWE right now.

But he isn't.

As many of you know, Ken Anderson was released from his WWE in contract in May 2009.

Mr. Kennedy, as Anderson was known in WWE, had the potential to be a megastar in WWE. When Mr. Kennedy burst on the scene in 2005, he was a new and engaging character, and by 2007 he had beaten multiple former world champions, including a stellar programme with The Undertaker.

At WrestleMania 23 Mr. Kennedy won the Money in the Bank ladder match. It was then announced that he would be cashing in the contract at WrestleMania XXIV. Beginning the build towards the main event of WrestleMania a year in advance is a bold move and illustrates the hopes WWE had for Mr. Kennedy. This is further exemplified by the fact that WWE did not revisit this move until this year with megastars The Rock and John Cena.

However, in April 2007 Mr. Kennedy's career began to unravel, despite the fact he seemed destined to become a fixture at the top of the card.

You wouldn't think that being slated to become the next World Heavyweight Champion would be the catalyst to Kennedy's downfall. But when Mr. Kennedy was set to capture the title from The Undertaker when the Deadman went down injured, a two-year series of unfortunate events began.

Before he could claim his first World Championship, Kennedy suffered a triceps injury. He was originally set to miss eight months of action. However, this was misdiagnosed and Kennedy was back in a number of weeks, sans Money in the Bank briefcase.

Kennedy was then drafted to Raw to a highly positive fan reaction. Whilst any rational fan may think he would pick up where he left off prior to his injury, Kennedy found himself jobbing to Super Crazy and receiving backstage batterings from Vince McMahon. The boss was now perpetually unhappy with Kennedy's performances.

It gets worse.

Kennedy was heavily rumoured to be a shoe-in to become Vince McMahon's illegitimate son. This would have certainly made Kennedy a focal point of Monday Night Raw.

Furthermore, following the Chris Benoit tragedy in June 2007, Kennedy found himself doing the media rounds, standing up for his employer and citing the wellness policy for getting him off steroids.

This would have been fine if Ken Anderson was not suspended weeks later as one of the numerous Superstars caught up in the Signature Pharmacy scandal. The fact that the drugs were for therapeutic reasons is irrelevant.

Kennedy found himself off TV again, and his ascent to the top suffered more turbulence. He would not become the long-last McMahon, with this honour going to Hornswoggle. Such an odd choice leaves one thinking that Kennedy must have been the original choice in this storyline.

But he came back again, finding himself loosely associated with the WWE Title picture.

Then he injured the top guy, John Cena.

At this point, Ken Anderson may as well of been doing an English accent, dancing and proclaiming himself D.J. Gabriel.

Whilst he inherited the backstage heat, he wasn't necessarily at fault for the injury. After all, it was Cena delivering the move. Either way, the WWE's premier politicians were not comfortable with Kennedy's in-ring style as it was supposedly not "fluid" enough.

Moving into 2008 Mr. Kennedy was in a no-man's land of sorts. Despite PPV outings with HBK and Ric Flair, Mr. Kennedy's 2007 hot streak was now a distant memory.

He played a supporting role in the WrestleMania XXIV Money in the Bank match (a match the mark within me thinks he should have won) and was then off TV, again, whilst filming the critically-acclaimed cinematic masterpiece Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia.

When he returned, Mr. Kennedy turned face by crashing King Regal's (how did that work out?) coronation ceremony. He was generating strong crowd reactions and was a face with a cocky edge; not your generic cookie-cutter baby face.

He then had a tag match with Triple H.

He then found his push in a trash can.

I wonder what happened there.

Luckily, Mr. Kennedy was drafted to SmackDown in the 2008 draft. Would he now claim his spot at the top at the place where he truly shone?


He got injured.

He was out for 10 months.

Upon his return he was drafted back to Raw. He put himself in the title mix from the beginning. He then delivered a back drop to Randy Orton.

The rest, as they say, was history.

Days after his return, Ken Anderson was wished the best in his future endeavours.

Why was he released? No one really knows. There were numerous factors. The top stars like Triple H, Cena and HBK were not fans of his. He was labeled as injury prone. He caused controversy with the steroid scandal of 2007 and Randy Orton went ballistic following the "botched" backdrop.

The point is, Mr. Kennedy should be a top star in the WWE. He has all the characteristics to be a WWE Champion: Solid wrestling skills, great promos, he is a strong heel and a strong face and he had a Steve Austin endorsement.

When you watch the inconsistency of WWE programming of 2011 it is evident that they could benefit from having Ken Anderson on their roster.

Granted, he is doing well in TNA. If I watch iMpact it is to watch Mr. Anderson and I expect that many of you mirror this sentiment. But it isn't the same. Firstly, I think his performances have deteriorated since his debut last year. He is over the top and verging on annoying at times.

Whilst he shoots on WWE trying to control him, I think the character benefited from such creative control most of the time. Furthermore, TNA is no where near WWE's level.

It is at times like these, when the dirt sheets report on the WWE's top talent crisis, that you ponder what could have been.

Not only could Mr. Kennedy have been a star in WWE, he should have been.

Read more from Mat Terry here, and follow him on Twitter @MatJamesTerry


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