You Did WHAT?! 10 Stupid Future WWE Endeavors
The WWE has fired dozens, if not hundreds, of employees over the past several years.
Some of them you don't notice at all, such as developmental wrestlers you've never heard of.
Others don't surprise you because they weren't very good to begin with: curtain jerkers or jobbers that never offered much to the roster.
Others shock you, because even though they would never be main-event level, they were long-tenured mid-carders who added slightly to the program.
But then there are those that make your mouth drop in shock.
Wrestlers who, in no way, should have been released or pushed to the point of having to ask to be released.
Superstar releases that make you think that someone left cans of paint thinner open at WWE headquarters, and nobody bothered to not breathe it.
This list is filled with performers that fit that criteria.
Wrestlers who never should have been released, but either found themselves unemployed suddenly or forced their way out of the WWE.
Let's have a look.
10. Bryan Danielson*
This gets an asterisk because the WWE was only made to realize by the fans that firing Bryan Danielson was an incredibly, mind-blowingly stupid idea. And that the reason they fired him was not going to go quietly into the night.
So, they buckled and they brought him back.
But, what they fired him for was so idiotic, he just had to make the top 10.
If you have no idea what they fired Bryan Danielson for—well, one, I'm surprised you're here—but the clue is in the video. If you watched it, do you know what it was?
If you have no clue, that's because it's at 3:32 on the clip, and it blends in so innocuously with the violence going on all around the ring, you would never know that someone would actually be so petty as to pick out that moment to try and terminate someone's career and dreams.
That's right, they tried firing the best technical wrestler they had had on the roster since Kurt Angle walked out on them, by saying he went overboard by choking Justin Roberts with a tie.
(I personally think Justin Roberts should be choked with a tie and then replaced by Jamie Keyes. Not only is Keyes a better ring announcer, she's just too hot to be believed. But guess who else the WWE future endeavored?
They're just so all-around bright.)
Back to the point: the WWE had to do an about-face on this when the WWE fans would not sit quietly about Daniel Bryan.
They would chant his name throughout WWE-televised events and pay-per-views. The IWC was enraged. The WWE headquarters was ransacked. (That, or, I just threw a quarter I found on the ground at it in disgust. I did go and pick up the quarter, afterwards.)
So, the fan base of the WWE forced them to make a smart decision and rehire Daniel Bryan and re-debut him at SummerSlam.
But because WWE is just naturally stupid these days, they have absolutely no idea how to properly use the American Dragon, so, it really doesn't matter.
Hey, WWE, if you're reading this:
The American Dragon is best utilized as a snarky submission specialist who says whatever he wants in a condescending "I'm better than you, period" manner. And because he generally is better than the opponent he's facing on any given night, he makes them tap out. Which really pisses people off.
Just thought you should know. Since you've clearly never seen the man before and think he's a happy-go-lucky chick magnet who would lose to the likes of Sin Cara.
Get properly introduced.
9. Serena Deeb and Katie Lea Burchill
Initially, this was just going to be a slide about Serena Deeb, but when I saw her wrestling with Katie Lea Burchill, or "Winter" in TNA, I had to dedicate this slide to both women.
Both are beautiful, talented ladies who can actually wrestle and cut a promo, which in the WWE means:
It happened for Serena Deeb in August of last year. When she was fired for, wait for it—breaking her kayfabe character by being seen drinking and partying in public.
Yes, she was fired for real, for not pretending.
WWE, thank God you keep these guys as contractors. Because if you made them full-time employees? You would go broke in a year from the wrongful termination lawsuits you'd be fighting and losing.
So, she wouldn't let you control her life when not working for you. That's understandable. And you wanted her to keep up a fake image in a real world, where every person over the age of 10 understands that wrestling is scripted entertainment. That's not as understandable, but somewhat understandable.
You wanted to protect the image of the character, even if everyone already knows it's not real. And you wanted to apply that standard to only two people in your entire company, her and Luke Gallows. (Punk is actually straight edge, so he doesn't count.) Everybody else is free to drink and club as they choose when off the clock.
But you couldn't de-push her as punishment?
Could you not simply take her off of the SES and push her down the card?
No, you just fire someone as talented as Serena, and slap on her that "bad attitude" tag that suddenly seems to emerge almost every time they fire a diva these days. Ridiculous.
Serena now works in various independent organizations like Shimmer and Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH in Japan.
And if you're wondering how someone like Serena Deeb could be considered talented enough to work in places like that? That's because you're a WWE fan who only saw her wrestle once before she was fired. She's actually good, even better than the video shows.
And then there's the oh-so vivacious, exotic, personal favorite of mine, Katie Lea Burchill (real name: Katarina Waters).
From the beginning, the WWE never used Katie Lea (or Paul Burchill) correctly.
First, they debuted her and Paul as an incestuous brother-sister tandem. Because nothing screams "hot" like a girl who's having sex with her brother, am I right, fellas?
The entire time she was on Raw, they never gave her a single meaningful win.
Within six months, she and Paul were shipped down to the "C Show," ECW. And if you tuned in to ECW and saw Katie Lea or Paul winning a match? Then congratulations! You're insane.
The height of the WWE's glorious ideas for them came when Paul Burchill became the only man in the entire world to not know that Gregory Helms was the Hurricane. But he wasn't completely stupid, because he had his suspicions that Helms was.
He was so sure, he put his career on the line to prove that he was right about what surely every fan he came across told him, that Gregory Helms was indeed the Hurricane.
And then he lost.
So, he and Katie were taken off of TV and repackaged as the Ripper and the Beautiful Nightmare. Then Paul Heyman was killed, just so he could roll over in his grave, and then ECW exploded.
Unfortunately, Only in My Mind...
... because ECW kept going and had the Ripper face the Hurricane to get a contract to wrestle in ECW, and, shockingly, again he lost. Shortly after, Paul would be fired. Which at this point, was doing him a favor.
Two months later, Katie would herself be future endeavored in a sweep that claimed two others that will appear on this list.
Fortunately, Katarina landed in TNA and became a gothic, blood-drinking lesbian vampire and teamed with Angelina Love, who's discomfort with the whole thing shines through in every scene.
That's as stupid as what they were doing with her in the WWE.
Well, at least they gave her the title two weeks ago.
Oh, she lost it already to Mickie James, huh? Same woman that was burying her in the WWE.
Now, I'm not trying to say that things don't go well for gorgeous, exotic European women with strong jaws and a dark look.
I'm just saying that, Aksana, you probably should hurry up and marry an American, because I don't think that work visa is going to be valid for too long.
Don't tell my girlfriend, but I'm available if you need me.
8. Chris Masters
There was a time where I would say this about Chris Masters:
"He sucks. He doesn't know how to wrestle, he has no charisma, he can't work the mic, he looks lost in the ring sometimes, and he's just some bodybuilder guy trying to be a wrestler. And the only reason he even has a job is because he appeals to Vince McMahon physically. It's guys like this that are ruining the in-ring product, and if the WWE doesn't stop this crap, the ratings are going to bottom out at an abysmal 3.5 on Raw."
That was in 2005. And the WWE was putting Chris in the main event and giving him title shots on Raw and at pay-per-views.
There was a time where I would say this about Chris Masters:
"Chris Masters has really improved himself. He knows how to actually work a match now. Since he's stopped juicing, he's much crisper in the ring, and the years he spent in Japan are really showing. He's even gotten better on the microphone.That promo he cut for a challenge at Zach Ryder's Internet Championship was very well done and charismatic.
He's looking good, and it's this kind of Chris Masters that should get a big push. Hopefully, they'll get him off this show no one watches, fighting Tyler Reks, whom no one cares about, and they'll put him on Raw or SmackDown. Hopefully SmackDown, because there's a slightly lesser chance that he'll be buried by Randy Orton than he will be by John Cena. Because John buries guys like someone told him he's the Undertaker, and every match he wrestles is a buried-alive match."
That was in 2011. And the WWE cut him a few days later.
That's not just smart.
That's comedic brilliance.
7. Mickie James
I don't listen to country music. I hate it.
But I have heard enough of it to know that this woman, singing this song for the world, poses absolutely no threat to TNA's plans for her wrestling career.
I've tried to find out how many albums Mickie has sold, and I can't find any info.
What I did find is that she hit up her fans for $5,000 to make a second album.
And I find that if an artist has to hit up her fans for her second album, especially at the low price of $5,000, said artist probably hasn't made enough from her first album (and oddly enough, not even from wrestling) to afford to make her second album.
When the only thing you can find when researching album sales are sparsely populated message boards talking about how it's horrible and the art cover for her first album was bad, there's a pretty solid chance she's not going to make it in the music industry.
I mean, she's already a celebrity and can't get a real record company to even take a chance on her.
There is no threat here to a professional wrestling company's interests when it concerns Mickie James music.
But the WWE fired her over it anyway, in the same sweep that caught Katie Lea Burchill. That and the fact that she overslept once on a tour, apparently. She should've invested in an alarm clock.
That she was one of the most popular divas they had left, and one who could actually wrestle, didn't matter.
I swear, it's stuff like this that makes me think that the WWE is somehow trying to help TNA. Either Vince has some sort of a deal with them, or he is trying to give them the tools to become competitive and revive the Monday Night Wars.
If that's the case, the WWE shouldn't give them talent.
They should give them brains.
But, like my pop once told me, "Son, you can't give what you don't have."
6. Montel Vontavious Porter
Personally, I was never a big fan of MVP when he was in the WWE.
Yes, he had a great deal of charisma and microphone ability; I enjoyed hearing him on the mic. I also thought he had a great look, and his ring attire is still some of the best I've seen, in my own opinion. (although everybody else thought he looked like a Power Ranger.) But I thought it suited his gimmick, as it looked a lot like personalized "Under Armour" gear.
But I hated his matches. I thought he wasn't all that great in the ring, and watching him wrestle bored me. I especially thought his finisher, "The Playmaker," was about as impactful as Wade Barrett's "Wasteland" (which is a truly horrible finisher).
Nevertheless, I realized that despite my own personal feelings on the man, he was a great talent on the mic and had the ability to get people to care about him and what he was doing.
I didn't feel he would be out of place at the top of the WWE. He would just be a guy I didn't like, who happened to be at the top, like Jon Cina (whose name I misspelled out of spite).
He seemed like he was on his way to the top, and then suddenly, his push just stopped.
He went from being a double champion—being the United States champion for almost a year, and the Tag Team champion with Matt Hardy, who he was also feuding with at the time—to dropping the tag titles to the Miz and the U.S. title to Hardy.
And then the WWE just proceeded to ruthlessly bury the man.
I thought maybe he had been caught sleeping with Stephanie McMahon or something. I thought he would be forever banned from the Hall of Fame. He couldn't win a single match for five straight months. (And you thought Morrison losing three in his return was rough?) And when they let him finally win, it was with interference from Triple H.
MVP never really had that "elite athlete" feel after that. They gave him the U.S. title again, they had him feud with the Miz, they moved him to Raw, they even had him in a tag team with Mark Henry. And, as we all know, tagging with Mark Henry is key in getting people to care about you.
Shockingly, none of it worked, and before you know it, they gave up on him, used him as a tool to try and get Dolph Ziggler over, and he was gone. He asked them to release him, and they did.
MVP is now a star in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He's their first ever IWGP Intercontinental champion, a regular winner who even made Hiroshi Tanahashi tap out. That's big, as he's the current five-time world heavyweight champion and was ranked the No. 7 wrestler in the world in 2009 by PWI 500.
(Wait, what? They ranked the Miz No. 1 this year? Really? Really? REALLY? Really...? Guess those rankings are meaningless, then. Scratch that last part.)
As I said, I never much cared for MVP myself, but it's ironic, because as he picks up the Puroresu style, he'll actually become more entertaining in the ring. But for the WWE to have a talent that people cared about, that some even mused could be at the top of the card with the right push, and just flush it down the drain for no apparent reason, and release him?
This is one of those times that John Laurinaitis probably needs to future endeavor himself.
5. Mr. Kennedy
You know, there used to be a time that if a talented wrestler made a fool of himself, the company would punish him.
If he breaks kayfabe with his friends on camera in Madison Square Garden? You de-push him and have him wrestle in hogpit matches with the Godwinns.
If he botches a move and hurts someone? You put him in a match with Hardcore Holly or JBL and tell them to work stiff with the kid.
If he happens to get busted in a steroid ring? You suspend him for 30 days without pay.
Well, for some reason, the WWE decided that the punishment that fit the crime for Ken Anderson was execution.
Now, Ken Anderson is a polarizing guy. A lot of people say he can be a great world champion; others say he can't.
While I thought TNA would prove that one way or another, they are TNA, so they gave him the belt, immediately turned him heel, put him in Immortal and then stripped him of the belt, and kicked him out of Immortal and turned him face, in the span of a month.
"We are TNA".
Don't know if you should say that so proudly.
However, if there is a wrestler who half of the world thinks would make a great world champion, and he's only been around your company for a few years? You don't fire him.
Good for you, WWE, that your competition sucks. Because giving Kennedy to a competent competitor with the finances to compete? Would probably bite you in the butt in a way Vince McMahon wouldn't want to film for a segment on Raw.
To hear it from Ken, he says that Randy Orton complained that he botched a move in a match with him, and he got him fired.
Now, if that's true, and the WWE is taking human resource advice from Randy Orton, then they have bigger problems than I thought. I'm sure Triple H would've gotten Chris Jericho fired early in his WWF career if he could've. But, the WWE wasn't being run by chimps on smack back then, like they apparently are now.
For whatever reason, whether they were embarrassed by him being involved in the steroid scandal after he said he would never risk his career by taking steroids, or he botched with Orton, you do not fire a guy with the ability of Mr. Anderson.
Because Mr. Anderson, if he is ever used properly in his career, will be the kind of superstar that you can build a company around.
Well, at least half of us think so, anyway.
Now, there are a thousand other videos I could've used for Kaval. Any of his matches as Low-Ki or Senshi would be better than this match. And using a clip where Kaval loses isn't the best compliment to a "Why did you fire Senshi, you swamp-waddling inbreeds?" slide.
But I wanted to use this clip to prove a point:
Brandon Silvestry is so good, he can take a green rookie with only 18 months of experience in a wrestling ring, and put on a 5-star match, lose in that match, and make the other guy look like an eight-year veteran in the process.
The problem here is exactly what CM Punk said to Vince McMahon not too long ago:
"Why did they deserve to be fired? Because you don't know what these people want? Because you don't know what makes a superstar in 2011, Vince?"
"They" were Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows, but Kaval should be included.
The WWE has this superiority complex that they are quickly losing the right to have.
This idea that only they know what makes a superstar. And that guys like Kaval and Bryan Danielson aren't superstars in their opinion.
In their minds, they were already nice to us fans when they brought Daniel Bryan back, because we weren't buying that lame excuse for why they fired him. They thought they could get away with it, until fans started chanting his name on live TV.
But the WWE will be damned (can I say that in an article?) if they let the fans force two of these little indie punks on their roster. Especially after Kaval went taboo and mentioned TNA on NXT.
"So, you think you're some kind of super-slick ninja-wrestler, 'Low-Ki'? We're going to force Lay-Cool on you.
So, you think that because those internet 'dweebs' voted you the winner or NXT, that we're going to support you?
No. You lose in your debut.
You lose in your title shot match you won on NXT.
You team up with MVP and you lose with him.
He quit? Okay. Back to singles wrestling and—guess what?—you're going to lose again."
"Music to our ears."
And the WWE wonders why TNA Impact! is catching up to SmackDown in the ratings?
Here's a clue, WWE, they aren't rising up to you. You're falling down to them.
And if you think that the little bump you're getting from these "Supershows" is going to help, when you keep crapping on guys the fans like, but don't fit your idea of what a superstar should be?
You're going to be sadly mistaken.
Ten years ago, you averaged in the mid 4.0s in the ratings on SmackDown.
Now you're at 2.0.
Do the math.
In 10 years, Smackdown won't even be around.
"Well, at least we'll have Raw, punk."
10 years ago, Raw's average rating was 4.6.
Now it's in the low 3.0s.
10 years from now, Raw will be in the low 1.0's.
Do we need to take a look at your stock, too?
"Um... no... we're fine, thanks."
You sure? Because I would hate to point out that five years ago it was doing $17 a share, and now it's at $9. I would hate to point out that it was doing $14 a share during the peak of the financial crisis. But now it's at $9 a share.
"We said we we're fine."
Oh, alright... if you say so. Cause I'm just saying your stock was almost 60 percent more valuable immediately after the Benoi—
Okay, okay, my bad, my bad... sorry, geez...
(By the way, TWNP News has all of the past rating information on their info site, and Google Finance has the history of the stock prices. Just so you don't think I'm pulling numbers out of my head.)
3. Shelton Benjamin
Before reading this slide, please watch the video to your left.
Yeah, he was pretty good, wasn't he?
They fired him.
Remember that the next time you watch a Mark Henry match.
Why did they fire him?
They said he was lazy.
Remember that the next time you watch a Great Khali match.
Also, they said he can't talk on the mic.
Remember that the next time you hear Rey Mysterio cut a promo.
WWE cut him in the same sweep that claimed Mickie James and Katie Lea Burchill.
2. Elijah Burke
Now, if a man can get the TNA audience to pop without the use of clearly canned cheers from the truck in the back, you know you have something special on your hands.
Even if you've never watched an episode of TNA, and even if you have no idea who "A.J." is, even if you think a guy talking about buying an astronaut suit because he's going to take you to the "outer limits" is silly (I do), can you name 10 guys in the WWE who have more charisma and mic skills than you just heard?
(I think I just opened myself up for about four lists in the comment section, all of which will contain some combination of CM Punk, John Cena and Randy Orton.)
Now, Elijah Burke isn't exactly Shelton Benjamin in the wrestling department. But, he's not David Otunga, either.
But I can basically pick a guy off the roster, say Wade Barrett for example. I can put him in a feud with the Pope, and just because of his mic skills, that feud will be better than anything going on in the WWE right now, outside of CM Punk.
And if the WWE keeps screwing that one up, it won't be long before Pope's feud will be better than that one, too.
Ranjin Singh: "I have punk as gone for good."
Brian Gewirtz: "Bring him back in two weeks."
Singh: "Okay, he's back, and I got him feuding Cena, the fans love it."
Gewirtz: "Let's torpedo that awesome feud and have him go with Kevin Nash."
Singh: "Kevin Nash? The 52-year-old Kevin Nash?"
Gewirtz: "One in the same!"
Ranjin Singh: "Great idea!"
Gewirtz: "Glad you like it, I announced it already!"
Singh: "Oh, Kevin can't pass a physical."
Gewirtz: "Well, probably should've had him take a physical first before announcing that, huh?"
Gewirtz: "What do we do?"
Singh: "Triple H?"
(Who are you people? TNA?!)
Not exactly a shock that rocket scientists like this couldn't figure out anything, anything at all, for a guy who can make talking about NASA sound interesting.
Future Endeavored: November 10, 2008. He hadn't been on TV since May.
Even if TNA doesn't renew Pope's contract, should he really come back to the WWE?
Isn't that just trying to decide between dumb and dumber?
When I first saw this clip towards the finish of NXT season two, I was genuinely excited about the possibilities.
It's rare when someone like Aloisia drops into your lap.
This was like God just dropped a pile of gold into Vince McMahon's lap. But because Vince McMahon mocks God, he MOCKS GOD (little Joey Styles reference there), he threw her away.
The only downside to Aloisia is that she was extremely green. I mean, she actually made the Bella Twins look like Kurt Angle and Bret Hart had sex changes and formed a tag team. (That would be one ugly tag team, man.)
But, had the WWE kept her under wraps, and allowed William Regal or Dean Malenko to train her how to wrestle?
The WWE would have had a gold mine on their hands. And I don't mean her ruling the women's division. I mean her being a regular competitor against the men. I mean, never wrestling women at all.
But a woman, standing taller than John Cena, Randy Orton or Triple H, coming in with the skills of a student of William Regal? (Who trained Bryan Danielson, by the way.) The attention would never stop coming.
Especially when the WWE put the World Title around her waist. News outlets would've reported on that world wide. She'd have been a bigger star than Chyna. She'd have been a beacon for feminists everywhere.
And because she was 6'9", she would've had a bit of that "freak show" appeal that would have drawn the curious masses. (Though I'm not calling her a "freak" because she's tall.)
Instead, the WWE released her.
Because she had fetishist pictures of herself posing as an Amazon dominatrix floating around on the web.
Chyna, Sable, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Maria, Ashley Massaro and Candice Michelle.
All seven of them posed buck-naked for Playboy for millions of people to see. Some of them during the "PG" era of the WWE.
And then WWE turns around and fires Aloisia for non-nude, obscure, amazon, fetish photos.
I think someone, somewhere, should slap someone in the back of the head in the WWE. Because that move was just head-slappingly stupid.
Not to mention hypocritical and the express definition of a double standard in the WWE.
So, out goes what could've possibly been the greatest, most dominant woman to ever step foot in the WWE, because this company will just not stand for risque pictures on the Internet. If you're going to foray into semi-porn, you're either going to do it with Vince and Hef, or you're not going to do it all.
Sounds more like pimping than sound business decisions.
Every single wrestler, developmental talent, referee, stagehand, corporate employee, security guard, fake security guard, concession stand worker, arena janitor and reader of this article that was fired before the Great Khali.
I'm sorry, I truly am.