Well, the "imminent releases" were spread out over the course of a year it seems and now we've come full circle. WWE went on cord-cutting mode today and got rid of some talent. Let's break them down:
No surprises here. She's been used only on Superstars, house shows, and as a jobber since she returned to WWE. What I find funny is how every time someone says something on Twitter and then uses the phrase "don't believe everything you read on the dirt sheets, they make things up", it ends up being true a week or so later. Gail eliminated herself from the battle royal on Raw very quickly and lazily and was called out on it by people on Twitter. She said that no, she wasn't trying to get fired. Well what happens 2-3 days later? I don't get why people don't just tell the fans what's up or at the very least, why they don't stop flat out denying things that are clearly true. I've got no problem with Gail, and while I think she's overrated I do think she wasn't given a fair chance, but all in all, this loss is no loss to me. She wasn't showing up on TV before, so now that will just continue. At least she quit instead of being fired.
Melina's release is one that I'm not fond of. I've always been a fan of her in the divas division. There's lots of talk that she had/has attitude problems and that probably is the reason that she's gone, as if Mickie James wasn't even exempt from that, then Melina wouldn't be either. It seems as though this release wasn't planned ahead of time on her part (like Gail's) because Melina had been tweeting about coming up for a tour and then being pulled from it. My main concern here is how this reflects on John Morrison. Does this put him in a foul mood and somehow end up derailing his push? Does this allow him to focus more on himself so that he climbs higher on the ladder? Did they release Melina as punishment to him or to get rid of a distraction? Time will tell but I hope it's nothing negative to him. I don't think Melina will find her way back to WWE any time soon, and honestly, I'd like to see her not wrestle anywhere else and spend this time focusing on a possible family or something. I don't know her personally, so that sounds weird coming from someone like me, but this blog's about my opinions so there you have it.
Kozlov and I have a kind of weird history when it comes to my viewpoint on him. When he first came, I thought it was interesting but that he sucked. Then when they pushed him so hard, I HATED him and could not stand it. I've said from very early on that he should be released and clearly, I was wrong time and time again when it would come to the rounds of firings. However, when he turned face and started tagging with Santino, I started to like the guy. He wasn't as boring in the ring, he had more character, and the two of them made a good tag team. Once Zack Ryder teamed up with Santino, a flash ran through my head that this was now the sign that he was going to be released. Lo and behold, this time, it rings true, and now that it's come, I'm not a huge fan of it. I thought that they might have a multi-team match for the tag titles at Night of Champions and that Santino and Kozlov would be involved in that. Now, it might be Ryder/Santino. I never was the biggest fan of Kozlov, but it's a shame that once I started liking him, he gets released, instead of the other way around.
Chris Masters just challenged Zack Ryder for the Internet Championship on his most recent video, so I doubt that this was something that was a foregone conclusion. Chris talked about his release and said that he's remaining optimistic and that he thinks he was one of the best in-ring performers in the company recently. While I can't agree or disagree, as I don't watch Superstars (c'mon, give me a reason why I should) I have heard good things about his performance on it. Still, Masters was someone that I've been assuming would be released for some time now since his return as he was never given a solid push. Once they gave him the generic babyface rock music, I knew it was a downhill slope. Masters does have something to offer still, as he's not too old, so I'd like to see him maybe go to TNA if they're interested in him, even though he wouldn't be a world champion there either.
DAVID HART SMITH
This was a done deal months ago, basically. Once he stopped showing up on TV entirely (as in, he wasn't even jobbing on Superstars) and once everyone started talking about how he was getting involved in MMA training and the like, it just seemed as if there was no chance that he would stay in the company for much longer. I'm surprised it took this long, actually.
*UPDATE (8/9/2011): Lucky Cannon, along with DeSean Bishop and potentially several others from FCW, have been released. No surprises when it comes to FCW guys getting cut, nor Cannon.