Recent WWE Talent Releases - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Recent WWE Talent Releases - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Sunday, November 5, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Robert DeFelice, Andy Sahadeo and Ben Guest will be giving their opinions on the recent WWE talent cuts!

It isn't always sunshine and lollipops in WWE. Sometimes, people lose their jobs. Unfortunately, today, we'll be discussing the recent WWE future endeavored talent.

Question 1: Which of the three releases came as the biggest surprise? Which one of these talents do you think should’ve been used more effectively and maybe given another chance?

DeFELICE: Obviously I think Emma was the biggest surprise. For somebody who is finally catching a break on the main roster. For them to let her go so abruptly really just sent shockwaves through the fandom and the industry. File Darren Young and Summer under I’m surprised didn’t happen sooner. I hope that doesn’t come off as mean, I don’t mean it to be. I’m just surprised that they were still under contract and even made it into this year‘s video game. I believe that Summer could have been used more effectively. Unfortunately for her, her big break in the summer of 2015 came to an abrupt halt when Rusev and Lana decided to bark storylines and announced that they were engaged for real. She was a very talented member of the team and I hope she gets another opportunity with them down the road.

SAHADEO: Obviously Emma was the biggest surprise here. She was actually picking up steam on Raw after winning the Fatal 5-Way match to face Asuka and she didn’t actually get squashed. It sucks to see Emma go but from the looks of it, I can see that she will be the Drew McIntyre of the women’s division. A Superstar who was poised for much success in WWE only to get done dirty time and time again. She has enough talent and pull to make a lot of noise outside of WWE before coming back. Perhaps shaking up the Knockouts division in TNA for a bit is in her best interests. By the time she comes back, Paige will probably return so we can potentially see the original Horsewomen of NXT on TV again, shall everything work out like this.

As for Summer Rae, if you’ve looked at her Instagram, it seems that she moved on from wrestling a long, long time ago. All of her social media posts are modeling stuff and what can I really say to that? She’s good at it and WWE gave her a platform to extend her reach. I don’t expect to see her popping up in any wrestling rings anytime soon.

I feel bad for Darren Young. He was good, not necessarily the greatest, but good. It sucks that his whole Make Darren Young Great Again gimmick went nowhere with Bob Backlund and after getting injured for so long, it wasn’t a major surprise to see he was on the chopping block. Young is talented but unfortunately, he doesn’t have that major household name pull, so I’m not sure how far he’ll make it on the indies. I’m sure he’ll get tons of booking based on being a former WWE Superstar, but I truly hope he succeeds wherever he chooses to go after this.

GUEST:As the other two have said, Emma has a lot of talent and could easily have played a major role in the women’s evolution were it not for the constant misuse and terrible gimmicks. Emmalina seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, but her match with Asuka at TLC showed what she can do. I was surprised to see Emma get dropped after a program with Asuka, but I guess she was just out to job one last time.

As for Young and Rae, I wasn’t surprised, but I think it’s the company’s fault more than their own, they never made anything work, but they were never given anything great in the first place. Personally, I won’t miss any of them, but Emma is by far the biggest loss.

Question 2: With rumors of more releases on the way, who do you think may also be considered to be getting cut from their contract?

SAHADEO: Looking at the current list of WWE personnel, it’s pretty hard to say. I would imagine The Colóns being up next on the chopping block, given that Primo is out with a knee injury and their inconsistent booking. I’m actually surprised that The Colóns are still employed given that creative never has anything for them. If they got released, they’d have a lot to fall back on in Puerto Rico given their talents and heritage.

I hate to say it, but I can imagine Apollo Crews getting the shaft as well. A huge signee for NXT, Crews was brought up way too early and you can tell that he’s still nervous to be on the big screen. However, he’s only 30 so he still has enough time to go back to the indies and make a splash (like his buddy Sami Callihan) and return someday.

The Colons, Zack Ryder, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, there are a ton of names that could do with being repackaged, but I think with the brand split, it’s more important to recreate the talent they have than to get rid of them, even with names from NXT coming up, if you remind the fans of Bo Dallas the NXT Champion and Apollo Crews the bright spark from NXT, there is no need to cut more names.

GUEST: Some obvious names that spring to mind would be The Colons, Zack Ryder and Alicia Fox, but I think at this stage it is much more important for WWE to recreate talent than to let them go. The brand split is calling for more talent and if we see the Bo Dallas and Apollo Crews of NXT as well as some other talent being given better characters and more screen time, WWE could completely recreate themselves, without even beginning to mention names from NXT or elsewhere. Sadly, I highly doubt this is going to happen, but if they just try to give a few ‘smaller names’ a chance, I think they could at least boost the midcard scene.

DeFELICE: A moment of silence for Sawyer Fulton. He would’ve been a part of a groundbreaking stable but alas he is now gone. I would expect to see Primo and Epico take a hike soon. Also, Apollo Crews is expendable, that is to say that I don’t really care for him. Sorry if you do. Possibly Aiden English, poor bastard. Speaking of former NXT tag team champions, Wesley Blake is probably on the chopping block as well.

Question 3: Obviously, the big news coming out of these releases has been the backlash against Lio Rush for his poorly timed joke about Emma getting released. What were your feelings about the joke and the backlash that came immediately afterwards?

GUEST: It was a stupid comment that he shouldn’t have made and should be condemned by the locker room, but it shouldn’t affect his career in the long run and I hope he ends up regretting what he said and apologizes to Emma. It was a bad joke that wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t offensive, more misjudged.

DeFELICE: People overreacted. Not so much the people in the business, but the fans. It’s none of your business if that joke offended people in the industry because you’re not in the industry. Was it a stupid joke? Yes. However, it was relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things. I don’t even like that I have to defend the actions of Rush. It wasn’t all that long ago that I ranted and rave about the match that he and Joey Janela had to end his run in CZW. It was stupid but it was a mistake and he’s a damn fine piece of talent and doesn’t deserve so much backlash.

SAHADEO: Given our toxic political climate today, everyone is so quick to call each other “snowflakes” for being offended about something. My take is, I wasn’t particularly offended but at the same time, I realize how stupid that comment was. The professional wrestling business is something that is built around respect and such an untimely, boneheaded comment about a coworker leaving was pretty uncalled for. What did he expect to happen? Did he expect people to laugh?

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. In a matter of seconds, Rush managed to turn the IWC and the entire wrestling business on him. Perhaps he buys into the mantra of “all publicity is good publicity” and if in that case, good for him to draw attention to himself. But really, the comment wasn’t even that funny, to begin with.

You know, I like Lio Rush. Rush is only 22, and all I have to say is good luck to him. I hope this doesn’t hurt his budding career in the long-term.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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