WWE's New Yearly Tradition: Wasting Talent




Alright so full disclosure, I know this is going to come off as very complainy because the topic I'm about to discuss is unacceptable.  WWE has a new yearly tradition and that's firing people on tax day.  It happened again this year, in a big way as ten people were let go and wow are they inexcusable.  Especially if you watch Monday Night Raw every week.  Samoa Joe, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mickie James, Chelsea Green, Tucker, Mojo Rawley, Wesley Blake, Kalisto, and Bo Dallas were all let go.  They all have one very important thing in common, their talents were wasted, for too freaking long.  So I'm going to discuss my thoughts on these people, where it went wrong (in my opinion) and what I think is next for them.  Also lets not forget the excuse that was given for these firings "budget cuts", the company that signed a billion dollar deal to put the network on Peacock used the excuse of "budget cuts", remember that throughout this.




1. Bo Dallas



The first name on the list is Bo Dallas, he like a lot of people on this list was not on TV for nearly two years.  Just sitting at home or in catering for a long time.  Bo Dallas was never seen as anything other then a comedy act once getting on Raw or Smackdown.  Teaming with Curtis Axel for a long time, who was part of the releases last year.  It's a shame really because Bo Dallas was one of the better heel characters of his time in NXT, being the champion for a time and being a big part in the beginning of NXT going national in the early years of the WWE Network.  His entire run on Raw or Smackdown for the most part was treated like a joke, he came in as a singles and it didn't work, and he was in nothing but lackey groups or comedy groups which is a shame.  He was lumped into the "good hand" role which nobody ever chooses, but sometimes it can be good for some people.  Recently theirs been reports of Bo leaving wrestling behind and going into real estate which of course is his choice, I support him in whatever he does next but in WWE's recent years of not focusing on tag teams it's a shame him and Curtis Axel as a team didn't get to do more, despite them getting one tag team title reign as a make good almost then just being put to the side and never focused on again, that's a shame.



2. Mojo Rawley



You want to talk about untapped potential, that is Mojo Rawley to a tee.  One of the best promos in the company at the time, if you remember a few years ago Mojo was doing these phone promos (that WWE started doing with everyone at one point but he was the first) and he was killing those.  He was proving that he was better the stupid "stay hyped" character he was performing even though they ruined another tag team to kill that one years ago.  Then there was the time he was doing these promos in a mirror and he had lightning painted on his face for some reason, I didn't get that part but the promos were still really freaking good.  Then out of nowhere just because he was friends with Rob Gronkowski who "hosted" WrestleMania 36 last year, Mojo was back to being the "Stay Hyped" guy, until Gronk left, when Gronk left, Mojo disappeared, which isn't surprising.  Then they just decided he was one of the people chasing R-Truth for the 24/7 Title.  That was ridiculous, there's been reports recently that Raw has been short handed recently and instead of keeping these talents around and utilizing them, we get three Nia Jax segments which nobody wants, we get 14 people featured on one show when you have three hours to fill its ridiculous.  So where do I see Mojo Rawley going next?  If he remains in wrestling which I expect he will, I can see him in Impact more then any other place, Impact is the place that has been using these talents to their potential recently I can see that working out for him even a possibility of him reunited with former Hype Bros partner Zack Ryder now Matt Cardona and that be great for him.



3. Wesley Blake



Wesley Blake may have gotten the worst raw deal of everyone on this list.  He was in NXT for over a five years plus, was in a tag team then wasn't and then was in another one.  The Forgotten Sons wasn't a very liked group for reasons beyond politics then they were hated for one person's politics, Jaxon Ryker.  This happened right after they debuted on Smackdown and were slated to win the tag titles so they were removed until the hate died down.  Blake and Steve Cutler got lumped in with Jaxon Ryker and that wasn't fair to them at all.  They should have just removed Ryker from the group and giving Blake and Cutler what they worked for years for and deserved.  The Forgotten Sons were literally forgotten by WWE and split up.  Jaxon Ryker was moved to Raw and Cutler and Blake were moved to and made lackeys of Baron Corbin for two weeks total.  Then Steve Cutler was fired for whatever reason it's not for me to say.  So now Blake was left stranded again.  Doing nothing again, when they could have put him back with his old partner Buddy Murphy who is also doing nothing.  Instead Blake was let go and it really is unfortunate that the workers of the Forgotten Sons are both gone and Jaxon Ryker isn't, nobody would ever pick Ryker over them ever.  They got the worst deal because of Ryker.  So where to do I see Wesley Blake, real name Corey Weston, should absolutely when able to, reunite with Cutler now going by his real name Steve Maclin.  Will that be Impact, maybe, will that be ROH possible.  Maclin is dating Deonna Purrazzo who is in Impact so is that a logical landing point for both guys sure and I'd be fine with that.



4. Kalisto



I don't get how if your name isn't Rey Mysterio that WWE just doesn't care about masked luchadores.  The list of wasted talent is very long and you can add Kalisto to that list.  For a while he was a big tag team guy, then he got a mid card title run with the US title in 2016, but after that he was lumped into a stereotypical group of luchadores carrying piñatas around.  I read a report that the Lucha House Party was Lince Dorado's idea and he suggested it as a way to have a comfortable spot on the roster and to sell merch.  Kalisto didn't like that idea and was asking to be out of it for a while apparently, because he wanted to do more and be taken seriously.  That ended up being the straw that broke the camels back because WWE never had plans for Kalisto and being in the Lucha House Party apparently saved his job for a while, which is ridiculous but take that for what you will I'm not a reporter it's just what I heard.  Regardless of that report being true or not, why is it that if you're name isn't Rey Mysterio you just get put to the side and not taken seriously.  Kalisto is really good, Gran Metelik is really good, Lince Dorado is really good, but WWE (Vince McMahon) doesn't care.  Now Metelik and Dorado are alone apparently content with the money which is fine.  So what's next for Kalisto?  I'd really like to see him in MLW.  MLW has a working relationship with AAA just like AEW and I could honestly see him going to AAA to be a top star and also working for MLW as well, just like Laredo Kid has recently and probably will make appearances with AEW here and there because of it.  It would be perfect for him, but I also wouldn't count out Ring of Honor as they have a lot of talent in a similar vain so I could see Ring of Honor for him as well.



5. Tucker



Think about this, you're part of a tag team called Heavy Machinery and everyone for the most part enjoys the team and wants to see you succeed especially after you did nothing in NXT at all.  Then you go to Raw and Smackdown with you're partner Otis and all you do is really bad skits that make you look stupid for being Otis' friend.  Then management gets behind Otis because he makes the owner laugh and no other reason and Otis gets the Money in the Bank briefcase for no reason, then you turn on Otis as a way to be taken seriously because you're sick of Otis, and you're never seen on Raw or Smackdown ever again.  That's what happened to Tucker.  Tucker is a hell of a worker, and since being let go has been posting promos on social media showcasing the charisma we never knew he had because WWE didn't let him talk or just made him do stupid crap with Otis and he's great at it, shocking I know.  The fact Otis was put in a spot he was nowhere near ready for and they could have been a legitimate tag team and had a legitimate run, instead of what we got.  Now Otis is in another tag team, with Chad Gable who should be a singles star.  It's mind boggling how much these talents just do nothing after they run an angle expecting you to care.  I didn't care about Tucker feuding with Otis at all because that's not what they should have been doing, but the feud never happened it wasn't even acknowledged again.  So what's next for Tucker, now going by his real name Levi Cooper, I can honestly see him getting the chance to prove himself on AEW Dark for a while showing his character and in ring ability as a singles and maybe that resulting in him getting a contract in the future but definitely not right away.  He could be taken seriously right away in NWA or Impact, and he could also go to ROH too.  I think him making sporadic appearances on AEW Dark and/or Elevation will be the route he goes.  



6. Mickie James



What is the point of letting go of someone who has so much to offer?  Mickie James literally sat around for months and did nothing, you're talking about a future hall of famer who not only still wants to work, but a future hall of famer that could be having good matches with the entire roster, of all three brands.  Mickie came back in 2016 and at first was doing exactly that having a NXT Women's Championship match with then champion, Asuka.  Then going back to Smackdown and teaming with Alexa Bliss for a while and doing that on and off also on Raw.  Unfortunately she would suffer a torn ACL in early 2019, and would miss 14 months of action, and she would barely be used at all from that point forward.  Only making sporadic appearances in Royal Rumbles and and legends shows.  It's been obvious for a while WWE doesn't know what they are doing with the women's division as a whole without Becky, without Charlotte for a time, and absolutely ruining the tag team titles.  Then creating NXT Tag Titles for no reason at all and ruining the tag division even further.  There's no excuse, if you want the tag team division taken seriously you need more then three tag teams in each division.  Mickie James and someone else will talk about later, Chelsea Green were continuously putting it out there that they wanted to team up and help the tag team division flourish, and instead of doing that the same three teams fight for the titles and not only that another team that we will talk about later as well were not only wasted but split up further ruining the division.  All of this is inexcusable.  So what's next for Mickie James, considering she wants to wrestle the easy answer is NWA because that's where her husband is and that place is desperate for women considering they only have like three on their roster and an AEW star holds their belt.  That's the easy answer and probably the most logical, but she could also absolutely go back to Impact.



7. Chelsea Green



Chelsea Green got the worst deal.  She was injured a lot in her WWE run after never being injured at all before it.  She debuted on Raw got injured, she debuted on Smackdown got injured, and if you listen to her interviews after being released she was there every single week trying to contribute in anyway she could.  She never got an opportunity to shine.  She was probably labeled injury prone and that's unfortunate because she's really good at the one thing Vince McMahon cares about and that's portraying a character.  Every week on Raw we got over saturated with Nia Jax segments where she embarrasses herself but still wins instead of other talent getting showcased, all that time could be used to build people like Chelsea who are very good at what they do.  Her injuries aside I don't think that should hinder someone's growth, why'd you hire them in the first place?  Also she had the stigma of being high up on Paul Heyman's list of talent which shouldn't be a hinderance, Heyman a keen eye for talent but for whatever reason that never matters even when Paul is in charge of the show.  So what's next for Chelsea Green?  There's a lot of places she could go, she could go back to Impact and be a top star again and work with her friends like Deonna and not feel creatively stifled.  She could go to ROH where she has showed interest in working just for the experience and to help out over there in establishing their division more.  She could go to AEW and work with the rising stars that are finally getting their time to shine and be considered a top talent right off the bat.  She has opportunities everywhere but my pick would be AEW just to have more established star power there.  She had a run in Impact as the top star, and ROH could be a good opportunity for everyone involved but for me AEW is where she should go.



8. The IIconics




Imagine you introduce a championship that is centered around two people having chemistry together to hold them.  Now imagine that the only team with the most chemistry out of all of those teams wins those belts, but never wins a match again after winning it.  Now imagine they lose those titles and do nothing of not for awhile, until they break up for no reason at all, even though they expected singles pushes following said breakup.  Then there's no tag teams in a division that again entails people having chemistry to win them.  Billie Kay was put into a role that she flourished in because she's really good at character work, she even got a spot on the WrestleMania card, and Peyton was pegged to get a singles run numerous times and it never happened, then she was lumped into a tag team with Lacey Evans (when they could have just kept the IIconics together) then she gets an opportunity to prove herself against Asuka and then we never saw her on Raw again.  What is the point of any of that at all?  So what's next for Billie Kay now going by her real name Jessica McKay and Peyton Royce now going by Cassie Lee?  I think the obvious answer would be AEW because that's where Cassie's husband is, but also, there's Impact where they could be in a women's tag division that actually has direction and they could be having good matches with that division as a whole but so I think either of those would be the logical choice for them.  AEW could use their character work as well showcase them in a way they are meant to be showcased, and Impact could make them credible in a division lacking a little star power.



9. Samoa Joe




If we are talking about wasted talent especially in WWE there's nobody who was wasted to the degree of Samoa Joe.  Samoa Joe in recent months was relegated to commentary because of an undisclosed injury that he could not get cleared for, but there's been a lot of speculation for years now that WWE's medical team might not be as good as they claim to be.  In the last few years alone there's been more then three people who were supposedly "never going to be cleared again" who were by other doctors.  So I think Joe may have been lumped into that group recently and WWE let him go because he wanted to wrestle and they weren't going to let him.  Joe of course had opportunities here there to showcase his abilities especially in NXT, but on Raw or Smackdown seemed like it was start and stop with him, he had world championship opportunities but never won them, and some of those I think could be argued that he should have.  His only WrestleMania match at WrestleMania 35 was a squash that he won.  He was never put on the level he was meant to be on, he should be a former world champion, he should be a former Intercontinental or United States Champion, instead he was the good hand, who could be relied on to have good matches but never or hardly ever win, that's not right at all.  Samoa Joe should have beaten Brock Lesnar probably on more then one occasion, he should have had memorable feuds with the likes of Roman Reigns, AJ Styles (which he didn't don't even mention their 2018 feud, hated it), the fact him and Daniel Bryan never worked together in WWE is a freaking crime, and lets not forget the numerous people in NXT that he could have worked with as well.  All of this what if, shouldn't be, why is it so hard to use talent to their potential.  With that said, where does Samoa Joe go from here.  The easy answer is AEW, he has the most eyes there, he has the most people to work with that will be worth seeing, It's gotta be it right?  I don't want to see him go back to Impact, I don't want to see him go back to ROH, AEW is where he needs to go.  Now with that said I hope he works out a deal to work in Japan as well like Jericho and Moxley when the opportunity to go there is possible, because who doesn't want to see him face Naito, or Okada, or Ibushi, and maybe just maybe we'll get that match with Daniel Bryan on a bigger stage that we shockingly never got in WWE.



So that's gonna do it for me, thank you for reading this and past articles and look out for more countdown articles in the future and more opinion pieces, thanks again.

2 comments:

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