The WWE wished Mr. Kennedy well in his future endeavors on Friday. In other words, he was fired. The four-year WWE career of drug suspensions, lies, and injuries is over for Ken Kennedy…Kennedy.
This was a bit of a surprise to me. I knew that Mr. Kennedy would be in the dog house after re-injuring himself on RAW. I had no idea the axe would fall as fast as it did. In seven-days he went from RAW main-event to RAW viewer.
I wrote last week about Kennedy’s rash of injuries since coming into the WWE. He had garnered a reputation of as an injury-prone wrestler. It was well-known that his latest comeback was his last shot. He still may have been able to hang on, if it was only he had endangered on Monday night.
Watching the RAW main-event last week, there was a moment in the match that stuck out to even casual fans. Randy Orton looked at Kennedy with a look of disgust and rolled out of the ring. It just looked like something went wrong between the two of them and it did.
During the match, Kennedy almost re-injured Orton’s collarbone due to a mistake. Mistakes do happen in the pro wrestling business, but when it happens more than once the WWE generally doesn’t see it as a mistake. Kennedy has injured WWE wrestlers in the past. Ironically, Kennedy injured Bob Holly in Kennedy’s first big match in the WWE.
Allegedly, Randy Orton had a fit following the match and dressed Kennedy down in front of the other wrestlers. Cooler heads prevailed, but this was likely the nail in the coffin for Kennedy. Several top wrestlers have been outspoken about Kennedy’s recklessness including Triple H, thus Kennedy has had a bullseye on him for awhile now.
Kennedy also injured himself during the match. Kennedy reportedly injured his wrist after taking Randy Orton’s RKO move. There are moves that are more dangerous to take than others in the WWE. The RKO is not one of them and I can’t recall ever hearing about anyone injured taking the move. The recipe of both mishaps was enough to get the pink slip.
The quick exit shows me how enraged WWE officials were about this. Kennedy had been in for big things in the WWE throughout his career. A few years back he was being groomed to being pushed as hard as John Cena. At one point he was going to be announced as Vince McMahon’s son. Every time Kennedy came close, he hit a stumbling block being injury or drug suspension.
Even as of last week it seemed that Kennedy was destined for big things. He returned on WWE RAW in a prime spot. He confronted the top heel, Randy Orton for the beginnings of a feud. Kennedy later appeared in the main-event as the publicized mystery wrestler. It is fair to say that barring the accidents in the main-event, he could have been on his way to finally getting into that top spot.
The reaction to Kennedy’s firing is a mixed one. Kennedy’s ex-colleague Val Venis was shocked and really praised his work. On the other hand, upon hearing the news via text message Bob Holly responded, “His ass is mine now.”
The wrestling public also has a mixed view of Kennedy. Kennedy was very outspoken following the Benoit family tragedies. Kennedy ripped on past WWE wrestlers including WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Superstar Graham for alleging that the WWE had drug problem among its wrestlers. Not long after this Kennedy was suspended on a drug violation by the WWE.
Billy Graham said the following to me in a 2007 interview on Pro Wrestling Radio. “I am going on record and I am extremely disappointed in Ken Kennedy and his character. His character should have automatically said, “Alright let me re-evaluate this situation and let me go back and do some research on all of the interviews that Billy Graham did.” I was out there you know that, I was on a lot of television stations. I am very disappointed and honestly I am going to tell you right now, his failure to reach out to me and make amends was the final blow as far as me recognizing wrestlers as really good, honest, human beings that most of them are. It just crushed me that the guy didn’t have the decency to send me an apology and has let me down in the quality of character in professional wrestlers.”
The bottom line here is that wrestling is dangerous, but WWE wrestlers are held to a higher standard. The last thing that the WWE wants to do is to put their million-dollar investments in the ring with a klutz. Wrestlers are expected to be polished and skillful in the WWE, and sadly Kennedy either had the worst luck in the world or was none of the above.
Personally, I never got the hype behind Kennedy. Past his entrance and introduction, he did nothing for me as a fan in the ring. Part of that could be my skewed view of him from all of the ridiculous things he has said in interviews. Regardless, I never saw the potential in him that others in the WWE did.
Kennedy may reach that potential but it will be somewhere else…somewhere else.
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WWE Hall of Famer, “Cowboy” Bob Orton will be appearing at George’s Cards and Collectibles in Fairless Hills, PA on June 6 from 12-2 PM. Check out http://www.georgescollectibles.com for more information.