WWE released 11 Superstars on Thursday, June 12. While the move came as a surprise to fans, the fact is that we’ve seen this before. Some refer to it as “spring cleaning,” while others employ the often overused “future endeavored” cliché.
If you’ve been a fan for longer than 10 minutes, then you know how this works.
WWE is a business and businesses have to cut costs. It’s just a fact of life. Pro wrestling doesn’t draw the numbers it did once upon a time, that’s a fact of life too. And when those facts are added together, the end result usually equals a handful of pink slips.
And while many fans are usually classy in their response, sending well wishes on Twitter and other social media, some are not quite as tasteful. In fact you could say they’re downright obnoxious.
However, a lot of the hate is actually not directed at the guys released. The list of 11 Superstars includes Aksana, Teddy Long, Curt Hawkins, Brodus Clay, Yoshi Tatsu, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Camacho, Evan Bourne and referee Marc Harris. Of those names, Drew and Jinder have received their fair share of farewell tweets, mostly from fans lamenting the death of the 3MB.
The whereabouts of those supporters when 3MB was actually in the ring working hard to a chorus of crickets is unknown.
Teddy’s name has also been mentioned more than once, mostly by those who are wondering what a vetrean with 29 years of experience in the business will do now. And we can’t forget about the man from Planet Funk, Brodus Clay. Brodus was heavily featured at one time and even though his star had faded, fans still appreciated him. They also appreciated the hard work he had put in to a gimmick that admittedly could have died the very night it was introduced.
Brodus made it work and he should get credit for that.
But while some are taking jabs at the names on the list, many others are throwing some left hooks at the remaining roster. Names like The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Santino Marella and JTG were among the names mentioned during the course of the day.
JTG stands out on that list, as WWE has of course done less than zero with him. His biggest claim to fame was in Cryme Tyme and once that gimmick was no longer dope, Vinny Mac had to bust a move and smoke some fools.
And if you think that rhetoric was bad, you should have seen the gimmick.
JTG had basically just been riding the bench the entire time after his tag team ended. So his name was among the first to come up when the company began announcing the releases. Truth be told, many fans went after him as if he owed them money.
And unfortunately for them, he can’t pay up now; he became the 11th name on the list.
So while his critics are no doubt getting jiggy with it in celebration, we are left with a WWE locker room that is a little bit lighter. And me? I have a bad taste in my mouth for the whole thing.
Fans can be cold hearted, that much is for sure. What begins as breaking news becomes comedy relief in the hands of the wrong people. And the fact that the majority of these guys will land on their feet in other companies is irrelevant. The truth is that there are families involved and bills to pay. How would you feel if you checked Twitter only to find that the loss of your job was trending and people were laughing about it?
Or what if your career could possibly be on the line, while people anticipated your impending termination and questioning why you still had a job? How’s that for comedy?
Let’s face it. For the most part the 11 Superstars that were released, as well as others that could potentially join those in the coming days, are all very accustomed to a certain way of life. And chances are their paychecks were or are quite a bit bigger than anyone reading this, including me.
But we cannot forget that pro wrestling is a dangerous way to make a living. One wrong move and you’re paralyzed for life or worse. And it’s a cutthroat business; full of individuals that are all fighting for the same spot and at the end of the day, it’s very hard to know who to trust.
Yet every time these men and women step through the curtain, they do nothing but fight to entertain us. They put their bodies on the line so that we may stand up and cheer. They sign autographs and shake hands with fans when perhaps they’re too tired or are hurting too much to even do so. They live the dream that most fans will never even come close to attaining.
I don’t think so. But then again, I have much love and mad respect for the business. True dat yo.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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