The WWE cleaned house this week releasing four superstars along with one WWE Diva quitting the company. While none of the releases are really that shocking, I don’t think it is coincidence that the news comes a day after WWE financials hit the market.
The biggest name on the list would probably be Melina Perez. Melina had been with the WWE for seven years, making her one of the longest tenured WWE Divas. Melina is a five time champion, holding the WWE Divas title twice and the WWE Women’s championship three times. Melina has long been known for starting trouble backstage so her release isn’t that surprising. Quite frankly most have been expecting this for awhile. With her five titles, she was the most decorated WWE superstar to hit the unemployment line today.
Personally, I like her. I interviewed her at my old job for phillyburbs.com and she couldn’t have been sweeter. It still amazes me that someone as nice and fun as her could have the reputation she does by many in the business.
Melina wrote on Twitter, “I love you all so dearly and reading all of your tweets. Seeing the trend… I know w/out a doubt, I’m a lucky woman!”
[adinserter block=”2″]Melina’s social media rival Gail Kim has left the WWE. Kim is the only one this week who quit, well at least that is what she claims on her Twitter account. This is about the least surprising exit of the future endeavored list. Kim has been whining and complaining for several weeks on Twitter about her television time, at times mocking the creative team. Just this past Monday she eliminated herself quickly in the Divas Battle Royal and noted this on Twitter. Once she made a mockery of it on Twitter it was expected she would be released. So whether she quit knowing the axe was coming or just decided she was finished, she quit.
Kim tweeted, “Hey I just wanted every1 to know that I officially quit WWE on monday. So thank u wwe fans! This won’t be the last u see of me. Love u guys 🙂”
Vladimir Kozlov is also history. The company released Vladimir today after a fairly uneventful five year run with the company. Most notable about Kozlov is how he entered the WWE. Former TNA Wrestling owner Jerry Jarrett actually brought Kozlov to the WWE which later resulted in a bad rift with his son Jeff. Kozlov probably lasted a lot longer than he should have in my opinion as he never really seemed to progress much after his initial ECW run.
David Hart Smith is probably the most surprising to me. Smith was always touted as a future WWE superstar. The son of the British Bulldog, nephew of Bret Hart, Smith was an accomplished international wrestler before joining the WWE. I don’t know if it had anything to do with it or not, but Smith’s mother Diana recently started making comments about Harry doing MMA on Twitter. The release is surprising since a) he is very talented and b) he is the nephew of Bret Hart. There may be more than meets the eyes on this one.
D.H. Smith’s mother Diana recently tweeted, “DH/Harry Smith’s good enough 2 b the best in the world 4 thse other 2 events & I think he’ll b the only 1 ever 2 do it all. YUP! Any guesses”
Chris Masters finds himself in the familiar place of getting future endeavored on WWE.com. Masters finishes up his second go-around with the WWE after being cut back in 2007 due to what many said was his immaturity. Masters never came close to getting the push he received during his first run with the company during his return. He became something of a comedy figure and really never seemed to live up the potential he had showed back in 2006.
Unfortunately for all of these professional wrestlers there aren’t many options at this point in the United States. TNA Wrestling is reportedly on a bit of a hiring freeze. I could see Kim returning to TNA since she had a real successful tenure there in the past. Melina is another one who could probably land in TNA. Dixie Carter seems to be something of a mark for former WWE Divas so it wouldn’t shock me at all to see these two pick up their social media war in TNA.
D.H. Smith could probably make a lot of money overseas if this were 1989. Unfortunately for him the landscape had changed and while he could make a decent living, it won’t be what someone as talented as him would have made in the 80s or 90s. His mother has repeatedly bragged about his MMA skills so maybe he goes in that direction. As for TNA, I don’t see him being much of a fit there. That isn’t a knock on him as it is on them and their use of wrestlers like him.
[adinserter block=”1″]As for Kozlov and Masters, I’d expect Masters to return to the independent pro wrestling scene. Masters hit the indys hard after he was fired by the WWE the first time and did a great job rehabbing his reputation. Kozlov could and should do the same thing, although I just don’t see many independent companies paying his price tag. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Antonio Inoki try and work out some deal with him overseas. He fits the mold of an Inoki wrestler.
At the end of the day while I hate to see anyone lose their jobs, I won’t shed a tear for anyone fired from the WWE. There are thousands of pro wrestlers on the independent scene that would give anything in the world to have a run in the WWE. I consider all of these talents extremely lucky and fortunate that they got to live their dreams and be paid well for it. I don’t think anyone is owed a WWE contract and when someone like Gail Kim gets on Twitter and complains about working there, it makes me angry.
Best of luck to all, the talented ones will land on their feet I am sure.
For more information on the releases, check out the news on WWE.com.