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Falls Count Anywhere


....and yet you fall for it every time.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and this should come as no surprise.

The WWE is back at it. They’ve released seven folks, a couple for very good reasons and a few that were just nutty. After the long, strange week they had stuck in Europe, being unable to fly back because of the Icelandic Death Cloud, the guys got dumped. The story has it that a couple of folks found out they were being let go while on WWE duties!

Mike Knox was let go. Michael Hettinga, his real name, was never overly awesome, but he had his moments. He was teamed with Kelly Kelly, who they’ve always thought highly of, though he was never very over. I’d say that he will probably end up on the indy circuit instead of in TNA, though he does have the size that the Hogan crew likes to push.

Shelton Benjamin is the one. If there was one guy who a company could build around who was never really given a chance, it’s Shelton. By the time that Shelton is free of his no-compete clause, Kurt Angle will be back and there’s a natural program. A lot of folks have been talking about putting him and Charlie Haas back together, perhaps with Kurt again, but I think a singles feud between Kurt and Shelton would be huge. And my mouth waters at the thought of AJ Styles vs. Shelton, or even better, Desmond Wolfe vs. Shelton.

While this is not the administration for a guy the likes of Shelton, I think anyone can see that he’s money waiting to happen. I kinda see him like Bret Hart: a guy stuck for years in tag teams or in the mid-card, and then when they put their weight behind him, he shines.

Jimmy Yang was in the first match on the first TNA PPV. I think he’ll end up in Mexico or maybe Japan. He’s a talented guy, was pretty over at times, but never a player. He could end up in TNA, he’d mean almost nothing there, but I’m betting he’ll play better internationally. Sadly, Rikishi’s old promotions in Italy and Spain ain’t what they were, because he’d be perfect for that atmosphere.

Slam Master J is actually the son of legendary Freebird Terry Gordy. He’s a guy with size, he can move, he’s got a pedigree and he could end up as a guy who is there to fill out the middle of the card for TNA, but with cost-cutting measures that they’ve already started taking, I don’t see him coming in. He’s probably going to end up as a regular on the indy scene.

Funaki has been with the company forever. He was SmackDown’s #1 Reporter, was there with Taka and co. as Kaientai and was a funny character. I thought he had been gone for a while, but alas, he was not. Tajiri didn’t last in the WWE, sadly, but Funaki was always that Japanese wrestler who managed to stick around. In Japan, I am betting he’ll find regular work, but I understand that his family lives in the US now.

Back to film?
Katie Lea Burchill, Katerina Waters, was a pretty woman, not bad in the ring at times, and had a run in the film world. That made her pretty valuable and with the WWE wanting to get more into the world of movies, it would seem strange to let her go. I could see her in TNA, but costs being what they are, I’m betting she could get better offers.

The biggest name, Mickie James. There had been a lot of problems with her recently, she was focused on making it as a country singer and now the bet is that she’ll go that route instead of going back to wrestling. She’s young enough to spend a few years trying to make it in music and then end up coming back. Look at Lita. She left, partly to make it work with her band The Luchagores, and she’s not back yet, despite the fact that there’ve been some very good offers floated her way.

One of the reasons Mickie was booted, according to the Observer, was that she was late for buses while on tour in Europe, which held up the entire crew. That’s not cool, and there had been various incidents along the line that led to her being released.

What does this say? Well, they lost a little in this, and the WWE gained a little. They need to clear some salary, and some of these folks would certainly have drawn a fair bit due to having been around for a while. The WWE sees that there could be some seriously dry times ahead, but they’ve had some decent revenue of late.

One thing that’s interesting about the releases is that they were all over the place. Guys they weren’t really using, people that lost their place after ECW folded, guys whose programs had tried up and someone who was working programs that had been devalued. A little bit of everything.

There’s a feeling that there could be more cuts coming, with names like Dustin Rhodes coming up, but some are thinking that there’ll be more releases in the lower levels (such as the Florida developmental territory). I say that Dustin would be perfect to work with the guys in Florida.

That’s all for now! More next week!


Chris Garcia

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