Author Archives: M2J

Chikara – “The Living Daylights” at Stage48, New York, NY on July 19th, 2014

WWE’s Spring Cleaning, Yay or Nay?

WWE “future endeavored” a fair amount of their roster today. Perhaps some of these were necessary, but were some of them oversights on the company’s part?

Curt Hawkins

Photo by Ed Webster

Photo by Ed Webster

Hawkings began his stint way back in 2007 – which seems crazy when you think about it. He was paired up with Zack Ryder – at the time they were Brian and Brett Majors (AKA the Major Brothers) and went on to capture the tag titles. Eventually they would split up and go their separate ways. Unfortunately, Hawkins would play the Marty Jannetty to Zack Ryder’s Shawn Michaels – and that isn’t saying much. I struggle to think of the last time I saw Hawkins in a WWE ring. He would pop in once in a while or pair up with someone for a bit, but some people probably weren’t aware that he was still with the company. There was a lot of talent here and more could have probably been done, but WWE must not have seen it that way. This is probably the best move for him, as he could potentially find more success being used on the indie scene, rather than standing by idly on WWE’s roster.

Evan Bourne

Evan Bourne got the fans behind him and was extremely likable. Unfortunately, he made some bad decisions in a short amount of time. After professing that he studies ways to maximize his health (with an aspiration to be the longest living person in history) he found himself suspended for 30 days due to violating the wellness policy. He was using synthesized marijuana – which is an odd choice, seeing as how WWE will suspend you for this, but only fine you for using actual marijuana. After 30 days, Bourne returned to action and within about a week, received another suspension – this time a 60 day suspension as it was his second violation. In a little over a month, he was already at two strikes. Missing three months while you’re receiving a push is a good way completely deaden your momentum. He then would go on to suffer an unfortunate auto accident, which took him out of action for over a year. He surface on NXT sometime last year but was seldom to ever used. I reckon that WWE saw him as a major liability. After too many problems, one can only conclude that the subject in question either is the cause of their own problems, or just has extraordinary bad luck. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for the WWE to deal with either and cutting him loose is the right move.


Photo by Krystal Bogner

Photo by Krystal Bogner

You know – Aksana, good looking woman, could work fairly well, except for almost blinding Naomi in one eye… – not sure this was a good idea. I think this could have been given a bit more of a chance. First she was Teddy Long’s femme fatale, then she was Cesaro’s valet (remember that?), and then she kind of floundered ever since. I think she had a look and a character that could have been utilized way better. Perhaps they thought Lana neutralized the need for Aksana (Aksana being Lithuanian and Lana being Russian, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?). Either way, I’m going nay on this. Bad move, WWE.

Teddy Long

I love Teddy Long. You have to love Teddy Long. He’s been in the business a long time, possibly before some of you reading this were even born. He carved out a decent career for himself – it’s hard to not enjoy seeing a cute little man in a double breasted suit dancing happily and then announcing a straight-up tag team match. That being said – he has had a successful, long, fruitful career. His on air role was that of the GM of Smackdown for the better part of a decade. The era of GMs seems to be coming to a close as far as I can tell. Although they exist in theory, they’re an afterthought. The Authority, that outranks GMs, is present on just about every show and therefore makes GMs redundant at most. Teddy, I love you man, I loved watching you, loved hearing you call people “playa,” but it’s time to go home and rest my man. You’ve earned it. I suspect a Hall of Fame spot will be waiting for you sometime in the next few years.

Yoshi Tatsu

Photo by Richard Hencher

Photo by Richard Hencher

WWE, this is an example of you missing the boat. This is a guy that you dropped into the show with just about no fanfare or build up – and he got over. The fans got behind him. He had a look, he was entertaining and funny, considering that his gimmick disallowed him to speak English, and he was an excellent worker. So what did you do? You forgot he existed and had him get beaten up backstage once in a while. Shame on you. Someone in the back wasn’t paying attention. I hope wherever he ends up, he makes a lot of money for the company he’s with as well as himself, and you guys kick yourselves for it.


I can’t say much about Camacho, because we barely saw him! Seriously, can you remember one Camacho match? I’d like to say “if he was just hanging around the roster and not being used, it’s probably better that they got rid of him,” but I don’t see how you expected him to get over in the first place, WWE, if he got virtually no air time. I’m ruling fault of WWE on this one.

Brodus Clay

Brodus’s gimmick gave him what many know to be the “glass ceiling.” This isn’t his fault. The dancing thing, it was actually over. We all suspected that the time would come when he would abandon the goofy dinosaur gimmick and turn into a huge monster. For a time, it looked like this was the path we were about to go down. Unfortunately for Brodus, they didn’t seem to have any long term plans for this and after jobbing him out a few times, they seemed to lose him in the shuffle. They were able to find him to give him a pink slip, though. This is a bad decision. The only monsters you have on the roster right now are Kane – who is getting up there age-wise, and Brock Lesnar – who has three matches a year. I’m calling this one a mistake on WWE’s part.

Drew McIntyre

Photo by Megan Elice Meadows

Photo by Megan Elice Meadows

What is there to say? Vince clearly had a huge crush on this guy at first. Where did Drew go wrong? He did marry ‘Tiffany’ in real life, and only six months later they had a domestic dispute and news broke that they were divorcing. Maybe that incident was all it took to have him fall out of Vince’s good graces? Either way, he was lumped into 3MB. This definitely felt like a demotion – even though 3MB has since found a cult following. It’s hard to believe that Drew McIntyre was the Intercontinental champion five years ago already. Either way, I think this is a bad move. Drew McIntyre was a solid worker and could have been a real success if they didn’t push him so hard and then throttle him down for no apparent reason.

Jinder Mahal

Jinder never was over. His whole presence was a complete waste. He debuted as a random character thrown into a Great Khali story. The story (for those that forgot) was that he was marrying into the family and the family was tight on cash, but he came from means and they had to do whatever he said if they wanted his financial assistance… at least that’s what I remember. The story might not have been that interesting and I made it better in my brain. Anyway, within like, a month of Khali being a reluctant heel, he turned face again, defeated Jinder and that was the end of Jinder. He completely was a non-entity after that and also found himself lumped into 3MB, ironically this was a promotion for him. Being that he was the biggest jobber in the biggest jobber faction, I’d say he’s probably better off boosting his stock in another company.


Photo by 'Jay2009m'

Photo by ‘Jay2009m’

While writing this, news broke that JTG was indeed let go. JTG not being let go was similar to the Undertaker’s streak. After a few times where you thought there were a chance the streak would come to an end, you accepted that it never would come to an end. We expected JTG to get fired since he didn’t even appear on air in over a year, but when he was finally let go – it was shocking in some weird way. You probably shouldn’t have been shocked, but you were. Suffice it to say, it was probably meant to be. JTG was a member of the roster for over 7 years. After they split up Cryme Tyme and went with the decision to have JTG go over Shad Gaspard – JTG never seemed to find his footing – not that there was much of a chance for him to do so. I’m not certain as to what a lower-carder makes in WWE when not being utilized in any matches, but I reckon he’ll probably be able to make as much, if not more, elsewhere, and actually get to practice his craft.

Denny Lugz/Sean Spurge Predict Future Endeavors

Way back on episode 53 from August 13th, 2013, Sean
Spurge’s ‘Buy or Sell’ featured a release list with an over/under 4.5 –
to be released within a year.

The list was: Aksana, Camacho, Curt Hawkins, Epico, Ezekial Jackson,
Hunico, JTG, Rosa Mendez, Yoshi Tatsu, Santino, Sin Cara, and Zack

Since then Aksana, Camacho, Curt Hawkins, Ezekial Jackson, JTG, and
Yoshi Tatsu have been released – five of those six just today (6/12/14)!

The Chair Shot Heard Around the World

shieldI like the Shield. It’s hard to dislike the Shield. They were given the ball and they ran with it and really did become the most over and arguably the best faction in the history of pro wrestling – and that’s all of pro wrestling. Their ring work speaks for itself, their promo work is fantastic. I, like most of you, am very high on the Shield. I can tell, however, from my interaction with some fans, that there are much bigger fans than me. I am OK with admitting that, especially now, because in the face of the chair shot heard around the world last night, I can look at this swerve more objectively than a die-hard fan and say: it makes very little sense.

Let’s start with the Shield’s turn to facedom. The Shield was somewhat involved with the Authority at the beginning of this year. We got our first taste of the Shield being fan favorites when they had their altercation with the Wyatt family. Stirring this pot a little more was Triple H trying to dissuade the Shield from pursuing this any further and Roman Reigns stepping up to him and saying, “with all due respect Hunter, we are not asking you.” Fast forward a few weeks, they came to Jerry Lawler’s aid against Kane and we ended up with a Kane & New Age Outlaws match at Wrestlemania (in which we saw the Shield destroy them). The following night on Wrestlemania, they came to Daniel Bryan’s aid and stood up against Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista, making them white hot.

What would follow is a grueling two month feud including constant battles and beat downs on television in conjunction with brutal drag-em-out battles in the ring at two consecutive PPV events. These two factions hated each other and tried to completely destroy each other in order to win and to rid WWE of the other.

Just about 24 hours removed from another battle, in which the Shield was completely victorious and stood stronger than ever, why did Seth Rollins turn? Booking-wise, I can see an argument for it. The Shield has already done everything it could possibly do. You can add more accolades to their ledger, but after dominating Evolution, a faction of seasoned veterans, all with multiple championships between them (I believe they counted 31), all having headlined Wrestlemania(s) and worked with the best of the best, the Shield obliterated them and that’s the cherry on top of their work as a team. Show business mantra, you leave the audience wanting more. You quit while you’re ahead. It’s cliché, but it’s accurate. It’s time for Dean, Seth, and Roman to move onto bigger and better things.

Kayfabe-wise, however, this abandons all reason. 24 hours prior to Raw, Seth Rollins was diving off of a stage into Evolution and trying to wipe them out – as he was doing for months. When Raw started, Triple H had no idea Batista was going to quit. Some time between 8:15 and 10:50 PM, Triple H and Randy Orton somehow made Seth Rollins an offer? Maybe he came to them, but why would he? Was he tired of fighting and decided he’d be more valuable and make more money being part of Camp Triple H? It seems like a slender thread at best. They have a week to come up with something (more) creative. The pacing of it just seems very odd. After trying to almost kill each other, what could have changed his mind to (re)align with Triple H, especially after detaching from him in the first place to start this whole feud? If you were to win a war with someone – you wouldn’t offer to join them after proving their inferiority – as well you wouldn’t accept an offer to join them.

We touched on this topic of a possible Shield member betraying the others on last week’s Doing the Job. We arrived at the conclusion, however, that the only way a turn would make sense is if it stemmed from dissension from within. The example we offered was if one of the members were eliminated and the other two ended up winning – alla Owen Hart in Survivor Series 1993. He would then (of his own volition) turn on the Shield and be welcomed with open arms into Evolution. It was the only way that the story would make any real sense – juxtaposed to a full scale assault on the opposition for months, only to join them. The fact that the Shield clean swept them at Payback neutralizes that theory.

As a mark, of course I don’t want to lose the Shield. I wanted them go push on righting wrongs and triumphing over evil. As a fan of good story-telling, I don’t see a coherent way to convincingly explain this turn of events. The only story that makes any sense is that Seth Rollins approached Evolution when an opening presented itself – counting on his stock being high after taking Evolution down not once, but twice. That hearkens back to the question of why he would have left the protective wing of the Authority to begin with only a few months ago to begin with. While one might say, “it is one thing being part of the Authority, but a totally larger opportunity to be part of Evolution,” that might have been true once upon a time, but we just established the Shield is superior and leaving the winning team to join the losing team is a step down from where Rollins already is. On the Network’s Raw post show, they theorized that Triple H, perhaps, offered Rollins a seven-figure check and that he needs to do what is right for himself or his family… I’ll just leave that one there for reference, just in case that’s what they go with.

Even though story-wise it’s mind-boggling, execution-wise it was extremely compelling and will probably lead to quite a rating next week. I’m sure my co-hosts will have their opinions as well. How about you? Email us!