AS I SEE IT 8/18: WWE's version of collateral damage

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

When the CEO of the company makes a statement to stockholders like: "...Our total operating expenses, on an adjusted basis, grew 27%, exceeding the percentage growth in revenue. Although the rise in expenses broadly supports our top-line growth, the disproportionate growth in expenses is unacceptable. Therefore, we are implementing stronger cost control measures, reassessing our spending and the priority of our investments to drive increases in earnings and margins", you know you probably need to get your resume in order, and start networking in a hurry.

This is just as true when the CEO happens to be Linda McMahon.

It's even worse if a stockholder complains on a conference call that "the company is spending money like a drunken sailor" to back her up.

Guess what usually happens next in corporate America?

It did here, too.

Thus, WWE started a bloodletting over the last few weeks that presumably "controlled expenses", with firings (or being "future endeavored", among some circles) of the following WWE performers over the last 2 weeks:

* Braden Walker (better known as former TNA Tag Champion Chris Harris), may have made a bad choice in leaving TNA, to put it mildly. Former partner James Storm is now paired in the "Beer Money" tag team with Robert Roode. One vote for re-pairing Storm and Harris as quickly as possible.

* Big Daddy V may need to lose weight as quickly as possible for health reasons before worrying about where he's going next. Even with that, he was pushed fairly recently, and the termination was a surprise to many.

* Shannon Moore - dropped from WWE after challenging (with Jimmy Wang Yang) Miz and Morrison for the Tag Team Titles back in May

* Nick Patrick has been out of commission for some time, having suffered a back injury

* Domino - he was a co-Tag Team Champion for four months defeating Paul London and Brian Kendrick

* James Maritato (aka Little Guido or Nunzio) - Sadly, he was used as prelim fodder in recent years, when he was used at all with WWECW

* James Curtis (aka Kasey James) - had a brief run on Smackdown with Idol Stevens and Michelle McCool, and as prelim talent in recent months on WWECW

* Rory and Robbie McAllister- The tag team was probably doomed on Wrestlemania weekend when both WWE and TNA were in Orlando; and TNA, in an irresponsible move, showed "Robbie" under his birth name (Derek Graham-Couch) in the crowd on the live broadcast from Orlando. It also cost him his $5,000 Wrestlemania paycheck due to what TNA did. Previous to that, Rory injured his shoulder earlier in the year, which didn't help matters fpr the tag team, either.

* Cherry (aka Kara Slice in New Jersey indies) - was brought in as eye candy for Deuce and Domino. When Maryse was brought in, she was unceremoniously dropped after her unannounced departure from managing the Deuce and Domino tag team, which obviously didn't last very long either.

* Colin Delaney and Stevie Richards - neither one wasted anytime as Delaney was on the final UWA Hardcore Wrestling up in Ontario the very evening his firing was announced, and Richards appeared on Velocity Pro Wrestling's Philadelphia show within 24 hours of the announcement.

* Referee Wes Adams - he seems to have taken the fall for a blown finish in last Tuesday's ECW TV as Mike Mizanin was supposed to break up a pinfall and forgot, leaving Adams to count a pinfall that wasn't part of the script. WWE policy was and is that if a wrestler didn't kick out of a finish, that the referee working the match has to count the pinfall as if it were a legit match. Even so, it appears that Adams took the fall for a pushed tag team "being made to look bad".

I have to wonder about the ethics of firing people while injured in wrestling. Every time it happens, one more wrestler figures out that they have to manage pain (these days with alcohol, instead of as many pain pills as the past) and not report an injury.

Until next time....

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