I could spend hours dissecting the ways in which WWE failed the very talented people that it released yesterday. But that’s usually the story whenever the company announces a raft of releases. There’s always one or two that most fans will be in disbelief at — both for their release and the lack of use that led to it. It’s part of being a fan.
But that’s the old story. Whatever the reason WWE will use to justify losing the likes of Samoa Joe or Peyton Royce or Billie Kay could have been easily used to rid the company of some real problematic performers.
Samoa Joe is a free agent today because he had concussion problems and hasn’t been able to perform in the ring for a while now, though he did a great job as a commentator, a gig he never really wanted. And yet Velveteen Dream, otherwise known as Patrick Clark, still has a job with the company after being accused of trying to groom underage kids for sex. He hasn’t been anywhere near TV, even though WWE’s paper-thin investigation found him clean enough to keep giving him a check. What would have been the loss here?
Billie Kay might have been the funniest woman the company had, and yet she’s looking for work while Austin Theory is still in NXT even though he was accused of sending lewd messages to a 13-year-old. Peyton Royce was released, but Matt Riddle is being sued for rape. Jaxson Ryker still works for New York even though he gladly tweeted out his support for The Cheeto in Chief minutes after he had peaceful protestors tear gassed for a photo op .
WWE didn’t even have to use these reasons as their cause for releasing these wrestlers. Vince McMahon would never admit to bowing to public pressure, which is assuredly part of the reason that all of these guys still have jobs while others do not. It could have been posed as “budget cuts,” (though that would look weird on a day we found out just how well the top of the company is doing) or “restructuring” or whatever adjectives they’ll be using in the days to come. Fans probably would have settled for that, though not happily.
But that’s probably asking too much for a company that is far too big to ever say sorry or that it was wrong. It would never want to appear to be firing someone because someone else wanted it to. It has to be their call. Which keeps some real creeps at the company.
It was a slow night last night, but here’s Vladimir Guerrero The Younger pulverizing a baseball:
Feels like this one went farther than 456 feet, as it left Vlad’s bat at a peachy 112 MPH. Still, that swing and follow-thru sure looks like his dad. There was something about the way Guerrero The Elder would throw his whole body into a swing. Sometimes it’s nice to be old and see these kinds of connections.
No, just kidding. It’s never good to be old.