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  • I mean, not even Kross, Lee, or B-Fab were really doing anything right now, big parts of the draft or not. B-Fab has wrestled all of 10 matches since she signed. Kross hasn't had a televised match in a month, neither has Lee.


    • They weren't doing much, but you could sense that they were planning things. To me, it feels like the financials were unexpectedly bad, so they needed to make changes that weren't in the works.

      That being said, while I don't enjoy the NXT 2.0 product as much as the previous version, it does look better for developing new stars for the main roster. I know the IWC typical fan might think the future of WWE was Kyle O'Reilly, Neville, Sami Zayn, Adam Cole...etc, but the fact is that NXT produced more midcarders in the last 10 years than stars. There's nothing wrong with that, and I know many will say it's because Vince is out of touch or blablahblabla... But wrestling does not draw. It can draw, but a good wrestling match is not what draws in WWE. It never has.

      Even in the Bret Hart years, he wasn't putting on great matches in main events often. He'd get a spotlight, like King of the Ring, Owen or Bulldog, and then work the main events vs Yokozuna, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler. And his character work was really good. His wrestling is what we all know now, but Bret was easily one of the best character workers for his style. For a guy whose character was "I'm a great wrestler", he knew how to sell feuds with everyone involved. I can't say that about Daniel Bryan. Bryan was amazing in so many ways, but creating great rivalries wasn't one of them. Miz would have been the best of them all, and that was 95% Miz doing the work. Bret sold his hatred or frustrations really well.

      NXT call ups haven't done that, despite the online support. And Odyssey Jones has more personality than Keith Lee. He's probably 5 times cheaper to employ as well.


      • I definitely don't think you're wrong their, Pen. That said, if there were two people that had recently come through NXT that I would have anticipated thriving on the main roster, it's Kross and Lee. Call it mishandling, call it them not being good enough, but both seemed much more likely to succeed on the main roster than the O'Reilly/Cole/Gargano/Ciampa/Zayn etc group.

        If it does come down to those financials, then cutting folks like Lee/Kross who are in a weird spot where they're not (yet) doing anything major but probably earning a fair amount based on the cred they came in with. You could argue that they would have got to the same place by cutting (say) Alexander, Benjamin, Roode, and Ziggler from the roster, but I suppose it's just two different ways to peel an orange at that point.

        Those that were cut will all land somewhere, I imagine. Which is one of the things currently, if WWE cut someone it's not like they haven't got lots of options of other places to go in the way they did for a lot of the previous 15-20 years - it's not like they have to go and do some low profile indy work now, they can get televised work pretty easily, or at least high profile indy bookings.


        • There has also been lots of talk that the WWE wants to go younger.

          Kross and Lee are in their mid to late 30's, and have not been anything yet in the WWE, and yes, Ziggler and Roode are both older and in their 40's, they both are well established veterans that can always be trusted to bring along and groom the new, younger talent.

          So cutting Kross and Lee, does make sense in that respect.
          Last edited by Powder; 11-05-2021, 11:09 AM.


          • I think all promotions need to look into their processes because every promotion has people that could be used better. I think Lee and Kross were both true prospects for WWE, and the system failed them more than the talent failed WWE. But, I also understand WWE is changing. This NXT revamp wasn't subtle, and it has a huge impact on the entire company. They are really changing their views on who they want to depend on. People like Lee and Kross won't hurt for work. It might not be WWE money, but they can be comfortable with the available options. And a year or 2 down the line, they could be made another offer by WWE and go straight to a main roster or even main event role.

            Will these talents listen to the offer? No way to predict. But that time in AEW/Impact/ROH/MLW/NJPW.... they'll only get better, and on someone else's dime. Hoarding the talent, if that's what they were doing, wasn't working overall. I sense this will be better.


            • I'm surprised Kross didn't fare better in WWE, but I think a large part of it was them trying to make him a gimmick.

              WWE's in for some hurt over the next few years. I mean, look who's in charge of creative there. Bruce was a featured member of the team during one of the worst points in company history, and it looks like they're repeating those issues. Everyone needs an over the top gimmick or look or nickname. It's silliness.

              But, there's a bigger problem and it's that the whole industry is contracting somewhat. There are more products on TV than ever before, but only two are really offering decent money deals. And there are too many people that fans believe "should be" stars to realistically stock two companies. And I'm not sure there's the attention or fanbase out there for a third major right now/

              Now you have one looking to move younger, so anyone in their mid 30s is too old for them. So for the Krosses and Lees of the world, there's only one company left in America. And for Kross who might murder Callis, can he even go to AEW?

              We're dealing with a supply/demand issue on several levels. There is a greater supply of top flight talent that probably require a spot on top to justify their salary than there are top of the card spots. There is a greater supply of wrestling than there is audience to watch it.

              We might just be in a spot where the business is going to naturally contract. ROH is rebooting. Impact is Impact. MLW might as well be witness protection on a mainstream scale. NWA is on YouTube.

              But, at the same time, you can't expect companies to keep people under contract that they have no intention of using in a role befitting of the money they're making. You don't want people to get fired, but it's kind of always been the reality of the business.

              This isn't a Vince McMahon issue. This isn't (entirely) a WWE is evil issue. It's pretty much an issue of their being more stars of a certain level than there are jobs in any one company or potentially the industry as a whole right now.
              My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


              • I love Foley's response to the cuts:

                It’s never pleasant to hear that people have been released from their contracts in WWE, but some of yesterday’s releases are downright baffling. I believe there is a silver lining in that there has never been a better time to be a wrestler, with so many different opportunities out there. In the case of Karrion Kross, it does not take a genius to see that he will be reunited with Scarlett and instantly become one of the hottest duos in the business.

                Ultimately, WWE is supposed to make the people they hire more interesting, not less. But does anyone think Keith “Bearcat” Lee was more interesting than the Keith Lee we saw in NXT, or on the independent scene? For that matter, I thought Mia Yim was a better developed and more effective character as Jade in TNA than she was in NXT or WWE. Who exactly looked at Taya Valkyrie and thought she needed a name change or a dramatic shift in character either?

                Anyways, I’m really wishing the very best for everyone who suddenly – and in many cases, surprisingly – found themselves out of work yesterday. Some things just don’t make sense.


                • To me, it's completely ignorant. Much like everyone complaining. This generation is so spoiled that they don't realize the reality of keeping people on a payroll who the company doesn't feel is worth their pay.

                  Look how quickly the fans got over WWE releasing The Fiend. EASILY the most over person cut in recent memory. And yet, WWE moved on, fans accepted it or didn't, and you barely think about the lack of Wyatt's presence when watching WWE. For or and bad, WWE is a brand and the parts are extremely interchangeable. I like Kross, and I feel WWE did him wrong. But I know he's not essential to the enjoyment of the show. And so did WWE. I love Jordynne Grace, and understand the frustration people have that this mega company needs to cut costs when they make millions. But, we don't know anything, other than what extremely unreliable dirtsheet journalists tell us. Wrestlers and journalists who honestly have no f'n idea how corporate America really works.

                  Millennials continuing to be entitled. WWE doesn't owe anyone a career.
                  Last edited by PEN15v2; 11-05-2021, 03:15 PM.


                  • Even CM Punk understood that the wheels are gonna keep turning long after he's gone.


                    • I wonder how many of the released were told to keep their phones on and options open. I miss the days that we could have someone show up suddenly. The whole NXT existence kind of ruined the chance of surprises outside of AJ showing up at the Rumble. It would be nice if Braun Strowman one day just arrived to demolish someone on a random Smackdown, or Nia Jax, or anyone released over the last couple of years who still have something to offer.


                      • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
                        It would be nice if Braun Strowman one day just arrived to demolish someone on a random Smackdown, or Nia Jax, or anyone released over the last couple of years who still have something to offer.
                        I agree, but none of these fucks can keep their mouths shut on social media long enough for it to be a surprise. WWE should be firing more people if they can't stay quiet. Plug some of these leaks.

                        I understand why people are upset. Modern wrestlers have done a great job of making themselves "relatable" on social media. People think they know them, and want to root for them. If Tony Khan decided tomorrow that the Dark Order were diluting his main event scene and cut several of them, you'd have fans claiming that he blew it with "can't miss prospect Jon Silver".

                        One thing that I think can't be ignored (but is in favour of blasting the Evil Empire) is that three-ish years ago WWE had about 150 talents under contract, and by the beginning of the pandemic they were right around 300.

                        Were some hired to keep them away from AEW? Possibly maybe? I personally have my doubts despite online reports from the Bix-types that people are so willing to believe. Because the people who would be thinking like that aren't making the day-to-day hiring decisions, Triple H obviously leans toward a more serious but "indy style" company that would like those stars, and I can't imagine them spending money on someone and giving them TV time just to keep them from the competition.

                        National TV time is worth on the low end about $10,000 per minute. Are and of you going to spend six figures a year and give up millions of dollars in the value of TV time on someone you don't have any intention of making a big star and only want to keep from your competition? If that's the case and they might become such a big star on the other channel, why not just make them a star yourself?

                        This major layoff was never in the plans. Remember, in 2019 there were talks of massive expansion to the NXT brand -- expansion to other countries, establishing a second NXT show on the Network as purely developmental like NXT 2.0 is now -- and they were running more and more and more stuff.

                        To me, it seems like they doubled their roster with hopes of expansion, at a time where their entire business model was about to be rocked and they couldn't justify paying that many people (profitable company or not). At the same time, NXT was being beaten in overall viewership by AEW and it probably raised a red flag in the office that, between not really having developed top stars in the last few years and the established brand being beaten by a brand new show, maybe they were overpaying for indy "stars" that weren't getting it done and change was needed.

                        They're retracting their roster size because they don't need that many people. There literally aren't that many spots to fill. An unfortunate side effect is going to be that people who are beloved by fans, but that they don't believe are going to meet the value of their contract or the TV time they're being given that are going to be casualties. You can't expect them to keep everyone on the company under contract until that person feels ready to reach out to AEW for a contract but that seems to be the smart fans' point of view.

                        I'm exactly the person you'd expect would be enraged. I've known some of these people who have been released over the last year personally. But I'm also realistic. Tony Khan can keep sign every talent on the indies because he's got his inheritance while dad's still avlie, and nobody to answer to.
                        My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


                        • It's amazing for anyone to see how massively the world has changed due to the Civid pandemic, and then for them to forget it long enough to think WWE is immune. I understand that at the root of it is a system that is likely extremely corrupt (shareholders/corporations...etc.), but it doesn't make the decisions any easier for those involved in making cuts.


                          • Originally posted by Team Farrell View Post
                            I understand why people are upset. Modern wrestlers have done a great job of making themselves "relatable" on social media. People think they know them, and want to root for them.
                            There's something in this, COACH, and I don't think it just relates to the cuts and people's feeling about them either. I can't work out why Liv Morgan is anywhere near a Raw Women's Championship shot at Becky. She was the worst/sloppiest person in that 5-way last night, and while I fully get that at some point they have to work to make a new star in some way, you can't just do that with someone who hasn't got the ability to actually be in that position just based on some kind of ground swell of fan support for whatever reason.

                            Maybe there's something I'm missing in her that someone with a more trained eye than I can see, but there was a Carmella/Liv match a couple of weeks ago that was one of the worst recent WWE matches I've seen, male or female.


                            • In understand cuts, and I understand that Covid has affected everyone, including major corporations.


                              Just take a look at the current rosters. The WWE let go some people over the past few months and left the same ones in place. Even with the draft, I still do not feel like RAW nor SD are "fresh".

                              Big E vs Rollins or Owens or Lashley or Edge
                              Roman vs Drew or Kofi? or Woods? or Hardy? or Sheamus? and eventually we get Lesnar back for Roman vs Lesnar 6?

                              None of that screams new faces, no pun intended, in the main event scene. I am losing my interest after nearly 40 years in wrestling because it is all just the same thing week in and week out. There is no one new. They just let go two guys that could have been in Lee and Kross. We will never know what they could have been in the WWE.


                              • I think you should feel like a lot of those are fresh. You can argue about whether the people themselves are, but a lot of the match ups are, and there are a fair few new faces in there who have been built over the past 6-18 months, which is about as fresh as you get.

                                Big E has been in the main event scene now for, what, 3 months? He's their new face, and opposite him they have to put someone they know can support the main event program. I think that's pretty sensible. Lashley was a fresh face in the main event only 6/7 months ago, right? And a lot of the possible matches for either of those two are fresh, even if the people they go against aren't new faces.

                                Woods has never been in the main event scene and is getting a shot at some of it. Weren't there also reports about Ricochet impressing when given a chance against Roman recently? And Drew too, he's had a couple of matches there that have been well received so might be an option in the main event. Reigns has never had a match with Hardy, hasn't had a singles match with Sheamus for over three years now either, hasn't faced Kofi in singles in over six years, and has never faced Woods in singles.

                                Like, complain all you want about the names not being new, but there's a whole lot of fresh matches, or at least matches that haven't been seen for a fair while, amongst just that group of names you list there.

                                WWE can't just put two completely fresh guys into the main event matches/scene up against each other - especially when one of the people holding the title is one of those (relatively) fresh faces.