Ready… Aim… YOU’RE FIRED!
To be honest, I did not realize Hawkins, Camacho, Tatsu, and Bourne were still employed. I knew about JTG because of the humor website featuring a timer. A bit surprised to see McIntyre, Mahal, Aksana and even Clay get the boot. What really shocked me was the release of the referee Marc Harris. Ever the professional, Mr. Harris was an old school guy who would check the boots and pads of every wrestler in the ring. He trained feverishly with a stopwatch, making sure his counts were precise and exactly on the second. A legend for sure had his career in WWE lasted longer.
Sorry, I couldn’t type that with a straight face anymore.
The real surprise comes in the form of Teddy Long. Very few knew this, but Long had been contemplating retirement from the wrestling business for the past year. This was actually not a case of Long being released, simply his contract expired and he chose this was the right time for him to retire. Teddy Long has been a staple of the modern-day wrestling industry. He has been manager, promoter, referee… You name it, he did it. He started out with the NWA and transitioned over to WCW. He served as referee, but once management saw his skill on the mic, immediately helped shape him into a manager (Editor’s Note: He managed Ron Simmons and Butch Reed, when they teamed as Doom). He became the man behind numerous champions. He hopped over to the WWF/WWE in 1998 as a referee for a short time, but once again, was repackaged as a manager for heels, notably African Americans towards the end of the Attitude Era, but shortly after WWE creative felt Long would be better served as one of the General Managers of their programming and was assigned to oversee SmackDown. He was both face and heel, and never disappointed in either role. Feuds with John Laurinitis, Vickie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, JBL, Booker T, and even The Undertaker.
After a year of being on-and-off television, also due to the tiring schedules, Long made the call not to renew his contract, and felt it was time. I applaud Teddy Long for his long and successful career.
While RAW was revealing, SmackDown proved to be more surprising. Triple H decided to make the night awful for Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose by pitting them in seemingly dire situations. Reigns had a match with Bad News Barrett, but that was interrupted by the now extinct 3MB. Funny, isn’t it? Triple H wanted to terminate The Shield, yet 3MB gets the axe in real-life. You know, Triple H could have just fired them in the story… Anyway, later in the night Dean Ambrose goes up against Bray Wyatt in a Money in the Bank qualifying match, and LOSES, thanks to a distraction from Seth Rollins. So, The Shield is match-less for Money in the Bank. Although I smell Triple H may not be done with in-ring competition just yet, we could see The Game and Rollins against Reigns and Ambrose at MITB.
Here is what confused me most. Not Bo Dallas beating R-Truth, not the continued feud between Summer Rae and Layla, but how Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter appear to be in the crosshairs of Lana and Alexander Rusev. Yes, the original intent appeared to see Lana trying to distract Big E. Langston from defeating Swagger, yet Zeb got himself involved, which earned only a sneer from the leggy Lana. So, Triple Threat now with Swagger, Langston, and Rusev? Is there a point to this? Or just pay-per-view filler.
Cesaro picked up a win over Sheamus, evening their feud, while Erick Rowan defeated Jey Uso as revenge for Jimmy Uso beating Luke Harper on Main Event. Feuds are building, and these are great feuds which can last through a few pay-per-views. SummerSlam is not that far off. We have Harper and Rowan contending for the tag team championships, and a win would certainly keep the Wyatt Family on the radar. Combine that with Bray possibly winning MITB, and the WWE Championship? Talk about a championship stable. Cesaro and Sheamus will be war. They can wrestle and brawl. Being able to change up styles during matches is key to keep the crowd entertained, and we are talking about two guys who could pull off one-hour Iron Man matches if they had to.
The hype is for Money in the Bank, and right now we have Alberto del Rio, Cesaro, Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt. Two more spots will be filled. I really fear one of them will go to John Cena. Had this been a regular MITB match, I could have seen Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Adam Rose, Big E. Langston, Kofi Kingston, and even Miz participate. But with the WWE World Championship on the line, WWE Creative might make the call to put the strap back on one of their mainstays like Cena or Orton. I hope they don’t. Money in the Bank is meant for someone not necessarily at that level, but to boost one up there.
We have two weeks left, as we have seen, anything can happen.
Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.