Wade Barrett And Damien Sandow Among Several WWE Releases

How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. Big news coming from the WWE on Friday as eight releases were announced with the departures of Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow being the biggest ones of the lot.

With that said, there were a number of surprise releases among the group of superstars. The full list of wrestlers released were….

  • Wade Barrett
  • Damien Sandow
  • El Torito
  • Hornswoggle
  • Alex Riley
  • Cameron
  • Santino Marrella
  • Zeb Colter

What we’ll do with this post is run down everyone that was released and I will give my thoughts in the latest mass exodus of WWE talent.

 

Wade Barrett

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Barrett’s departure has been well-known for a while. He’s discussed it in the past and it appeared that he was done following his excommunication from the League of Nations. Throughout the years, for the Armbar Express, NoDQ.com, SLTD Wrestling and even WhatCulture, I’ve talked about Wade Barrett passionately. This man had everything that the WWE could want in a top heel and they really dropped the ball on him. Now granted, there were a number of times where Barrett was picking up momentum but unfortunately picked up injuries that stopped him. However, there’s also been a fair share of disregard for Barrett by the WWE writers in the past few years.

He’s been a King of the Ring winner and a multi-time Intercontinental Champion, but it still feels like Barrett was never able to accomplish any of significant value since he debuted on RAW as a part of Nexus. That angle could have made Barrett a star but whether it was down to “backstage politicking” or lack of confidence in the Nexus as a whole, Barrett was never really given a great main-event run. Despite this, Barrett’s had some great periods of getting over to a high level. As Bad News Barrett in 2014, Barrett was one of the most over acts in the entire company. It’s sad to see him go but the pressure is now on for Neville to waive the flag for England in the WWE.

 

Damien Sandow

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The fact that WWE had nothing creatively for Damien Sandow to do in the last 12 months just goes to show how badly WWE screwed up the booking of this man. The fact that Damien Sandow has now been released after holding the Money In The Bank contract and being one of the most over acts of 2014 and 2015 is just an unfortunate fall from grace for the man that has received endorsements from legends such as Mick Foley.

For a company that claims to embody “sports entertainment,” it’s astonishing that they wouldn’t push Damien Sandow to the level that he could get to. After all, Damien Sandow has been entertaining with every gimmick he’s been given. Whether it’s just being the intellectual saviour of the masses or just parodying other superstars, Damien took the ball and ran as hard as he could with it. He’s like Eric Young in the sense that he could make any gimmick work. It boggles my mind how WWE never gave him a legitimate run as a main-eventer considering how over Damien got.

 

El Torito

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El Torito was a surprise release. I actually liked El Torito and he actually had a lot of value as a little fella that children could get invested in. Not only that but he could actually work in the ring as a luchador. As a suitable replacement for Hornswoggle as the top… little man in the company, El Torito was the right man. I know that his character didn’t get over to a tremendous degree but he was good enough to be a great little lower mid-card character that could keep the crowds happy. I guess the WWE didn’t really have a lot of future plans for him but you could tell that anyway as soon as he broke up with Los Matadores in an angle which went… nowhere.

Torito, much like a lot of these guys, just didn’t seem to have a place in the company anymore. Especially with Los Matadores being repackaged back to Primo and Epico, there was not much else for Torito to do.

 

Hornswoggle

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Hornswoggle had already been on the company’s bad books ever since his suspension last year. Taking his inactivity afterwards into account, this was the least surprising release for me. After ten years of goofy angles, which include being Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son and being the anonymous general manager of RAW, what else could Hornswoggle offer in terms of storylines? He did pretty much all he could with WWE and now’s the time for him to move on. You gave us some of the most unique and bizarre wrestling angles of all time and even reigned as the final Cruiserweight champion but this is the end of the road unfortunately.

NOTE: It’s actually already been confirmed that Hornswoggle is starting up with Global Force Wrestling as… Swoggle.

 

Alex Riley

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Again, this was an inevitability. Alex Riley had been in NXT for years in hopes of revitalising his wrestling career. He feuded with Kevin Owens and then really just floated around in the NXT roster after that. Riley had also been very outspoken on Twitter about how WWE was using him on the main roster and on NXT.  Really, there was little chance of anything major happening for Riley in the near future.

There was a time where it really felt that WWE were going to get behind him after he broke up with The Miz in 2011. He got some big pops as he feuded with him and even BEAT him at Capitol Punishment 2011. Considering that he beat Miz, right after he dropped the WWE title to John Cena, that shows you just how much stock they had in him. He had segments with Cena and Steve Austin and it looked for all the world like they were really going to push him to be the next top babyface. He had the charisma for it anyway.

However, for whatever reason, Riley’s push was dropped and he was really never able to recover again. The big reason about why Riley’s push was ended was reportedly due to a confrontation he had with John Cena backstage. It was probably in Riley’s best interests to not get on the bad side of these top guys in the company, but it was a shame that his full potential was never realised before he parted ways with WWE.

 

Santino Marella

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Santino had been retired as an in-ring competitor for a number of years. Santino’s gave us many years of laughs and entertainment but it was very difficult for Santino to make a significant contribution to the company strictly as an ambassador and in a non-wrestling position. With several big legends on the pay-roll in the same role as Santino, there was little need for him anymore.

You’ll be missed Santino!

 

Cameron

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As strange as this may sound, Cameron was the most shocking release of all. The reason I say this is because I truly believed that Cameron was making a serious effort to contribute more to the company. Whether it was going back to NXT to develop her wrestling skills or taking part in outside projects, I think Cameron was trying really hard to make the WWE realise that she wanted a place in her company and that she could deliver. Despite all of this, with the sudden increased demand of women’s wrestling, Cameron was going to have a difficult time attempting to live up to that standard set by the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Paige and Bayley.

Cameron did have a number of off-screen incidents while in WWE, including her infamous DUI where she reportedly tried to bribe a policeman and didn’t tell WWE about it. She also had the incident on RAW where she tried to pin Naomi on her stomach. Despite her recent efforts, I guess it’s time for Cameron to say girl bye.

 

Zeb Colter

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Colter was sailing in the same boat as nearly everyone else that was released, in the sense that there was not a lot for him to do within the company anymore. He came in as the effective manager for Jack Swagger and delivered tremendously on the mic. The issue with Zeb was that he was one gimmick hit. He was really only able to deliver well with the Real American gimmick and whenever he was with Jack Swagger. When they tried to put him with Alberto Del Rio, it was a momentous disaster to the point where Del Rio has never really been able to recover.

 

What do you think of these releases? Who are you going to miss the most? Is there anyway that you’re glad to see leave? Tweet us your response @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below.

News: Fatal Four Way For Tag Team Titles Announced For Wrestlemania XXX

NEWS! Another match has been announced for the granddaddy of them all Wrestlemania XXX! It’s another title match for you guys to feast your eyes on as the newly crowned WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos are defending their titles against not one, not two but THREE different tag teams at the event!

And those tag teams are….

“The Real Americans” Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro….

“Los Matadores” Fernando and Diego (along with El Torito… the greatest midget in wrestling history!)

and “Rybaxel” Curtis Axel and THE BIG GUY Ryback!

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I think it’s safe to say that we were all expecting the tag team titles to be on the line at Wrestlemania. The tag team division has received a lot exposure in WWE in the last couple of years and it would have been unjust not to have the belts on the line. I’m surprised that the Real Americans are in the match considering the storyline involving Swagger and Cesaro. I would have figured that either Swagger or Cesaro would fight for the Intercontinental title… or each other. Then again, if the Shield has proved us anything is that you can’t assume that a team is gonna split up or not anymore. Hell, Cesaro and Swagger might both turn face on Zeb Colter. Los Matadores are also a team I never expected to be in, largely due to WWE hardly ever utilizing them on RAW or SmackDown! these days. I will allow these teams to be in the match because I know there’s now a possibility that Antonio Cesaro is gonna swing around El Torito! I should open a pool of how many times or how long Cesaro is going to swing that bull around! I’m going to mark out if Cesaro actually does it!

And lastly… Rybaxel! Let’s be honest… we’re all here to see THE BIG GUY! Curtis Axel is a class wrestler but Ryback… is Ryback! Speaking of things I really want to see… I really want to see Ryback give El Torito a Shellshock! He could do it with on arm if you think about it! At least have Ryback attempt because I really want to see what it looked like! I just want to state for the record that I’m a huge El Torito mark! But I’m an even bigger mark for the Big Guy!

This seems a forgone conclusion of a match, but I still think it’ll be a nice little match for us to enjoy. We’re gonna get high-flying action! We’re gonna get THE BIG GUY! We’re gonna get people being swung around! And we’re going to see El Torito! I think this fatal four way will be a great addition to the PPV!

Royal Rumble 2014 Review – Boos Ruin The End Of The Biggest Match Of The Year

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ROYAL RUMBLE REVIEW TIME!

Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt

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We’re Here

The fans were very much into this match, and for good reason. Bray and Bryan some how are able to enrich some amazing chemistry between them. And the reason I’m surprised is because Bray and Bryan have two very different styles of wrestling. A very technical wrestler versus a really brawler with a bit of speed about him.

Daniel and Bray were able to pull off a really good match to kick off the show. I’d say I was surprised by a match like this opening the show. But then again, the PPV had FOUR MATCHES! With a card also featuring Brock vs Big Show, the WWE World Title match and the Royal Rumble what do you expect?

The finish really made this match something special. I love how Bray caught the suicide dive by Bryan and turned it into a “Sister Abigail” into the barricade. It looked SICK and was really well transitioned. And that’s such a difficult thing to pull off and they did. Props to that. It was important for Bray to win clean. If you want Bray Wyatt to be a huge star, he needs to be getting clean victories over top faces in the company. Great way to start the PPV.

Brock Lesnar vs Big Show

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Really? Since when does Brock Lesnar need a chair?

OK, I don’t even know where to begin with this match. If you want to call it a match. This was just purely garbage. Before the match could begin, Lesnar assaulted Big Show with a bit of good old MMA “ground and pound” which looked ridicoulous on the Big Show. You know it’s alright trying to make WWE more “legit” incorparating MMA into wrestling. But it has to at least look legit. This looked shocking.

Anyway, Brock proceeds to constantly whack Big Show with a chair multiple times. How does constantly beating a 500-pound man with chair make him look badass? It makes him look so weak when he has to resort to a chair to soften up somebody. He’s BROCK LESNAR. He “EATS, SLEEPS, CONQUERS AND REPEATS”. He doesn’t beat people up with a chair before a match even begins.

So the match finally begins with Big Show having taken about 20 chair shots; and somehow Show is able to unload a “knock out” punch to Lesnar 5 seconds into the fight. It looked so weak but JBL was on commentary saying that Brock was knocked out when he was moving around on the ground.

So after a 2 minute “back and forth”, Brock gets the victory with an F5 on Big Show for the victory. Why did Cole and JBL act so amazed over Lesnar doing the F5 on Big Show? Like he never did it before? It was ridcolus… but not as ridicioulous as the second chair beatdown. This didn’t make Brock look good, or Big Show for that matter. It just looked shambolic. And how the hell can WWE justify putting on something this bad with such a huge star like Brock Lesnar? It wasn’t right on Lesnar to have to fight that giant tub of lard Big Show. Lesnar would have had a better match with Dennis Rodman.

John Cena vs Randy Orton

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How many more times WWE?

You know, I really appriciate WWE trying to make Orton vs Cena a lot more interesting each time, but the fact it is really NEVER going to happen. I mean they tried with each of them copying each others finishers, but no. I kind of hope WWE steers away from this path with the two of them for the future. Salvaged in part by the Wyatt Family getting involved and attacking Cena, but still rather predictable stuff between Cena and Orton.

Royal Rumble Match

YES! Greatest Royal Rumble moment of all time!

YES! Greatest Royal Rumble moment of all time!

It is now time for the ROYAL RUMBLE match!

A very entertaining Royal Rumble. Really loved it. We had CM Punk and Seth Rollins pulling long stints from number 1 and number which is becoming far too over-done these days in the Rumble. Sure you’d expect CM Punk, but Seth as well? Sure he needed to be in at the end for what happened at the end, but did he really need to be number 2?

A lot of guys you’d expect came and went. The R-Truths, the Jack Swaggers etc. We saw Corporate Kane on the scene… and he lasted less than a minute. -.- I kinda wish he broke Shawn Michaels’ record for most collective eliminations already. The NXT star Alexander Rusev entered the match and looked rather impressive. I kinda like what they’re doing putting in NXT stars in the match every year. It gives these guys exposure and that’s important.

Kofi Kingston had his Royal Rumble moment as usual making an incredible jump from the top of the barricade on the outside into the ring. Personally, I didn’t believe he’d make it but he proved me wrong! Hehe! Quality jump. Kevin Nash appeared in the Rumble which I thought was pretty cool! At least he eliminated someone this time!

We had the likes of R-Truth and The Great Khali lasting like 30 seconds which seemed like total wastes. I mean sure, if it was like a joke character who was supposed to be in for a short time it’d be OK. But these are just random mid-card guys which seemed rather unwarranted.

Sheamus made his return and got a decent pop! He looked good in the ring and got a lot of overness from beating up The Shield in his first 90 seconds in the match. He looked really good in that sense.

Now we approach the best part of the match….

Words cannot describe how much I was laughing at this and words cannot describe how happy I was when he eliminated Fandango! That was greatest Rumble moment of all time! XD

Antonio Cesaro did a lot of swinging, which got the crowd popping. We got the Wyatt Family which was a real surprise for me. Not expecting them to get onto  the scene. However, they were really unaffective in the match (other than Luke Harper eliminating two people and their scrap with The Shield). Speaking of the Shield, they were oh so dominate in this match. Seth Rollins like I stated before lasted nearly the entire match. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns also made it 30+ minutes. Collectively, they eliminated half of the field! Holy crap!

One of those eliminations was JBL, who had never been in the Rumble with the gimmick. JBL walked into the ring with suit, gave Michael Cole his suit and was eliminated by Reigns. The fans loved that as did I. It was really cool to see JBL coming into the match like that. And then Batista came into the match…

Batista just looked awful here. I can see why fans are so dismayed by Batista winning because of his performance. He seemed blown up after like 60 seconds. It really was a reality check for Batista. However, it was good to see Batista enter at the same number he entered when he won the Rumble in 2005. Very clever…

Rey Mysterio entered the match at #30… and got zero reaciton. After a minute or so the crowd roared with boos… until Rey was eliminated after being in the match for 2 minutes.

In the end it was down to the number one entrant CM Punk, the returning Batista and Sheamus (the latter had been in the match for nearly 30 minutes) and Roman Reigns who had tied Kane’s record for most eliminations in a Rumble match! Speaking of Kane, he got revenge on Punk and eliminated him from the match and gave him a chokeslam for good measures. And then Reigns eliminated Sheamus to break Kane’s record! And then Reigns in turned was eliminated by Batista, who earned a shot at the WWE World Championship at Wrestlemania 30!

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Income the raging Daniel Bryan fanboys….

Overall Impressions of the match. I think it was a really good Royal Rumble with a lot of surprises that I fully enjoyed and a lot of established stars in the match. This had a lot of star power to it! We had CM Punk, Batista, Sheamus, The Shield, Kevin Nash… even JBL! We had a lot of cool moments that we’re going to talk about for years to come. Roman Reigns breaking the record for eliminations was superb. I remember saying to someone in a Facebook group thing that Reigns could break Kane’s record. It was really cool that it actually happened because it’s clear WWE have something huge for Roman to give him such a prestigious record to hold. A record that has not been broken for 13 years or so. Even if he didn’t win, Roman is going to go places when The Shield break up. As for Batista winning… meh. Not to fussed about it. Daniel Bryan not being in it… not to fussed about it. He had to sell his injuries sustained in the Bray Wyatt match by not being in the match. It was a good rumble, regardless of him not being in it.