Emma, Darren Young and Summer Rae RELEASED from WWE – Thoughts and Reactions

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. Breaking news from today as three long-time main roster superstars have been released from WWE as Emma, Darren Young and Emma have departed from the company.

All three of these talents have been members of the RAW roster ever since the 2016 draft with very limited success for all three of them and long periods of absence in the last few years.

Emma was the first announced by WWE via their social media accounts and website. Emma has recently been a regular feature in WWE programming after several periods away from television for reasons such as injuries and even writing reasons. Emma had rose to fame initially from NXT before being promoted to the main roster to feud with, ironically, Summer Rae. After a few months of not really clicking on a main-roster level, Emma turned heel upon her return to NXT and saw her character develop dramatically. She returned to the main roster but her momentum was cut shot by an injury, leading to the bright idea of her to re-emerge as Emmalina. Due to her being in creative limbo and writers not really figuring out what to do with her, Emma went roughly 17 weeks before Emmalina debuted and literally just led to her being repackaged back to Emma. Emma had recently appearing at the TLC pay-per-view as Asuka’s first main roster opponent before her release.

Darren Young debuted in the first season of NXT before debuting on the main roster as part of the Nexus angle. Darren was exiled from the group after SummerSlam and after months of limited notoriety, partnered up with Titus O’Neil as part of the Prime Time Players. Darren and Titus teamed for a number of years and Darren actually won the tag team titles with Titus at Money In The Bank 2015. Darren’s singles career saw him aligned with Bob Backlund in the hopes of “making Darren Young great again.” Darren’s new repackaging eventually led to him receiving an Intercontinental Championship match at Battleground 2016. Darren was injured shortly after a feud with his old partner Titus, which has now led to his release.

Summer Rae debuted as the ring announcer in the newly rebooted NXT before eventually becoming a single competitor in the competitive women’s division featuring the likes of Emma and Paige. She eventually debuted on the main roster as Fandango’s dance partner, elevated as much as Fandango when his theme song became an international hit. Alongside this, Summer was pretty competitive in NXT and was aligned as a BFF of one Sasha Banks. Summer and Fandango eventually split and after a short stint aligned with Layla, Summer was eventually inserted into the infamous Dolph Ziggler/Lana storyline. Summer sided with Rusev but eventually broke up with him, leading to her siding with the debuting Tyler Breeze. Shortly after, Summer became injured and had yet to even appear on RAW since she was drafted in 2016 prior to her release.

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On the surface, these wrestlers weren’t exactly major players on the main roster in WWE. However, it is rather sad to see people lose jobs especially in a line of work as limited as wrestling is. For Summer and Emma, they both have opportunities outside of wrestling available to them like modelling and acting. I think there’s probably a chance for them to get their foot in the door. For Darren, very difficult to see where he may go from here. I don’t see him as a major player in the independent scene but as a WWE star, there’s probably a lot of decent money for him to make.

For Emma and Summer, I do see two cases of untapped potential with both of these girls. If you’ve ever watched Emma (and Summer to a degree), you can see that this girl was a hugely talented wrestler. She’s had great matches with Paige and Asuka in NXT. She’s probably better than at least 75% of the main roster which may be kind of pushing it. Regardless, she still had a lot of value and it was annoying as a fan of her to not see her at least take part in a major women’s title program. She could have been a great mentor to have for these new up-and-coming women, especially some of the ones from the Mae Young Classic.

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Summer was also a great talent too. I don’t really rate her highly as a worker but again, you don’t need to be the world’s greatest worker to be effective. Just look at Alexa for example. Summer was a great talker and really fit into the roles that she was given and her delivery was pretty good. I always rated Summer and it’s a shame she didn’t get one last run before her release.

I also have to give a lot of credit to Darren Young too, someone who has opened the doors for a lot of sports figures in terms of the LGBT community. Him publicly coming out as gay in 2013 did take a lot of courage and was widely commended among the wrestling community. In that aspect, I must give him a lot of credit.

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I do actually have a bone to pick before I sign off here because I want to address one of the more pathetic responses to the releases of Emma in particular, ironically from someone signed with WWE. The newly signed Lio Rush tweeted this out shortly after the news:

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Obviously, this is a reference to Emma’s match at TLC when she lost to Asuka. However, this guy making this comment only JUST after signing with WWE about these tough circumstances for a long-time WWE employee seemed so audacious to me. Someone that has “paid her dues” like Emma that’s just been told that she’s been cut and Lio, who has only been here for a short time, has the nerve to make light of this bad deal for Emma?

This tweet was actually quickly deleted by Lio, following a number of wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, Peyton Royce, Rosa Mendes and Jack Gallagher burying Lio for these comments. Lio did also apologise for this tweet but he did it in such a way that he apologised that the fans got upset about his comment which doesn’t strike me as a genuine apology or Lio taken responsibility for his comments.

I except Lio to get heat from this because, as the likes of Baron Corbin can vouch for, troublesome tweets can be hurtful for your career. I don’t think he’ll be fired for saying this but I can’t say that this will not make him many friends in developmental and on the main roster. This is trouble when you make light of the situation of the likes of Emma. Emma seems to be well liked within WWE so Lio may have just made things hard for him in the first stages of his WWE career.

Anyway, best of luck to Emma, Summer and Darren in whatever they do next. I wish them all the very best.

NXT Arrival Review – The Next Generation Of WWE Takes To New Heights!

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NXT Arrival is the first mega show for the NXT developmental league. A huge milestone for the future stars of WWE to show us just what they’re made off. I’m not going to lie. Before this, I barely ever watched NXT so I decided to flick on NXT Arrival to see what the deal was with it. And boy was I blown away in as early as the first match!

Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro

The Koji Clutch. Gee, I Wonder Who This Move Reminded You Guys Of....

The Koji Clutch. Gee, I Wonder Who This Move Reminded You Guys Of….

You want to talk about a match that can tell a story? This was a fantastic representation of Zayn and Cesaro’s long-running rivalry. The underdog Zayn trying to earn the respect of the accomplished athlete Cesaro in what billed as the “Final Chapter” of their feud. The two put on a wrestling clinic at Arrival which had the NXT fans buzzing all over the place! This match was a great opportunity for these two incredibly talented wrestlers to show us what they’re made off. These two got a good 20 minutes to give us one hell of a performance. I enjoyed the storytelling of the match. Zayn trying to earn the respect of Cesaro by refusing to give up, refusing to die by kicking out of brutal uppercut after brutal uppercut. This match was really a match that hit all the right notes. To those that enjoy the storyline telling of wrestling, to those hardcore fans that just enjoy the technical wrestling part of it, this match is simply up your street. Fantastic finish to the feud.

Mojo Rawley vs CJ Parker

Parker Gets Ass To Face

Parker Gets Ass To Face

OK, CJ Parker is a very… interesting character. A heel hippie? I’m not sure if this character is going to go that well, especially if he’s a heel. But only time will tell. I love Mojo Rawley’s gimmick of being ultra-hyped all the time! This is definitely the type of guy that would have lucozade with his bowl of Cheerios in the morning! This match wasn’t much good and it really was the breather for fans after that stunning opener between Cesaro and Zayn. I don’t like the fact that Mojo won the match by just sitting on him with his “Hyper Driver”. Again, these two characters are probably characters that are definitely going to be hard for people to get into. It was for me anyway.

Ascension (c) vs Too Cool for the NXT Tag Team Championship

Domination!

Domination!

Boy, the returning Too Cool got nothing but the shit kicked out of them in this match against the team of Ascension for the NXT Tag Team titles. This was basically Too Cool being feed to the wolves. I don’t think a squash match like this would help the prestige of the NXT Tag Team Championship when they just beat up two old timers who had like 10% of offense in this match. Also, 75% of the match was just Grandmaster Sexay getting beat up by these two! Then again, Sexay wasn’t exactly as slick as he once was. You can’t really dish out a “You Still Got It” chant at Sexay like!

Paige (c) vs Emma for the NXT Women’s Championship

Paige Gives Emma A Dropkick For Her Troubles

Paige Gives Emma A Dropkick For Her Troubles

First of all, I loved Stephanie McMahon coming out and putting over the NXT women’s division. She did a real good job at hyping up the match and the competitors. Also I loved her response to the “You Still Got It” chant by simply stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, I never lost it”! No woman could act as boss as Stephanie in a WWE ring.

The match between Paige and Emma was really good. The fans weren’t into it as much as the Cesaro/Zayn, largely due to the pace being slowed down to show off the skill of these two divas. NXT is the best place to go nowadays if you want to see actually good women’s matches these days. We had a lot of back and forth, and a lot of great spots like Emma’s Sit-Out powerbomb. Somehow, Paige was able to kick out! Interesting to note that Emma’s powerbomb got a “Better Than Batista” chant! I loved that! Also, Emma was a lot more ruthless in the ring as you’d expect. Acting a bit heelish when she was slapping around Paige near the end. Maybe that was just to show that she’s not just some happy-go-lucky diva. She’s got just a mean streak within her as Paige. Paige won with the “Scorpion Cross-Lock” submission hold. I’ve actually seen that move before and it’s really rare to see it in wrestling because it’s so difficult to pull off. But Paige could and Emma was not getting out of that and submitted. Really good match which I think lasted 10+ minutes which I loved to see.

Xaiver Wood vs Tyler Breeze

Watch Out WWE...

Watch Out WWE…

Errrr… actually this match never actually took place because of a certain tank of a Bulgarian, Alexander Rusev, taking out both men with ease. Making a clear statement before he embraces the main WWE roster with his presence.

Bo Dallas (c) vs Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship

The Two NXT Stars Battle For The Top Prize!

The Two NXT Stars Battle For The Top Prize!

I was a bit disappointed with this ladder match considering all the hype that went into it throughout the show and before that. Neville was awesome in the ring and in a ladder match environment, but the same can’t be said for Bo Dallas. I really don’t get how he lasted 200+ days as champion. In the ring, he seemed really awkward in this match which is a shame for such a historic ladder match.

Bo Dallas, with his face like a rhino’s backside, was not able to stop the flying Geordie from grabbing the title after a “Red Arrow” onto Dallas on the ladder which looked like a pure peach of a finisher. Neville was able to become the fourth ever NXT Champion and ushered in a new era under a champion in NXT.

Definitely a great show! If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it! It’s basically the show to watch if you’re like me. You never really watched NXT that much and want to know what the fuss was all about. The first match on the show was the greatest indication about why you should tune it. If this is an indication of the future of WWE, then we’re in for one hell of a ride boys and girls!