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.

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NEWS: The Status Of Neville And Nia Jax In WWE

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. We’ve got a bit of news surrounding two top RAW superstars. It had been previously reported that Neville had actually asked for his release from WWE, following not appearing in last week’s Monday Night RAW event. It appears that Neville is not the only one linked with a move out of the door….

Nia Jax, who debuted on Monday Night RAW following the WWE Draft in July 2016, has been reported as having been upset backstage following not appearing on RAW herself in this week’s edition of the show. Nia had been part of an angle between Sasha Banks and Bayley, feuding with the two girls ever since No Mercy. This week, Sasha Banks fought Alicia Fox while Bayley was in a tag team match.

Nia not being there did raise a few questions, with Pro Wrestling Votes (the same guys who had initially spread word on Neville’s situation) tweeting about possibly hearing of Nia’s absence.

Pro Wrestling Sheet released an update to the initial rumours, stating that their sources suggest that Nia has been granted a “leave of absence” although nothing has been confirmed yet about whether Nia was upset backstage at RAW last night. The update is available at this link.

I do want to stress to everyone reading that we’re merely at the rumour stages of the story, and no statement has been released yet from WWE’s side of things or from Nia herself or any members of Nia’s family. If you recall, when the story broke about Neville asking for his release, WWE quickly denied any truth to it. Again, early doors on this story so WWE may not have had the time to respond just yet.

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The internet wrestling community has become extremely quick at jumping to the conclusion that Nia had been frustrated with creative similar to Neville. I find it rather difficult to believe as Nia has been one of the more protected women across RAW, SmackDown! and NXT. Only girls like Alexa Bliss and Charlotte are booked better than her in my eyes and Nia Jax is the biggest female monster that’s been pushed since she was promoted last year.

Neville’s frustrations are understandable knowing how badly 205 Live has been going as well as his inability to advance further in his WWE career. Nia… she’s got plenty of time to get ready enough to become a strong women’s champion. I don’t see how she’s got a case in being frustrated there and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Nia’s leave of absence could mean many things so it’s difficult for us to guess. I do wish Nia the best with whatever the situation is with her, if this turns out to be true. Again, a lot of potential in Nia as a top monster… given time to develop as a worker. I would not want to miss out on a Nia Jax monster title reign.

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As for Neville, his story has been kind of kept under wraps at the moment. As it stands right now, he’s still employed at WWE. For those of you that are unaware, Neville was not on RAW last week for a show where he was supposedly set to challenge Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight title in the main-event. The initial reports that he “walked out” was debunked as Neville wasn’t even there in the first place.

The rumours have been running rampant for him. There’s talk of frustrations with the royalties for being on the pre-show for WrestleMania 33, similar to the reasons why Austin Aries left WWE earlier this year as well. Not to add fuel to the fire in this sense but there were rumours that Enzo was supposed to beat Neville again in that main-event so he may have possibly not wanted to do the job. There’s a lot frustrations supposedly on Neville’s end.

The belief right now is that Neville is currently negotiating the terms of his release. When Ryback asked for his release last year, he was initially at home during the negotiations as well, if I remember correctly. I don’t see Neville on television any time soon although WWE is supposedly hopefully that they can convince him to stay on board. If you’re WWE, you can’t afford to lose Neville right now I’d imagine.

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Their priority is getting that 205 Live show over and doing good numbers, which was the whole reason why Enzo Amore was brought in to bring in interest. Neville was an established WWE star before 205 Live and the longest reigning cruiserweight champion since the title came back in September.

They really don’t have many top cruiserweight babyfaces at the moment which was, again, the whole reason why Kalisto was brought in to feud with Enzo. They don’t have the confidence in those guys getting over enough. They have confidence in Neville so it’s in their best interests to try and keep him on.

We will see what happens in the development of both these stories. I personally hope both individuals make the right choices that benefits them. If Nia feels that a leave of absence is necessary, it’s understandable. If Neville feels that he needs to part ways with WWE, that’s his decision. I personally would love to see them both stay in WWE. Nia does have potential down the road and Neville should be going to SmackDown! Live as a top heel as they’re lacking in that department. Do I feel they’ll do that? No. I think if Neville’s coming back at all, he’ll be in 205 Live.

 

Cody Rhodes/Stardust Asks For His WWE Release

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. I’m here to discuss the Twitter announcement from Cody Rhodes a.k.a. Stardust, who revealed that he has asked for his release from WWE. Coming off the recent releases and MANY rumours of futures departures from the company, this one is quite a big one.

Cody tweeted the news yesterday on his personal account.

Just like Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes had the potential to become a true main-event star. He’s got the blood of a wrestling legend in Dusty Rhodes. He was one of the best workers in the roster, being able to use an old-school in-ring style and adapt it to a vastly different and high-paced style. He has charisma and was dedicated to getting the most out of himself and his character, no matter how badly he had it. He’s got the look of a marketable pretty boy and to my knowledge, had been anything but a pain backstage. I’ve rarely seen stories about backstage heat on Cody Rhodes or any issues he’s had with fellow wrestlers. He’s the ultimate workhorse, even with the last name of Rhodes.

You know, it’s very easy to look at a guy and say: “he deserved to be champion.” We’ve said that about Mr Perfect. We’ve said that about William Regal. We’ve said that about a lot of people. I Googled the term deserve and the definition I got was: “do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate).” Every one of the qualities I mentioned above describes Cody Rhodes and his actions certainly were more deserving of rewards rather than punishment. Even so, I don’t even think Cody Rhodes has even been given a single world championship program in his entire WWE career.

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Now he’s been in pretty big storylines while with WWE. He was a member of Legacy, with Legacy’s leader Randy Orton being the biggest part of WWE storylines in 2009. He was the one that re-introduced the classic Intercontinental Championship as part of a great run as Intercontinental Champion from August 2011 until WrestleMania 28. He was a key part in a tremendous program with the Rhodes Family taking on the Shield, leading to a classic tag team match at Battlerground 2013. He had the “Stardust” gimmick and still did his very best to make the most out of his character. Even so, he was never considered for a big main event push. After nearly a decade of blood, sweat and tears, Cody Rhodes was never given the main event opportunity.

Being deserving of something and being entitled to something are two completely different things. I may go on Twitter or write something, suggesting that “this guy deserves a push.” There are so many guys that have been lost in the shuffle for many years now, which is detrimental to the product. I don’t want those guys to be wasted, as those guys have qualities that is worthy of a reward. That’s being deserving. I will, however, never say that someone is entitled to anything. Nobody has the right to have x amount of title runs. Nobody has the right to be in x amount of WrestleMania main events. Despite that, Cody Rhodes was as close as a wrestler can be to being entitled to much more than he was getting. What more could Cody do to be “given the ball?”

Cody has the genetics of a champion. Cody has the charisma of the champion. Cody has the wrestling ability of a champion. What more was there for Cody to have in order for WWE to give him a championship run or even a title shot? I don’t understand.

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I’m sure there’s a lot of people already speculating that this is a grand work but I highly doubt that. I know there’s been examples of wrestlers that have tweeted their departure on Facebook or Twitter, only for it to have been a big swerve. A memorable example to me was when Devon tweeted that he was quitting TNA but was back for the 2012 Bound For Glory pay-per-view. However, I don’t think so. I mentioned this during my post about the initial WWE releases. There was just more to come from this and unfortunately, this is it. Brooklyn Brawler’s release was announced shortly after this, with a few more being speculated as well. Cody’s deal is just one of them and he chose to tweet it first himself.

There have been several more tweets of support for Cody. There’s been tweets from Arrow star Stephen Amell and Cody’s wife Brandi Rhodes a.k.a. Eden both tweeted.

It’s a shame because of what I mentioned before. Of course, Cody could easily come back some time down the road. I don’t think that relations between WWE and Cody are terrible or anything, so of course the possibility is there for a return.

Have any favourite memories or thoughts about the release of Cody Rhodes/Stardust? Tweet me @TomRobinson5199 and @ArmbarExpress and give us your thoughts, or leave a comment.

UPDATE: News On Alberto Del Rio’s Release

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The news was broken last night, ladies and gentlemen. Just before I went to bed, WWE.com released a statement announcing that.

“WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.”

I posted this out on the blog last night before I went to bed. You can check this out on this link but it doesn’t tell you much since I posted it about 10 minutes after WWE.com announced it.

Since then, in the States everyone is trying to make sense out of everything that happened with the suddenness of this announcement regarding Del Rio.

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As you probably guessed, Internet Wrestling sites are all being bombarded with rumours about how the incident occurred, who was involved and where Del Rio’s career goes from here.

Well WWE.com stated that Del Rio was release for “unprofessional conduct” after and altercation with an employee. We don’t know for sure who that employee is for sure but  ROH Founder Rob Feinstein of RF Video posted an update on his Facebook of what supposedly went down between Del Rio and another employee.

According to Rob…

“I am sure the reason ADR (Alberto Del Rio) was released will come out but he was 100% let go after TV incident that took place in the back at TV. He did get into a altercation with a employee who does stuff for the company with social media. I was told that there were words exchanged and a slap which is all just allegations at this point. When I first read the WWE release the wording struck me very strange as WWE would never say that unless they were super hot about the firing. It’s no secret that he has expressed lots of interest in going back to Mexico as soon as his contract expired, and he is very well off.

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Feinstein later posted an update on the story saying:

“I was also told by someone who was there that this was involving a (WWE).com guy who works for their website and there are a few versions out there that one the guy said something racist to Del Rio or that Del Rio left catering and did not put his trash or plate away and a comment was made to him which made him snap. Again these are just the rumours that I was told but usually they are pretty dead on. ADR is one of those guys who does not take shit from everyone. He has a legit MMA background and is very well off. This was his last year in the WWE as he wanted out but decided to stay with the company for his last year because he was basically doing it for a friend. The office frowned down upon that because of his stance from what I told and I guess there were already hard feelings between the parties. No matter what you can be sure that he will be going back to Mexico but no doubt he will be a top name on the indy scene in the states for some time to come. We already have made contact for a bunch of signings and interviews so we will keep you posted.

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I think the general consensus among us is that Alberto Del Rio was definitely not happy in WWE prior to this incident. Del Rio wasn’t going anyway in the WWE and had essentially become a glorified jobber to the main event talent. I was annoyed because Del Rio deserved much better but got lost in the loop. If you believe the reports, Del Rio was apparently reaching the end of his contract in WWE and was probably not going to resign. So it does seem a bit suspicious in that sense that WWE would just release him and not just wait for his contract to end.
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It also seems suspicious as to why Del Rio actually got FIRED for an incident like this. I mean Del Rio’s been in incidents like this before and the most he’s ever gotten for them is stern warnings. Like with the incident involving him and Drew McIntyre last year. I don’t think anything happened to either of them. However, the circumstances were very different. When that incident happened, Del Rio was the World Title and he had just gotten into a fight with random guys. This is a fellow WWE employee and Del Rio was in hardly any of WWE’s future plans. So the consequences had to have been a bit different.

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Now we can’t take a lot of this talk about what Del Rio did or didn’t do for the truth. It’s just what WWE says happened and a bunch of rumours at this point. The plot could be a lot thicker than we imagined and I believe there is a lot more to this than just a small altercation with an employee. You could argue that WWE simply overreacted just like they did with Emma’s arrest and just said “Right. Del Rio. You’re outta here”. However, if it was I’m fairly certain WWE would have went back on their decision and allow Del Rio to see out the rest of his contract. But again, the key thing to this whole thing is Del Rio’s contract apparently coming to an end.

 

Did WWE use this incident as an excuse to just fire him before his contract was up? Or as I suggested earlier – does the plot thicken even further?  I personally am sad to see Del Rio to go because he was a very gifted technical wrestler. I think, at the least, I would have liked for Del Rio to get one last storyline before his run ended so both parties could part on good terms. But unfortunately, that was not Del Rio’s destiny…

TNA Releases FIVE TNA Wrestlers including Crimson, Christian York and Taeler Hendrix – Thoughts And Reactions

Evening wrestling fans, I am the The 8th Wonder of the World Tom Robinson here with TNA Wrestling news!

And some upsetting news too, as TNA have announced the releases of FIVE wrestlers on the TNA roster. A lot of talent going and this is the reason for the releases according to NoDQ.com…

“The reason why TNA decided to release several talents is attempt to help cut costs. Talents that were released, were being paid a monthly guarantee with an additional fee when they were booked for TNA events. The company felt that those talents cut, were not being used regularly, so there was no need to keep them held under contract.”

ANYWAY. THE RELEASES

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Christian York

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Made a huge impression in my eyes after earning a TNA contract through Gut-Check having some great matches with the likes of Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy. That match he had with Jeff Hardy back in November was quality. However, he could never really cut it as a major deal. He’s talented in the ring no doubt about it, but I just found him dry as hell on the mic. He just couldn’t keep me interested in him and when the likes of Suicide, Chris Sabin and Petey Williams came back into the frame, York was quickly shafted down the X-Division ladder. And that’s a shame considering that it looked like he was gonna get a run as champion. The downside to this release is that it’s losing another X-Division superstar and TNA need as much as they can to build up the division again.

 

 

Joey Ryan

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An internet darling that I just CANNOT stand. I am SO glad he’s gone. He was just a waste of space on TNA Television. Sure he had one half-decent storyline with Al Snow. But MY GOD. He was so off as far as wrestling is considered. That match with Rob Van Dam for the X-Division Championship at Turning Point and matches against Chavo and Hernandez showcased just how awful of a competitor he was. Looks like he’s gonna have to take his “sleaziness” back to the indie leagues son. GOOD RIDDANCE.

 

Crimson

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The thing I don’t get about this release is what was the point of Crimson’s comeback to TNA TV a couple of weeks ago if he was on the verge of being released? Crimson did have a chance to be a big star in TNA especially with his winning streak and his feud with Immortal. But Crimson’s streak went on for so long and he went absolutely nowhere. If he had won the Bound For Glory series it would have been a big deal but after some god-awful feuds with the likes of Samoa Joe, Crimson never exactly looked like a big deal anymore. In the end James Storm ended his streak and after 1 year off of TNA TV and a loss to Joseph Park, Crimson was out of here. Personally, I wasn’t that too big on him so this release doesn’t really bother me.

 

Taeler Hendrix

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TNA could have easily made Taeler into a big deal. If you watch some of her heel promos at OVW, she had some serious menace within her that could have made her a very interesting character to watch in TNA. She even had the superstar look too and she could go in the ring. But no – TNA gave her hardly any spotlight and chances to shine and that really pisses me off. Taeler was a great find for TNA but they treated her more as a jobber to heel divas and she went nowhere. In fact I don’t actually think Taeler won a match on TNA Television during her career at TNA. It annoys me considering how little in numbers the knockouts division is right now. Bad call to release her.

 

And let’s get on to the other departure from TNA’s ranks….

Madison Rayne

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Madison has been a great member of the TNA roster for many years, but considering her pregnancy and inactivity for the last couple of months it was best for TNA to let her contract expire.

 

 

So there you have it. Up-and-coming talent as well as experienced knockouts biting the dust as TNA finds ways to cut costs. A little pissed off about the Taeler Hendrix one but in the end TNA is a business and aren’t exactly the financially-greatest business either. They have to find ways to find money and unfortunately for Rayne, Hendrix, York, Crimson and Ryan… they were the ones given the boot. I’m Tom Robinson. Follow me on Twitter @TomRobinson5199 and stay tuned for more content coming soon on the Armbar Express!