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.

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.

Why July 2013 Will Forever Be A Dark Period For TNA Impact Wrestling

Hey wrestling fans, I am “The Hardcore Legend” Tom Robinson. And first of all, sorry for all the inactivity in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been focusing on other stuff and really haven’t had time for the wrestling side of things. But I’m here with a post, and it’s to do with a subject I’ve really wanted not to talk about… the current situation with TNA.

In my opinion, 2013 was supposed to be the big break-out year for the world’s number two wrestling company. TNA had a some serious momentum with the Aces And Eights storyline and things was just going right for the company. They even took to the road, breaking away from the dead-as-hell Impact Zone to break new ground by appearing live in front of crowds all around America. It was a couple of risky endeavours but it seemed like it was beginning to pay off right?

But then… July rolled along. In the storyline, the Aces And Eights were a strong a threat as ever as the Bound For Glory Series rolled in. It seemed the Road To Bound For Glory had took off to a great start with big names in the BFG Series and the X-Division was gaining attention again with Chris Sabin getting set to challenge Bully Ray for the TNA World Title. However, the Aces And Eights saw some new opposition in the form of the New Main Event Mafia! I wouldn’t have minded the Main Event Mafia coming back if it weren’t for a couple of things…

1) Sting has once again got up in Bully Ray’s business while he was feuding with Chris Sabin, even though Sting was unable to compete for the World Title again. Not only is Sting’s nose where it doesn’t belong but it made Sabin looked weak without the Main Event Mafia, especially when Sabin actually fought Bully at Destination X and the Mafia got involved.

2) For a group known as the MAIN EVENT Mafia, Magnus was not really an appropriate addition to the group. Don’t get me wrong. I love Magnus to death and I think he’s an amazing piece of talent, but he needs to establish himself on his own before joining anymore groups. Not to mention, Magnus has never won a World Title in his life and has never been in a TNA PPV Main Event in his life. Really? The Main Event Mafia?

3) Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. I would have much preferred it if Jackson wasn’t in it, purely because he’s never had any proper experience in pro wrestling yet. He’s a quality fight and a fan of pro wrestling and that’s respectable, but don’t have him getting involved in big storylines like this just yet. He’s literally just there as a ratings pull.

Also, faction vs faction feuds in TNA have been done SO many times in TNA. Fourtune vs Immortal. EV 2.0 vs Fourtune. TNA Frontline vs Main Event Mafia. The Aces And Eights shouldn’t have been given that treatment.

And the Suicide/Manik business? That is just some of the most absurd booking I’ve ever seen. I loved it when Austin Aires took the suit and won the X-Division title. That was well done. BUT, I hated it as I’m sure all of you guys hated it when the original “Suicide” was reintroduced as “Manik” the next week. What the? OK. So even though we knew the identity of the original Suicide after Aires took his suit, you’re gonna put him in another suit? Oh and then after Manik won the vacant X-Division title 2 weeks ago, he unmasked himself again backstage. It’s just mind boggling.

Then there was the new X-Division Title belt…

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It looks like a crossover between the NXT Championship from WWE and the Light-Heavyweight Championship from the WWF days. It looks childish and come to think of it, why did TNA feel this amazing belt needed replacing?

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It was original, cool looking and was the same design that TNA had used for the belt since the beginning. I mean it was just daft to replace it with the new one when no-one had a problem with the original. I don’t want to sound like a status-qua guy here, but that belt didn’t need replacing. Sometimes old is better.

Right now we are getting down to the REAL problems. Right now I’ve just picked at some booking flaws and stuff, but the legit problems TNA are having behind the scenes. First all of the releases from TNA.

  • Joey Ryan
  • Taeler Hendrix
  • Matt Morgan
  • D.O.C.
  • Tara
  • Madison Rayne
  • Chrisitan York
  • Matt Morgan
  • D’Lo Brown
  • Bruce Prichard

It’s worrying to see so many releases in the space of a month. Sure, WWE make a lot more cuts to their rosters but they’ve got a much bigger roster to cut from. TNA still have a small array of wrestlers. I mean the Matt Morgans and the Crimsons I couldn’t give a fuss about considering how little of an impact each guy made. But up-and-comers like Taeler Hendrix? Veteran Knockouts like Tara and Madison Rayne? A MEMBER of Aces And Eights D.O.C.? Of all the guys to choose from your roster to cut, why someone who is a part of your most important stable of the company. And someone who looked like they were gonna turn face and hit it big? That was the biggest thing that annoyed me. All of these guys just thrown by the waist-side without any real exit storylines from TNA. It’s real sad to see, especially for the knockouts like Tara who have been there for a while.

And reportedly, being on the road has caused TNA some financial headaches. Sure it was going to be difficult to leave the Impact Zone, but I respect that wanted to take that risk. But if was going to be this bad, why did they go on the road as soon as they did? They shouldn’t have tried it if they didn’t know if they’d be alright financial. And it’s a shame that the roster is suffering from it too.

Then there’s the infamous #AskDixie incident. Something that really pissed me off. I know it was a stupid time for Dixie to open up the Q&A for TNA considering the stick it was getting and Jesse Sorensen whining about being released despite his neck injury, but it was a damn shame that the fans just took the piss. Dixie Carter was only trying to connect with the fans on Twitter and they were just ripping on the company that they will be missing big time when it goes. Wrestling fans will not realize how much they’ll miss TNA until it’s gone. In fact, you want realize how much you’ll miss anyone until they’re gone. So it’s best to take it for granted. A great life lesson for you guys. 🙂

That’s just a few of the things that have went wrong at TNA this month and it really makes me worry what’ll happen next. It’s clear that the fans are gonna start losing interest in the company with the Brock Lesnars and the Rob Van Dams returning at WWE and the build up to Summerslam. So TNA have really got to clean up the issues that are driving the company to the ground. I know I’ve just spent this entire blog post criticizing the company, but I really want them to pull through these difficult times. I think that’s what the entire wrestling community wants, whether they want to admit it or not. Even the biggest TNA hater NoDQ.com owner Aaron Rift said TNA going out of business would be bad for his website. Hell, if TNA went out of business then WWE would be the only major wrestling company left. And how boring would that be? WWE could put on a blindfold Royal Rumble match and not worry about the competition. No matter how bad the show will get, they are still the top dogs. I think we are all want TNA to get better and I hope that it can overcome.

Anyway, that was a blog post from the Armbar Express… FINALLY! I’m Tom Robinson! By the way, a HUGE thank you to the M4G-Nation YouTube channel for plugging the blog in their videos in the last couple of days. It really helps a lot. Subscribe to their YouTube channel and watch their videos with this link http://www.youtube.com/user/TheM4gNation . Like them on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at @ArmbarExpress on Twitter and go to https://www.facebook.com/ArmbarExpress to like the Facebook Page.

And I leave you with the random YouTube Video of the post…. step right up and get your chest slapped by Antonio Inoki. XD Goodnight everybody!

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

http://nodq.com/tna/374875990.shtml

 

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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http://nodq.com/tna/374873129.shtml

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!