Not too long ago, it was reported that the WWE lost nearly 840 million dollars, due to various miscalculations on the part of the WWE management and the creative team. While most of the blame was pushed on the executives who rallied behind the creation of the WWE Network, it was reported that several heads would be rolling very soon. The first of the casualties, as expected, were the WWE superstars who were seen as “disposable” by the WWE management. Every year, WWE makes roster cuts, releasing superstars who are used as jobbers or to be more precise, the “curtain jerkers”, whose role is to lose squash matches and put over the new talents on the roster, who’re being pushed as monsters – The Rusevs and Rybacks.
This year, some of the releases raised quite a few eyebrows, with the likes of Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal and Yoshi Tatsu being released from the company. There is a good reason for some of the superstars and fans being upset with their releases – Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre’s release came out of nowhere, as they were regularly appearing on Monday Night RAW. Besides, the two men were a part of one of the most beloved factions among the Internet Wrestling Community, the 3 MB. Along with these superstars, half a dozen other performers and talents were let go – Aksana, Theodore Long and Evan Bourne weren’t a huge surprise, as Evan hasn’t been seen in the WWE for nearly two years, while Long and Aksana have been merely backstage props for quite a while.
There are two ways we can look at the recent roster cuts. If WWE wanted to let go of the talents merely as a way of cost – cutting, then it wouldn’t make much sense to let Mahal and Drew go. Let me state the reasons why – Drew McIntyre was seen as the future of the company, and it wasn’t too long ago that Vince McMahon himself gave the superstar his nod and hailed him as “The Chosen One”. If the chairman of the WWE gives you props and chooses you as the future of the organization, then nothing can stop you from achieving success in the biggest sports entertainment organization in the world. Or so people thought; in the end, Drew McIntyre cost himself a shot at immortality.
Drew got into an ugly fight with his then wife Taryn Terrell which resulted in both being reprimanded by the company. Taryn was suspended and subsequently released from the WWE, and Drew was relegated to jobbing and was then paired with Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater, forming the new J.O.B squad. The faction gained a huge following, and the internet wrestling fans got behind them as the newest sensation in the WWE, and the WWE management was forced to acknowledge the adulation the faction garnered. Although Drew never got out of the proverbial doghouse, reports emerged that the WWE was planning to push Drew once again, but before that could happen, he was released by the organization last night.
On the other hand, Jinder Mahal was never seen as a future world champion in the WWE. Except for a brief feud with The Great Khali, Mahal was never pushed properly by the management – A grave mistake that they might have to regret. As I’ve previously stated, WWE needs to take advantage of the huge following they have in India. They tried pushing The Great Khali as the World Heavyweight champion, and received extensive coverage by the Indian media. When it became obvious that Khali wasn’t going to improve in the ring, they brought in another superstar of Indian origin, and tried to put him over. WWE wasn’t successful in doing so, but it can be argued that it was their own fault.
Jinder Mahal could’ve been WWE’s answer to a question that has been haunting them for a long time. Can you remember the last superstar from the Asian continent that made it big in the WWE? Yokozuna might be the only one who springs to our mind, and it is because of WWE’s inability to come up with good storylines and angles. While the creative often comes up with “We do not have anything for you right now” statement, they come up with stereotypical characters, something which will not win over their fan base in the Asian continent. Jinder Mahal had the opportunity to turn things around. He might not have been the greatest technical wrestler, but he was a believable heel. Had WWE invested the same amount effort and time they had invested in Khali, Mahal could’ve been one of the better mid card talents in the company.
In the end, it might have been a hasty decision taken by the management to make up for the financial debacle they had recently suffered. Had it been a calculated risk, WWE would’ve had a replacement for the likes of Mahal and Drew, who were catered to the Indian and Scottish fans. The fans needn’t feel disappointed though, as the independent circuit is currently on a hot streak, and Drew and Jinder have already been booked by Preston City Wrestling in the United Kingdom if the rumors are to be believed. Although, now we need to wait and see what WWE does with Heath Slater.Published 13 Jun 2014, 17:07 IST