Updates on the latest WWE Releases

by Chris Gorst on 13th November 2008

As reported on recently, WWE released Paul London, Chuck Palumbo, Kenny Dykstra, Elijah Burke and Lena Yada over the course of four days this past weekend. Some new reports have shed light on each release:

Paul London: London has been in the dog house with WWE for years and mainly since he smiled on a live shoot during the infamous pre-Vince McMahon limo explosion angle in June of 2007. Everyone on the roster was told to be backstage for that live shot (the limo explosion had been shot the night before) and to have a look of disdain as Vince walked by. London had a big grin on his face and many looked at that as the beginning of the end for him. He also had heat before that when he was told to deliver a heartfelt promo about losing the Cruiserweight title, but turned it into a goofy comedy promo that the company didn’t like. London was often described as having no instincts as a performer and how his character should be doing promos despite many feeling he had tons of ability as a performer. Others stated London was labeled as a complainer backstage, especially when he requested time off on a few occasions which the common rule is you don’t ask for unless you are experiencing burnout and labels you as someone you can’t fully trust to get behind. London reportedly asked for the time off as he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit his life to pro wrestling. While Vince agreed to give him time off, he came back looking ready to go and then a month later people felt the same issues he had before were returning. Believe it or not, his former relationship with Ashley Massaro scored him some negative points backstage. There were plans within WWE to push London and Brian Kendrick as the next Rock & Roll Express style tag team, but those plans were dropped after London didn’t perform well in numerous promos that never ended up airing. One source described London as a headache to work with among creative.

Kenny Dykstra: Dykstra was often labeled by many as someone having tons of potential. Jim Ross reportedly first came across Dykstra at a young age at the recommendation of Walter “Killer” Kowalski who trained him. By the time Dykstra graduated high school, John Laurinaitis replaced Ross as head of talent relations and signed him. During his time in OVW, Jim Cornette always compared him to Randy Orton as both were tall, thin and had natural athletic movements. However, his stay in OVW was often labeled as someone who rubbed people the wrong way and was one of the guys who was pranked a lot to send him a message about being too cocky. Paul Heyman pushed him hard before his call-up to the main roster in The Spirit Squad. While on the main roster, he was reportedly acting goofy at the wrong times and getting noticed for only negative things in what many called a “high school attitude” when his relationship with Mickie James (the two were engaged) broke off. His move to Smackdown didn’t help matters as Michael Hayes was never a supporter of his and never saw potential in him. He was given the role of being humiliated on the show as a result. There were discussions of building him back up on the Smackdown roster after he was buried on Raw, but Hayes reportedly didn’t want to take the risk feeling he may not be able to handle success. Vince McMahon also remarked once that he had a swimmers body and that was taken as a sign to not push him too hard.

Lena Yada: Yada, who worked as an interviewer on ECW, was never highly praised for her work. They had hoped she could progress as a wrestler and despite her athletic background, it never took place. Vince McMahon had to be convinced to sign her after the Diva Search ended as many in creative felt she had a great, unique look that stood her out among the usual Diva types. Other ideas pitching her background in surfing were immediately nixed by Vince. Gail Kim’s return to WWE also didn’t help matters since many felt the two looked too much alike.

Chuck Palumbo: Palumbo’s deal with WWE had just expired and many expected he wouldn’t be resigned to a new deal since they hadn’t used him in months. While Vince McMahon was a fan of his biker gimmick and many enjoyed his brief feud with Jamie Noble, he ended up getting lost in the shuffle after an angle with Finlay. He was often given the label by some in the WWE office that he would never get over. His draft to Raw this past summer was almost the nail in the coffin as he was never used again on a regular basis. There were reports that Rey Mysterio had tried to get Palumbo work in AAA, while others were trying to help him get into CMLL.

Elijah Burke: Interesting story here regarding his release taking place the same time Kenny Dykstra’s did. Burke was originally slated to be part of The Spirit Squad, but turned it down feeling it would be a gimmick that would kill his career. Some described Burke has having small attitude issues, but everyone felt he was a great promo guy and had potential to be a big money player someday. He was pushed as the lead heel on ECW in the New Breed angle. However, when the angle lost steam it seemed the company gave up on him and no one involved could really give a solid reason why. At one point he was supposed to be switched from ECW to Raw when Shelton Benjamin made the transition, but Brian Gewirtz didn’t want him and he ended up falling off the face of the earth pretty much.

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