Monday, June 8, 2009

Umaga Released

I'm getting a strange sense of déjà vu. I definitely didn't expect to read this today:

World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Smackdown Superstar Umaga as of today, June 8, 2009. WWE wishes Umaga the best in all future endeavors.
-WWE.com

Now it's just getting weird. Certainly not as earth-shattering as Mr. Kennedy's release, but definitely just as shocking, maybe even moreso. Umaga's certainly had a string of injuries, a previous suspension in 2007, and he's been released before... but all that in mind, you can still color me shocked.

As always, it is the policy of Kick-Out!! Wrestling to not speculate as to why someone was released, but that doesn't mean I won't offer an opinion. I honestly can't see the logic behind this one, Umaga's a strong talent that can be put into a program with almost anybody at any time. Yeah, he suffered two big injuries recently that put him on the sidelines, but you'd think if they were worried about him being injury prone, they would've axed him back in January. Not only that, they give him an awesome return and a definitive win over the now-World Heavyweight Champion, just to release him a month later? Two shocking releases in two weeks, I just don't get it.

I'll have more thoughts on this major release on this week's episode of Kick-Out!! Radio.

UPDATE - June 11, 2009

WWE put out the official word today:

As reported on WWE.com on Monday, June 8, 2009, WWE Superstar Umaga (Edward Fatu) has been released from his World Wrestling Entertainment contract. However, consistent with the practice of announcing wellness policy violations, it should be noted that Umaga's termination was due to his second violation of the WWE Wellness Program and his subsequent refusal to attend a rehabilitation facility.
-WWE.com

I applaud WWE for their dedication to their Wellness Program and I hope Mr. Fatu can one day return to WWE and have a long and healthy career.

4 comments:

  1. To me, this is even more shocking than the Kennedy release because Umaga's been working steady for a months now and was in the middle of that great feud... while Kennedy wrestled one televised match in his comeback, so there was seemingly less to lose in that situation.

    Maybe in the heel/face mathematics of Smackdown, a possible Punk Heel turn (probable more like it) means that someone is going to be the odd man out.

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  2. Yeah, but Umaga could've easily move down the card and feuded with someone else. Hell, now that he's talking, maybe even a face turn. It's just a weird situation all around.

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  3. Not to mention, well...look at the list of faces on Friday nights. Fuck, look at the big man Punk himself faced before then. Kane and Punk had a shite match, Umaga and Punk had a decent to good match at Judgment Day, and though the Strap match wasn't good at all, it was hardly anything to release somebody after (especially when Cena and Big Show bored the crowd to tears and obviously neither of them are leaving any time soon).

    This, I feel, is also worse than Kennedy. I wasn't crazy about Kennedy's return match or angle, but Umaga came back and had at least two solid matches versus Morrison and Punk. The talking thing was odd, but it isn't a total burial of a character, either.

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  4. I'm going to miss Mr. Kennedy more than Umaga. I wish they would release the Great Khali but I understand why they don't. If a wrestler gets any strike in the wellness program and refuses rehab if suggested or offered should be sent packing. I'm glad to hear this was the reason.

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