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The one that got away


Sexy Dad

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I'm sure we have all had the experience of a wrestler leaving WWE (or another company if ya like) and feeling a little deflated and gloomy in regards to tuning back in....even if it is only for a week or two before being pulled back in by the newest big turn or appetizing main event match.

 

In 2013; I don't give a toss about seeing Christian return to the ring any time soon but in 2005 when he walked away from WWE I was a bit gutted. He had really grown as a competitor in 2004 coming off his feud with Jericho, his pairing with Trish and Tyson Tomko and turned almost everything he was involved with in to gold. By the time the summer of 2005 had rolled around he had finally reached the level of competing for the WWE Championship - all be it, not a headlining Championship feud but he had reached this bracket none the less.

 

As Jericho was on the way out it was ultimately decided that it would be Y2J that would continue to chase the championship following a triple threat involving Christian, Jericho and Cena at Vengeance. This led the popular 'Captain Charisma' to Smackdown where he would not do anything of note, suffer beatdowns at the hands of The Mexicools and start his own chat show segment 'The Peep Show'. In some ways, he was suffering a similar fall from grace as The Miz in 2012. He was still popular but with a roster featuring the likes of Batista, JBL, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio it was clear ol' Cap'n Charisma wasn't to be featured in any big plans. Christian then quietly bowed out at Taboo Tuesday upon losing out to a vote to feature in a match.

 

The newly named 'Christian Cage' went on to feature in longer, main event style matches over in TNA for a few years and may have felt professionally validated somewhat before returning to WWE and getting his chance to hold the World Championship and be part of a great feud with Randy Orton. However, as enjoyable as this was; Christian clearly had a few more miles on the clock than when he was last in a WWE ring. Christian may have not had the drawing power of a Triple H, Batista or John Cena in 2005 but extensive feuds with each of these names as well as rivalries with Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels would have undoubtedly been a treat.

 

 

So, when have you lot felt a little disenfranchised at the loss of a big name or perhaps a smaller under-utilised name?

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I nearly stopped watching when Brock left, I'd never got into someone so much even though I'd been watching for years. The period when he was champ and was the focus of every episode od smackdown in 2002-3 is the most I've ever enjoyed wrestling and when I found out he was fucking off I was gutted. It took ages for me to feel the same as I used to when watching it.

 

Also Angle for the same reasons. I'll be upset when taker goes for good too.

 

Oddly enough when Kelly Kelly and Maryse left it got to me too, with the fellas there's enough of them that there'll always be a couple you can get behind but when K2 left so did any interest I had in a whole division.

 

*edit - needless to say I was pretty fucking elated when Lesnar came back last year.

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Matt Hardy.

 

Go back to the Lita Edge wedding angle on Raw when Matts music hit. The crowd went insane. Had he appeared then he could have had a red hot feud with Edge.

 

The way he was brought back with the worked shoot promos was really poor, no comment from the announce team while the brawls were taking place. He eventually `officially` re-signs with WWE and he is placed in the lunacy of the Summerslam 05 non finish with Edge.

 

That program did pick up a litttle and he had a very good loser leaves Raw match which Edge won obviously. That was the bit that hacked me off, With hindsight and looking back on the career path that Edge was about to embark on then obviously it was the correct decision. At the time though I was gutted to see Matt switch to Smackdown.

Took him a few months but eventually Matt worked a very enjoyale program with MVP, again back then I felt both men were destined for the main event, the push never came and Matt spent the rest of his WWE time teaming with/feuding with his brother.

 

I always preferred Matt to Jeff and for me, he was the one who could have achieved a lot more in his WWE time.

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The first that springs to mind for me is when Jerry Lawler left the WWE in Feb 2001 after The Cat was released. I was a big fan of his back then and it seemed to leave a gaping hole on the commentary table. Looking back now though........

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Lawler leaving also lead to the highly enjoyable Heyman and JR pairing.

 

I miss Shawn Michaels. When he had a match on PPV you knew that it was going to special regardless of who it was against. His match at Wrestlemania (for me) was always the highlight. Without him Wrestlemania will always be lacking a certain something.

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It's Michaels for me as well, on both occasions.

 

The injury in 1998 and the "retirement" was a huge blow to me at the time. My favourite wrestler by a fair margin and he was only 33 at the time. I felt like I had been robbed of so much goodness. Thankfully the whole wrestling scene got so good at that point that I soon moved on, but it was always in the back of my mind. It didn't help that every so often he'd either turn up on telly looking like shit or even worse you'd hear he'd been backstage but was in "no condition to perform". I was sure he'd wind up dead sooner rather than later.

 

His proper retirement a few years ago was also a bit of a bummer. While it was great that he managed to go out in style at Wrestlemania, I still couldn't help but think of all the good stuff he could still be doing. It's totally selfish and I'm honestly glad he's reasonably healthy and happy, but matches against Bryan, Ziggler, Lesnar, Rock, The Shield etc would all be gold. Wrestlemania doesn't feel the same. It's a bit of an "end of an era" feeling, as a long term fan.

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The fuck up of RVD is a stand out for me.

 

When he debuted in the WWE he was super over and fresh as hell, I used to love watching him. He had 3 brilliant PPV matches (and wins) in a row (2 with Jeff, one with Jericho) and then was in the main event against AUstin and Angle at No Mercy that year in another great match. Was in the main event as Survivor Series, but was just another guy in a loaded match. The next month he had a fun match with Undertaker at Vengence and then things kind of dropped off a cliff for him. I remember HHH clotheslining him in the 2002 Royal Rumble and JR saying "That put a stop to that runaway train" which was very appropriate. On the next PPV he was facing Goldust, and by Mania he was in the opener in a throw away match with Regal.

 

Van Dam had the look of a star, was young, healthy and could go. Although he had many highlights in the WWE and remained over, he didn't reach the blistering promise he had in 2001.

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In fairness to WWE, RVD had a great opportunity given him in 2006 and he proceeded to make a complete pigs ear of that.

 

True, but by that point Rob was nowhere near as exciting and vibrant as he was in 2001. If he got given the ball back then, maybe the exact same thing would have happened, maybe not? But in terms of a performer, in 2001 RVD was the nuts.

 

EDIT: Good call Butternut. Regal shutting the lights off on Raw was ace. He looked set for a strong push but that all went tits up upon suspension.

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Brock Lesnar was a huge one for me as well. So much so that I followed him to the UFC and back to WWE. One dedicated fan/stalker.

 

The loss of Jeff Hardy in 2009 was devastating. The guy was on a shit hot run, he'd been having awesome matches since 2007 and was solidified as a main event guy. His program with Punk was gold, and he's probably the only babyface in the last 10 years who genuinely rivalled John Cena. Then he decided he was over the schedule and bailed. :(

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Benoit, man. He spoilt everything for me. He was the babyface whose career I genuinely cared about and who was always guaranteed to have a good match on the card and be worth tuning in for. I supported him like a football team - even when he lost, or fluffed his promos, I still thought he was ace.

 

When he checked out in such spectacular fashion, he not only took himself but all enjoyment of wrestling - I don't think I watched any for about a year after that. The realisation that my favourite was in fact a headfucked mass murderer and child-killer kind of spoilt the soap opera for me.

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Benoit, man. He spoilt everything for me. He was the babyface whose career I genuinely cared about and who was always guaranteed to have a good match on the card and be worth tuning in for. I supported him like a football team - even when he lost, or fluffed his promos, I still thought he was ace.

 

When he checked out in such spectacular fashion, he not only took himself but all enjoyment of wrestling - I don't think I watched any for about a year after that. The realisation that my favourite was in fact a headfucked mass murderer and child-killer kind of spoilt the soap opera for me.

 

I wasn't really keeping up with current wrestling in 2007 and didn't start watching again until Wrestlemania 24, by then it was a fair few months removed from the incident so I didn't experience the dark cloud looming over WWE at the time. Looking back, it seems madness that a week removed from discovering the terrible news of what an important figure in wrestling had done that Raw went ahead, the silliness, the over the top characters and the sometimes violent nature as if it never happened....it's the nature of the business though.

 

On a more light hearted note, During 2005-06 I always felt WWE were squandering Benoit at the time. That loss to Orlando Jordan on pay per view had me seething! I'd probably have to say that from a week to week perspective, Benoit was the master at making each match look like he needed the win and in doing so, I wanted him to win. That's a rare quality in the modern day, I'd say nowadays - 100% believable determination is limited to Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and a select few others.

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