The Dog Pound – We Barely Knew Thee…

I know I haven’t written in quite awhile, so this is a long over-due column. I had the pleasure of having a battle with the flu this past week and had very little energy to do much of anything. It didn’t take long though as I soon RKO’d the flu, and here I am ready to bring to all you great readers, another edition of The Dog Pound.

This column is one I have been wanting to write for a few days now, with the recent release of a Smackdown superstar, I felt compelled to write something. So today, I want to take three guys released from their WWE contracts and say a bit about why I believe the WWE made the wrong decision. In all three cases I was very high on each performer and hoped they’d make it big. Sadly, we know now, that won’t be the case.

The first guy I want to bring up was known to us fans as Ryan Braddock. You might also know Braddock as “Jay Bradley” during his time in Ohio Valley Wrestling. While there, he was a multi-time OVW Heavyweight Champion, and a true staple for the promotion. See, what shocks me about this release so much is the fact that Braddock possessed nearly the EXACT look the WWE often pushes. Standing at 6’4” and weighing just about 250 pounds, he was right on the mark.

This leads me to believe that his release was mainly due to lack of improvement while training. I have had the pleasure of seeing Braddock wrestle in a few dark matches, long before his call-up to Smackdown and was always impressed with what he brought. As I mentioned, with the natural build he has, the WWE could have really made something of him. This of course began his downfall. Debuting on Smackdown as a typical jobber, with no build-up or chance for any mic work, Braddock was doomed from the start.

His loss to Big Show during his debut really set the tone. Sad really as I always thought that, given the chance to shine with a mic, Braddock could have done some damage. When I thought of Braddock, I instantly thought of how cool a tag team would have been with him and Paul Burchill! I believe the WWE missed the boat on this one and the sad thing is, Braddock never really stood a chance.

This of course brings me to the second star to be dropped and I was quite shocked when I read the news. I speak of course of Scotty Goldman, better known to fans as Colt Cabana. For me, Colt was and still is a true bonafide main event star and the WWE didn’t see it. Those that know, Cabana has an extensive following from his days in Ring of Honor, and even had a killer tag team with CM Punk known as the “Second City Saints.”

Where did the WWE go wrong here? Again, I believe the main reason was the lack of proper build-up with no mic work whatsoever. Cabana (like Braddock) was brought in as a typical jobber (as Scotty Goldman) and really was never intended to go far. If this was the case all along, why not give him a shot under his classic name of Colt Cabana? Why not let the WWE fans know about his past, and possibly link him to CM Punk? See, by the time the fans knew of “Goldman,” Punk had already has his run as World Champion. Linking the two would have been an instant way to get Cabana some credibility. Plus, the potential to re-unite as a tag team was there!

We all know Vince’s lack of love for tag team wrestling, but right there, between Braddock/Burchill and Cabana/Punk is two awesome new tag teams for the rosters. Thus, it could have made the tag titles mean something again. Anyway, in the end, Cabana suffers the very familiar fate of “creative having nothing for him” and now, Cabana with the WWE is no more.

This third guy is one I was very high on, and it appeared the WWE was too, with three months of vignettes hyping his debut and all. I speak of the recently released Kizarny. kizarny in my opinion had all the tools necessary for a solid run in the WWE. Solid build, decent mat skills, a ton of charisma, and a very memorable gimmick. Come on, people can remember a gimmick like “good ‘ol boy” Hulk Hogan, but not of a carnival freak!?

Anyway, after spending nearly three months on vignettes and promo’s building up to his debut, Kizarny appeared on Smackdown three times before his release. THREE TIMES. Kudos to anyone who can email me with the correct answers to all three times he appeared on the show. i digress again; Kizarny had all the tools to make it, and the WWE had an amazing gimmick at their disposal to work with.

First, they could have gone the PG-rated, kid friendly route where Kizarny was a performer for the kids of sorts and just was out there to have a good time. Or, they cold have gone the much darker route where the WWE actually played upon the “pain is an artform” quote by Kizarny himself and made him into a pretty hardcore wrestler willing to do whatever to win the match. Ah, the potential for some interesting feuds were there, and yes I even mean one with a “returning” Doink the Clown as well!

I just want to say, to Ryan Braddock, Scotty Goldman, and Kizarny, you will be missed; we hardly knew thee. I also find it interesting to note that all three of these guys were Smackdown stars. Hmm, could the brand of blue be returning to B-level show? Anyway, I’d like to wish all three aforementioned stars the best…in their future endevors.


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