If the WWE does anything better than all else, it is crafting a message to support the company's brand and image. Sure they do that whole sports entertainment thing too, but when it really counts WWE understands how to make a situation look different when it is necessary, and roll with the punches.
From a storyline perspective, if something goes wrong in the middle of a show, WWE can spin that message to make it look as if it was part of their plan all along. This is evident during the #hijackraw movement that spawned as a result of the 2014 Royal Rumble along with the departure of a certain Straight Edged Superstar. WWE embraced the fact that they were trending on Twitter, and actually were praised for how they handled the situation, despite completely mishandling the night before.
From a real life perspective, the WWE is very aware of how to construct media packages and write television that pushes their positive branding. For example, every year before the Royal Rumble the WWE plays a package called “By The Numbers”, where they detail interesting statistics related to the match. Following the Chris Benoit incident, WWE made sure to change that promo to still give accurate stats, without highlighting Benoit at all.
Instead of using a phrase like "two entrants have started at number one and won the match", they replaced it with “the same number of people have won from the number 30 spot, as the number one spot”. The change is subtle, yet framed in a way to make you forget that Benoit was one of those winners who started at number one.
For whatever reason, WWE has gone out of their way to make sure that the casual fan has no reason to remember certain former talents. That is why today we are bringing you the top 10 wrestlers that WWE wants us to forget about. As always leave your thoughts and comments below.
10 Chris Benoit
Let’s get the most obvious entry out of the way first. Chris Benoit murdered his family in June of 2007, and then proceeded to take his own life a few days later. However prior to knowing the details of his death, WWE dedicated a three hour raw to his career. This would prove to be Benoit’s last time being featured on WWE television, serving as a swan song for his professional career.
Given all of the work that WWE has done with various charities that support individuals with developmental disabilities, it’s a wonder why they chose to debut the character of Eugene. Sure at times Eugene was an underdog who was able to prevail, but most of the time he was the butt of jokes, which runs contrary to their "Be A Star" campaign.
8 New Jack
As always, when New Jack is mentioned a disclaimer is needed: New Jack if you are reading this I am not disrespecting you, I am stating facts.
It’s no secret that ECW Original New Jack is, has been, always will be a little off of his rocker. For this entry we will highlight the fact that he was actually charged for a felony after a match for stabbing his opponent 14 times during a match.
7 Kai En Tai
While the team of Taka Michinoku and Funaki were very entertaining during their run in WWE, especially as a heel comedy duo, what they represented could be construed as offensive. The two Japanese wrestlers were parodies of evil Asian stereotypes from older kung fu movies.
The people in charge of WWE really don’t like former Intercontinental Champion Chyna. It would seem that her leap into adult film world was the nail in the coffin that would keep her out of the WWE for the rest of its existence. Then came Triple H’s live interview with Steve Austin, which confirmed that the WWE had no plans of contacting her to reconcile their differences.
5 Hulk Hogan
Has a star ever fallen so fast, and so hard as the Immortal Hulk Hogan did in July of 2015? The Hulkster made racially insensitive comments regarding his daughter's choice of men in an audio file released from his 2012 sex tape scandal.
4 Jimmy Snuka
After a long career in the good graces of WWE, Jimmy Snuka was unceremoniously wiped from the history books of the company. The 72-year-old was charged with third degree murder in September, stemming from the death of his then mistress Nancy Argentino over 30 years ago.
3 Chris Kanyon
Chris Kanyon arrived in the WWE after being apart of the Invasion storyline in 2001, only to be gone from the company less than four years later. Soon after, Kanyon committed suicide in 2010, which some believed to be due to a combination of mental disorders, and mental anguish due to his homosexuality.
2 CM Punk
Is an explanation for this entry even needed?
The WWE and CM Punk currently have no relationship, and have no plans of rekindling that anytime soon. After Punk was fired from WWE in 2014, he participated in a tell all podcast with wrestler and friend Colt Cabana detailing all of the things that WWE did wrong and the misconduct he experienced.
1 Muhammad Hassan
Perhaps the greatest heel who never was, Muhammad Hassan was the hottest new talent to hit WWE in 2004. Hassan attacked the established WWE veterans verbally and physically, claiming there to be a bias against Arab Americans, and calling out the hypocrisy of the system.
Though his character was created as a result of American fear rooting from the tragic September 11th attacks in 2001, Hassan’s persona became too much for WWE to defend following another attack in London in 2005; Hassan was written off television, and has never been spoken of on air again since.
It’s safe to say that WWE will never try to bring back Hassan or any character of that ilk, back.
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