WWE ‘Black Friday’ – Six Releases … So Far

Shad was arguably the most high-profile of those released

Earlier this evening I posted on Shad Gaspard’s release from WWE, which surprised me a great deal. As I said in that post, I beliveved Shad was being repackaged for a push. Evidently, it hasn’t worked out. Subsequently, there have been five further releases: Luke Gallows, Vance Archer, Caylen Croft, Tiffany and Jillian Hall.

Shad, given a bit more in-ring training and a new persona, could have had success in WWE. Cryme Tyme had definitely run it’s course, and the gimmick on Shad doesn’t suit him as an individual, like it does JTG. For instance, I saw a potential pairing with Ezekiel Jackson; though it would have meant another tag team, they could have been dominant and really gotten over (probably as heels). Saying this, and hopefully with due respect, I doubt Shad is such a great loss to the WWE or the fans. He was just always lacking something.

Luke Gallows’ release was the next to be announced. The release of Gallows, again, will barely register, and I don’t think he’d have been able to get over like Shad potentially could have. Saying that, for a man of that size, he was remarkably versatile. No other than CM Punk (the man picked by this website as wrestler of the year) voiced his remorse at Gallows’ release: “Days like today bum me out. Gallows, many times was given chicken shit and turned it gold. He has heart, hustles, and loves wrestling.” I think, to a large extent, that is true. Gallows did a good job as part of the S.E.S., which is remarkable given the sharp transition that provided from ‘Festus’. For Luke though, it was coming. I glimpsed him backstage at this week’s Smackdown taping, and I realised how long ago it was that i’d seen him. His fate was sealed as soon as the S.E.S. split. There was nothing for him.

Vance Archer is also gone. Coming from TNA, there was some buzz behind this guy, but ‘The Gatecrashers’ were one of the most boring tag teams ever in my opinion. Billed as edgy and threatening, all they did was jump some people in the ring a few times and win some unremarkable tag matches. They split not too long ago, and for Archer, I assume the writing was on the wall. Hawkins is more established in WWE, and has had modest success, which is probably why he remains.

Caylen Croft was fired also. This one was weird to me. I thought he and Baretta had some mileage as a tag team. Initially they were a little goofy, but I think they grew in to a good tweener team and somewhat comparable to Edge & Christian. I think they should have stuck around in the tag division at least for a while. I saw that Baretta had a match on Superstars as a singles competitor. I do think Baretta is the better wrestler, but he could do with a tag team vehicle.

Tiffany was finally released. It makes you wonder why they waited until now, really. That’s meant respectfully – many people were speculating that she would be fired after that domestic disturbance with husband Drew McIntyre, but I figured that, since they hadn’t by now, perhaps she would be on probation for a while before returning. Before it all happened, WWE seemed pretty hot on her. Again though, she was no great wrestler, and will be no great loss, unless McIntyre chooses to follow her (which I doubt he will).

Finally, Jillian Hall. I respect her as a character, but I hated the character. She was recently removed from TV, and I thought she was going to be utilized more like an agent and diva-trainer. Perhaps this is just a change of contract. I’m sure all will be revealed.

There are rumours that there will soon be further releases. We’ll have to wait and see about that.


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