Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Justin Roberts and Willie Mack No Longer WWE Employees

Mack's release comes shockingly before he was even given his NXT name
Photo Credit: Devin Chen
Two notable personalities are no longer employed by WWE. Both come as somewhat of a surprise, and one was released before his WWE career could even really begin. Justin Roberts, longtime ring announcer for the company whose most famous moment came when Daniel Bryan choked him with his own tie at the formation of the Nexus in 2010 (and of course he had a great sense of humor about the whole thing), was quietly let go after RAW last night. He wasn't fired per se, but his contract was not renewed. Roberts' release leaves WWE with an all-woman slate of ring announcers in Lilian Garcia, Eden Rhodes, and Jojo Offerman of Total Divas fame. I expect Roberts not to be out of work for long, as Booker T's Reality of Wrestling seems to scoop up WWE alumni on the reg. Roberts is also pretty plugged into the independent scene, as he's been a frequent visitor to Arizona's International Wrestling Federation.

The second release is more baffling and disappointing. Southern California indie standout and personal TWB favorite Willie Mack has been released from his developmental contract before he could even report to the Performance Center. The news came down from The Site That Shall Not Be Linked (via With Spandex) with little explanation. My guess is that Mack failed a physical, a la Nigel McGuinness, but again, this shocking news could have been due to any number of things.

The Mack release sucks because he had the tools to be perhaps the most successful of the recent indie signings. The guy is a machine in the ring and is more suited to WWE's style than anyone else who signed except Kevin Steen. He's super-athletic for a guy of his body type as well, and in the age and era of HOSS in WWE, he would have fit right in. Instead, he'll more than likely go back to Southern California and compete for Championship Wrestling in Hollywood and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, making his emotional farewell speech at the latter's Battle of Los Angeles event really awkward. Either way, I hope he gets another chance sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, I also hope that if he goes back to PWG that he gets a renewed push toward the main event since the last few years in the company have seen him in opening matches if on the card at all.