The problem is that they haven’t built up the trust to deserve that.
All 2021 did was to show that we can’t depend on anyone to be safe from a release even if they’re currently in the midst of a push, holding a championship or someone WWE holds in high regard.
Samoa Joe’s NXT Run
When Samoa Joe was released, it sucked. He was then brought back and that made me happy, as I’m a big fan. Even though he would be an authority figure on NXT, it was still better than nothing.
That lasted all but what, a month? WWE fast-forwarded straight from “he can’t touch anyone” to “eh fuck it, he can fight for the NXT Championship” in no time.
Once he won the title, he quickly got injured again and hasn’t been seen since.
This isn’t entirely WWE’s fault, but it’s still one of the biggest blunders of the year. With the benefit of hindsight, especially considering how Karrion Kross turned out, it seems like it would have been better if someone else had won the championship. Maybe Tommaso Ciampa should have been the guy and they could have skipped straight to his title run.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett
Speaking of Karrion Kross. Good lord, this guy had a rough 2021, and that’s after it looked like it would be a redeeming year for his unfortunate injury in 2020.
To get the belt and immediately have to relinquish it due to injury sucks. He got it back, but 2021 was spent ruining all that progress.
It all started when he made his Raw debut and lost to Jeff Hardy in something like 2 minutes. That immediately killed so much of his mystique as he was an unstoppable juggernaut and undefeated.
The bandage was ripped off. He was no longer invulnerable and he was clearly going to lose the NXT Championship soon to Samoa Joe, which happened.
Then, after moving to the Raw roster officially, Kross never once paired back up with Scarlett. Instead, he was given some absolutely atrocious ring gear that looked like a cross between a gimp mask and something from Zardoz, or a cosplayer’s attempt at some personalized Demolition gear.
Before long, Kross was taken off television and fired, along with Scarlett, who never got to wrestle for WWE.
Isn’t that insane?
Keith “Bearcat” Lee and “Reckoning” Mia Yim
I can’t mention how badly WWE botched Karrion Kross without talking about the nonsense that went on this year with Keith Lee and Mia Yim.
First off, RETRIBUTION was awful. Absolute shit. How that lasted as long as it did without someone pulling the plug is beyond me. Poor Mia Yim never got a chance to be anything but “Reckoning” on the main roster and she deserved so much more.
This year, she spent most of her time MIA helping Keith Lee fight off COVID complications.
After months of inactivity, Lee finally made his return, only to be rechristened “Bearcat” for some reason. He didn’t need it. He’s The Limitless One. He had a great entrance theme, followed by an awful generic one, followed by another great one, and they stripped him of that, too.
All his personality was gone. He was just some big guy wrestling on Main Event. Then, he was fired.
“Look what I’ve got here” is something Vince McMahon said about Keith Lee. He knew Lee had potential. So why did they cut his feet off and then act like it was his fault he couldn’t run?
Handcuffs in the Last Man Standing Match at Royal Rumble
The worst thing Roman Reigns was part of this year was his Last Man Standing match against Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble.
Arguably the biggest legitimate normal botch of 2021, the handcuffs in that match worked a little too well and Reigns was truly unable to get to his feet before the referee’s 10-count. That should have signaled the end of the match, and if it wasn’t The Tribal Chief and a championship match on a pay-per-view, the referee would have done his job to say “Nope, I’m supposed to count the real thing and treat it as a shoot, so if you guys mess up, it’s on you.”
Instead, they fumbled around and panicked while trying to film different angles that wouldn’t show that it was all going to shit, hoping fans would just cover their eyes and act like that didn’t happen. It was awful and hilarious.
Nikki A.S.H. Beats Tamina by Accident
Another botch that stands out to me was when Nikki A.S.H. pinned Tamina on Monday Night Raw when she wasn’t supposed to. You can tell because of the confusion that happens, including Tamina being announced as the winner and her music playing despite being pinned.
If you missed it, check it out:
Mandy Rose Slips at WrestleMania
On the subject of botches, one of the more publicized of 2021 in WWE was when Mandy Rose slipped and fell during her entrance at WrestleMania 37.
At the time, it was one of those moments that you chuckle at, say “oh no, poor girl” and, at least in my case, write it down on your notes to remember for the end of the year. Everyone makes mistakes and it was a funny one, but not the most uproarious laughter kind of botch.
Unfortunately, WWE thought it was an hilarious thing to milk and managed to run it into the ground with our next topic…
Everything with Nia Jax
I think in 2021, every time someone said “I know, what about ___” in regards to Nia Jax, someone should have slapped them in the face before they got the idea out.
Mandy Rose slips and falls, so WWE thinks they can spin that into some thing where Jax is slipping and falling. It’s very “let’s make this our own and capitalize on it. Uh oh. It sucks now.”
This was the year of Jax falling on her ass and shouting “my hole”, too.
All the injuries. The bad matches. There’s that weird fight with Charlotte Flair. Finally, there’s a release.
Normally, that would mean a good thing to end the suffering, but that’s not even true!
If you take her account, Jax had requested time off for a mental health break and WWE effectively fired her as a result. That’s absolutely terrible. Even someone with her track record and problems doesn’t deserve to be let go for that reason.
If that’s the truth, that means Jax had every reason to be let go for a long while, only to be released for something that she shouldn’t have been fired for. Imagine that.
Everything with Eva Marie
Eva Marie came back this year. I bet you wish that wouldn’t have happened, right?