Details Behind The Release Of Lena Yada, Raw Segment Cut, Johnny Knoxville Hurt

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, www.f4wonline.com

— Regarding the release of ECW backstage announcer Lena Yada, there are two reasons behind her departure from World Wrestling Entertainments (besides the cost cutting measure).

The company wanted to eventually use her as a wrestler. Though obviously athletic due to her time as a former top ranked professional tandem surfer, she had not progressed much as a wrestler. There were actually ideas tossed around to capitalize on her surfing background, but Vince McMahon nixed them immediately and the creative team got the message. This time last year, McMahon had to be convinced to sign her to a contract coming off her tenure in the Diva Search. The creative team lobbied for her, saying she had a unique look that stood out among your usual blond silicone Diva types. The lobbying paid off as she was signed to a deal and started on television at the start of 2008 — even before the official WWE debut of 2007 Diva Search winner Eve Torres.

Following the news of Yada’s departure from World Wrestling Entertainment, a number of fans speculated online that Yada was being let go as a result of the recent hiring of former TNA Knockout Gail Kim, who is of course Asian too. As it turns out, the speculation appears to be correct. According to one source, as soon as WWE signed Gail Kim (who is indeed under contract to the company), both Vince and Stephanie McMahon felt there was no reason to have Yada on the roster anymore since “they looked too much alike.”

Yada technically participated in her first wrestling match at last Monday’s Raw in the 16-Diva tag match. However, she was not tagged in. Although, her team won, so she has the rare distinction of being undefeated in WWE competition alongside Braden Walker and Frankie Kazarian.

She’s since logged on to her MySpace page, but hasn’t spoken out out or removed the numerous WWE references on the page, including the headline that reads “It’s all about the ECW….” and her profile photo being a graphic of herself informing people to tune into ECW every Tuesday on Sci Fi.

Lena Yada was released a year to the date of her hiring — November 10, 2007. It was also her birthday this past week as she turned 30 years old on Wednesday.

— Monday’s Raw taping in Manchester apparently went too long and one segment was cut as a result. JBL did an interview during the show, which was cut. He came out wearing a neck brace as a result of Undertaker’s tombstone piledriver the week before on Raw, and built up his match at Survivor Series — which was announced on WWE.com after the show. JBL also did a Million Dollar Man-like segment where he would give money to a fan who could recite the last five U.S. presidents. The fan did, so he then made him recite the last five Vice Presidents, and the fan was unable to do so.

— Johnny Knoxville legitimately hurt his neck during his appearance on Raw a few weeks ago in an angle with The Great Khali and Beth Phoenix. He has been wearing a neck brace in recent weeks.

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