February 27, 2009
Gary Mehaffy

Bye Bye Colt Cabana

If I could turn back time. If I could find a way. I’d take back all the……………..oh, sorry. Almost lost myself in song there.

But seriously, if I could, I would.

By about two weeks or so.

I had intended to post a new column a couple of weeks ago. I was going to do a column based on someone who had hardly been used on WWE TV at all since they signed their contract.

I was going to write about Scotty ‘Colt Cabana’ Goldman.

But I didn’t. I had wedding invites to price and a wedding gift list to plan, so I decided to leave it a week or so and then finish writing the column. And then the strangest thing happened.

He was future endeavoured by the WWE. Amused, I wasn’t. Nor was he really I would surmise. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the column. Should I finish it? Should I scrap it? Should I change which wrestler/superstar/sports entertainer/entertainer/whatever we’re supposed to call them this week that I was going to write about? Should I do a combination of all of the above?

So I thought. And I thought. And I though a little more. And truth be told, as I write this I still don’t know what I’m doing (and some of you would say that I never did!)

I even thought of doing a column comparing Goldman to the recently released Manu and asking which came as more of a surprise (or not). But I think I’ll stick to only talking about Goldman. Or Cabana as he is now once again.

I have to be honest – his release really caught me off guard. Let me backtrack a little.

I first became aware of Colt Cabana through newsletters and magazines. I followed his progress, specifically in ROH, and was happy to see that I could eventually watch him thanks to the wrestling channel/fight network on Sky satellite (in the UK). He had good charisma, could hold his end of the bargain in the ring and was funny and entertaining. Maybe too much so – as much as I am a mark for entertaining characters (Santino) I prefer them to be able to go in the ring too (not necessarily Santino).

Ok, so the ROH coverage we had at the time was a good bit out of date, but he was pushed as one of the stars of their TV show on the wrestling channel adverts. I enjoyed matches he had with Homicide and Bryan Danielson, to name but two. At the time I couldn’t see him joining WWE for two reasons:

1 – He was a little too comedy for my liking too often (if that makes sense) and generally they like their guys to be serious most of the time (hey, why else would Vladimir Koslov be employed?) and

2 – He wasn’t exactly WWE shape/build (hey, why else would Vladimir Koslov be employed?) and looked like he would need to tone up if New York came to call.

But in mid-2007 he signed with Vince’s league. Initially, I was very hopeful. But then I was hopeful when Claudio Castagnoli signed with them too, and look how he fared! He was released before he literally wrestled even once.

They had recently signed Cabana’s ex-ROH tag team championship partner CM Punk. So far so good. And after a slow but inauspicious start, look how he turned out, right?

Well, a man could hope.

Cabana floated around OVW and subsequently FCW before finally receiving the call up to the (so called) big time. Maybe, after proving himself in WWE he would get a proper chance (because we all know in the land of Vince outside reputations count for nothing. Although I’ve always wondered how that could be, as if it was true that everything outside of WWE means nothing then how does anyone actually get signed? Anyway, I digress.)

How wrong could I be? First, they named him Scotty Goldman. To a degree I can understand WWE changing people’s names so as to retain the rights to their merchandise, etc., although some manage to fall through the cracks and keep their own ring name (how different it would be if CM Punk were in developmental now! Just ask Low Ki!)

Second, he kind of just appeared on television. Now, I’m no rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but surely the more you hype someone before they appear on television the more your audience would care about them one way or the other. Unless you’re Kizarny (but I think he might get over eventually – hey, I was right about the Miz so maybe lightning will strike twice!)

He did precisely nothing on SmackDown. Like nothing. He lost a handful of TV matches – if even that. And then the strangest thing happened.

He got his own show on WWE.com.

I thought this might be WWE’s way of getting him onto the main roster – they must have a plan for him! Either that or Joey Styles was pulling a few strings for him. He resurfaced on TV in February of this year for the Elimination Chamber qualifying match (and what a pointless match that was). His final SmackDown appearance was losing to Umaga – twice, technically. They re-filmed it as he didn’t take the Samoan Spike all that well.

And with that, his WWE tenure ended as of last weekend’s SmackDown.

But I was left with a few ‘What Ifs’ and ‘Whys’.

What if I had written the piece two weeks earlier showing how he could be used better, would he still be in a job? I wish! Hey, like anyone listens to a word I say!

What if he had gone to ECW as part of their new talent initiative (whatever happened to it that is)? Would he still be on TV now, as he may have sailed under the radar a little on the ‘C’ show?

What if he had taken the Samoan Spike first time round last week?

Why give him a WWE.com show when he hadn’t been a regular on TV and no casual WWE viewer would have even known who he was?

And, more to the point, why allow the name of his WWE.com show to be changed between the SmackDown taping (February 17th) and the show going out (February 20th) only to announce his firing virtually as soon as the match had aired?

Apart from the obvious answer to the last question (that being that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing more often than not in WWE) the biggest point may be the ECW thought. I genuinely feel that had he surfaced in ECW rather than, say, Ricky Ortiz (heaven help us), Gavin Spears (heaven help us even more) or Braden Walker (heaven help him! Or maybe that shout out should go to Dixie to help him) that he would have survived much longer and evolved into an entertaining addition to the 3rd brand of WWE. He could, as I say, go in the ring and was entertaining. Everything that the Boogeyman, Ortiz, Spears, Walker, Delaney and DJ Gabriel aren’t or weren’t (regardless of who is to blame for their perceived lack of success). And yet he still didn’t get a chance.

He could have been a fresh face on a TV show that could have used some proper talent.

He could have worked with a variety of opponents to produce some entertaining matches.

Then he could have got his own online show when he had a little name value (and I had seen one or two of them, and they had cult status potential if given time).

He could have honed his ‘WWE-style’ and then moved to SmackDown when the time was right. But no, he was squandered and wasted. He’s still young enough that he could get another chance, but I can’t see it happening. For what it’s worth (and that’s probably not a lot) I would prefer to see him return to ROH and show the world why he was gaining a great reputation in the first place. Selfishly, I would like to see him return to WWE at some stage, but I just can’t see it. Maybe when Vince goes and someone with their finger more on the pulse takes over we may see him come back, but we’ll see what we shall see.

As per usual with me, have I reinvented the wheel with my revolutionary thinking? Somehow I doubt it. But that’s not the point of my columns. I want them to get people talking and in this case thinking ‘What if…….’

Colt, all the best with your future endeavours. And unlike Stamford, I genuinely do mean it and will be watching with anticipation in the next months to see how you get on.

Oh, and I’m sorry I didn’t post the column two weeks ago!

As per usual if you agree with me, disagree with me or just plain wonder why on earth I would talk about Scotty Goldman/Colt Cabana at all then drop me a line – garymehaffy@hotmail.co.uk.

Other than that I’ll se you all in a few weeks time, when hopefully I’ll be back with a different style of column for one week and one week only!

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