I think we can all agree this release is a good thing. Khali had a good run but he was never what you’d call good. And in addition to his general uselessness he’d had no clear creative direction for years beyond being a tall lad who liked to dance with a midget and had a thing for married woman Natalya. It wasn’t captivating stuff and nothing better was going to be sent his way.
What’s less good, but also less clear, is the status of Brad Maddox. Like Khali he was moved to the alumni section of WWE’s website on Thursday, seemingly signifying his termination from the company. But there has since been talk of that website move being part of a storyline. Which is to be hoped for because Maddox has plenty left to contribute.
His stint as RAW General Manager is probably remembered by most people reading this. It was particularly impressive because Brad took what has become a clichéd, overplayed role and did something new and interesting with it. He also became quite popular, despite being very much a weaselish heel. It demonstrated that Maddox knows how to connect with a crowd, which WWE are forever claiming is the attribute they most desire in a talent.
I’m not really sure what WWE could accomplish with Maddox in a worked shoot plot but there are plenty of roles he could fill if he were kept on the payroll and reintroduced to TV in a more traditional fashion. He strikes me as someone who could make a very entertaining colour commentator, for example. Surely he’d be a better choice for the NXT announce team than ‘The Analyst’ Alex Riley. He’s a more interesting and likeable presence with a better sense of humour. A-Ry comes across as an unlikeable infomercial salesman.
Failing that Regal could replace Riley and Brad could take over as NXT GM. It’s not that Regal’s bad in the role. He is, in fact, one of the most ideal people for it. But the Regal’s a proven quantity at the NXT announce desk and is another guy who’d be a better fit than Riley. Meanwhile Maddox is a proven force in the on-screen authority figure role and is in a position to work as more of a tweener, which is beneficial for GMs as it allows them to make rulings that benefit both heels and faces.
|Let Maddox wrestle.
What I’d most like to see Maddox do is return to the main roster as an active wrestler. This is what he was originally signed for and it’s something he’s had little opportunity to do since his promotion to the main roster in August 2012. He initially portrayed a heel referee then slipped into the GM position for a year or so before disappearing from our screens in May. Bar a lone appearance on the WWE App during the October 13 RAW he’s not been seen since.
Maddox could work well in the comedy babyface role. Maybe they could give him a gimmick where he’s desperate to convince himself and everyone around him that he still has some of the power he once did as RAW GM. He could have himself announced as the General Manager of each individual match he has, as opposed to being GM of a full show. It’s not a main event character but it’s something that would set him apart and give people reason to invest in him and his character. Played for laughs it could be fun.
With or without this gimmick (let’s face it, it’ll be without) I think it would be a mistake for WWE to get rid of Brad Maddox at this point. I hope news of his departure turns out to be incorrect. Because the guy deserves a chance to succeed. And because he’s better than Alex Riley.