ECW Legend The Sandman was released by Vince McMahon in 2007 when he was fired from the WWE due to reason never made public.
The former ECW Champion was released on September 11, 2007 with the contract termination being announced on WWE.com.
The statement given was short, uncontroversial and gave no details other than the date and the fact that he had been released.
WWE has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstar and ECW Original Sandman as of September 11. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors.WWE’s statement after firing The Sandman
This did not come as a shock but was a sad ending for one of the legends of wrestling in America.
The Sandman had become an icon in Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s, despite his comparatively poor wrestling and promo skills.
He did however possess the physical charisma to get the fans behind him no matter what, something that Paul Heyman booked to perfection in making him the companies top star. AEW star Jon Moxley even claimed he was his favourite wrestler as a child.
He is a 5-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion and earned the admiration of the hardcore crowd not from his wrestling, but from his beer drinking, cigarette smoking and love for canning his opponents with a Singapore Cane (now called a Kendo Stick).
He was an innovate star, with all of his signature quirks being copied by the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin during the time.
His entrance was also one of the greatest ever. Due to ECW’s trait of blatantly ignoring copyright, he entered the arena to Metallica’s Enter Sandman – the song where he got his name from – as the fans sang along at great volume.
This was best exemplified during ECW One Night Stand 2005 and is regarded as possibly the best entrance of all time.
Everything that was The Sandman seemed antithetical to the WWE style. He couldn’t wrestle, he couldn’t talk.
He was loud, brash, vulgar and smoke and drank in the ring. He was a niche that could only work in ECW (his work in WCW was proof of that), which made it even more shocking when WWE hired him off the back of ECW One Night Stand.
He wrestled on ECW and later Raw, although had very little success until his firing in 2007.
He left the company with little fanfare. The Sandman’s last WWE match was a DQ victory over Santino Marella on Monday Night Raw, after the Italian hit him with his own Singapore Cane just two minutes into the match.
Ending the career of such a hardcore icon with his own weapon, causing a DQ so early on in the match, was frankly pathetic. He was announced as released not long after and ended his year long stay in WWE with a whimper.
Why Was Sandman Fired By WWE
Former ECW Champion The Sandman revealed the details of his firing by WWE during a recent interview clip uploaded by WSI – Wrestling Shoot Interviews YouTube Channel.
He noted that an inciddent on a plane with WWE Hall of Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was what caused McMahon to terminate his contract after a flight to Africa.
“It started on the plane. Ricky Steamboat, he was in charge, it was like his first tour, right? I don’t find this out, so, like. The plane stops and we’re getting off and we gotta go down stairs and walk on the tarmac,
And he (Steamboat) gets up and he starts yelling at me ‘don’t you are light that cigarette in this plane. And like, dude, one, you’re not my dad, and two, I don’t even have a lighter in my hand.
John Cena was the one who calmed me down. He’s like ‘Hak, don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it.”The Sandman on why WWE fired him
He would later be fired for the incident and, as of 2022, has never returned to the WWE.
Given ECW legends like Rhyno, The Dudleys and Tommy Dreamer have all made returns to the company in the last few years, there’s a good chance that more happened behind the scenes that soured the relationship between Vince McMahon and The Sandman.
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