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Why Were the Highlanders Fired?

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Both Highlanders - Rory and Robbie - were finally released from their WWE contracts last Friday. Rory's pectoral tear injury from back in January likely held off their firing as they wanted to wait until he was healthy to part ways with them. Rory made his return to the ring on August 11 and was gone by the end of the week.

When they were first starting out in WWE, a number of people in the company were fans of them. The road agents liked them from the start as they were impressed by how bad they wanted to be in WWE. When they first got their tryouts, they made their costumes within a 48 hour notice. Creative member Ed Koskey as well as Fit Finlay were pushing for them to get a significant push, but as heels. However, Raw writer Brian Gerwitz wanted to recreate The Bushwhackers with them. Gewirtz never saw The Sheepherders (The Bushwhackers in a sadistic, savage brawling gimmick), which is what Finlay had in mind. Despite the vignettes and heavy push during the summer of 2006, The Highlanders failed to get over and they were quickly put on the back burner, never to recover. By the end of 2006, they mostly competed on Raw's sister show Heat, occasionally making appearances on Raw, throughout 2007, primarily to job to other teams or singles wrestlers such as Snitsky.

Following the announcement of his release last Friday, Rory posted on his MySpace account that he's not bitter, has no regrets, but only wished things had gone better for them in WWE. Rory put over John Laurinaitis, who both hired and fired him. Rory said he lived in his car when he was working the indy circuit, and thanks to WWE, he now has a home. However, he was becoming very unhappy during his last days in WWE. He said WWE hired them based on how they wrestled on the indy circuit (similar to The Sheepherders not The Bushwhackers) and was upset that they weren't allowed to do be who they were before. Rory said he knew from day one that The Highlanders gimmick would be a hard one to break out of.


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