“World Wrestling Entertainment released their top Producer/Agent Dave Finlay yesterday, PWInsider.com has confirmed.
The story making the rounds is that The Miz was booked to come out and interrupt the national anthem during a house show in Champaign, IL over the weekend in order to cut a promo that would set up himself vs. Randy Orton to open the card. There were a number of representatives for the National Guard, who are a HUGE partner and sponsor for WWE, in attendance. Obviously, they were not pleased with the anthem being used to get heel heat.
When word made it’s way back to WWE management, the decision was made to release Finlay, who as the top Producer of the show, “had to fall on the sword”, as it was described to me.
There were a lot of shocked people within the company today as word began to make the rounds among the wrestlers and staff. Finlay was well liked and more than a few people I spoke to hoped that it was a situation where he was let go only to be brought back down the line.
Finlay, a third generation wrestler, had been with the company from 2001 and was considered the top Producer backstage, with Arn Anderson directly behind him in the line of command. Finlay had long been given credit for the rise and improvement of the WWE Divas division over the last decade.
Finlay worked for several years behind the scene for the company before returning as a wrestler in a full-time role as well in 2006, mostly to help introduce the Hornswoggle character and work with younger talents that needed help in the ring. WWE had quietly retired him as a wrestler last year when the decision was made to go with younger faces on the television product.
Finlay had been wrestling since 1974. He was considered one of the top heels in Europe in the 1990s and also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. He finally made his way to the United States during the Monday Night Wars for WCW as the “Belfast Bruiser.”‘