Absent WWE Wrestler Returning To Television Soon, ECW Rating Plunges, Lawler

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, www.pwtorch.com

— Tyson Kidd and Natalya were told to expect a third addition to their package soon, that of course being DH Smith.

The son of the “British Bulldog” has not been seen on WWE programming in nearly a year, his last television appearance taking place on the May 5, 2008 episode of Raw as a result of a stretcher job at the hands of John Bradshaw Layfield.

According to Smith, he asked to return to developmental on a full-time basis so he could mature, as well as put more effort into developing his in-ring work and personality. At the time, Smith was having trouble finding his niche in WWE — not to mention television time. Staying on the main roster was not doing him much good, hence the request for a demotion with the idea that he would take one step back to go two steps forward.

Smith was drafted to the ECW brand in the Supplemental Draft two weeks ago with the idea to pair him up with the two. As a result, his move to the brand squashed the possibility of the second generation wrestler joining Legacy on Raw. Randy Orton had an idea for Smith to be the Arn Anderson of his group, but plans derailed when the heated McMahon storyline came about in mid-January.

All three wrestlers are quite familiar with each other as they’ve known each other since childhood. At the age of ten, Kidd was adopted into the Hart family after befriending Teddy Hart. He also lived with Smith for several years and has been living with Natalya for five years.

In 2007, Smith, Kidd and Natalya briefly aligned themselves and formed the Next Generation Hart Foundation in Florida Championship Wrestling. The group disbanded when Smith was called up to the main roster in October of that year.

Late last year, Smith was paired up with Kidd and Natalya once again with the idea to call them up to the main roster. In December, they looked to be on the brink of being called up to SmackDown to work a program with tag team champions Carlito and Primo, but those plans were nixed when Smith reportedly went behind Kidd’s back to suggest to the creative team that they place him in Legacy. Creative apparently bought the idea as the two were unexpectedly broken up in mid-December — a week or two after they started working dark matches.

FCW officials actually turned the behind the scenes happenings into a storyline as Kidd taunted Smith for making it onto television before him even though his former tag partner went behind his back to get in WWE without him.

— Jerry “The King” Lawler will be working as a referee for the dark match main event at the SmackDown/ECW taping on June 2nd in Memphis, Tennessee.

— Last night’s episode of ECW on Sci Fi featuring Christian’s first appearance as ECW Champion scored a 1.17 cable rating, the show’s worst number in quite some time. ECW was seen by an average audience of 1.60 million viewers, continuing the show’s steady decline from the year’s peak of 1.95 million viewers on March 17th.

Comparing last night’s episode to the previous ten episodes, the show’s viewership was down 12.7 percent.

*SPOILER* Current plan for the main event at SummerSlam (>>)