The first half of 2013 is rapidly coming to a close and it seems like a lot of WWE superstars are on the verge of some changes, so I decided to go down the main roster alphabetically and share some thoughts on everyone’s current state starting with letters A through D:
Alberto del Rio: I didn’t think there was much to like about ADR as a face, but he slowly seems to be growing into the role. He had been on record as saying he wanted to be a face from the get-go, so he’s probably more comfortable working as one. He just needs something more to tack his character onto; right now he just seems like his prior millionaire character slumming it.
Alex Riley: This poor prick. Blackballed for standing up for himself. He should really just quit because its obvious they see nothing in him, and I think he has potential. At the very least, team him up with Curt Hawkins and let them be a jobber team.
Antonio Cesaro: Lotta rumors surrounding old Claudio. The rap from day one was that Vince thought he was boring and HHH saw potential, so he got a chance. Then I heard some talk that HHH invited him to work out and Cesaro turned him down. I REALLY hope that’s just some newsboarder’s overactive imagination because otherwise, really? How dumb could you be? What little fragment of character they gave him was all about his strength and his unique workout routine. If your boss wanted to go share his favorite activity with you, obviously he sees something there and maybe wanted to learn something about your workout. Hello! HHH pushes his gym buddies, dipshit! Maybe its not true, but either way all I can say is that I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another ROH match with Claudio Castagnoli in the future.
Big E. Langston: What do you call a big, ripped musclehead that you hire to be pushed as such only to find out that he has untapped reserves in the comedy department and great facials in the ring? Well you could call him Titus O’Neill, but Big E. is a little younger and a little better. Despite looking like some horrific House Party slashfic where Kid ate Play, Langston is probably going to be breaking out as a singles star soon, and won’t be with Dolph and AJ much longer.
Big Show: Big Show’s been having some of the best matches of his career, and I really think that he’s cementing his legacy as a great worker and an all around professional. Unfortunately, Show’s not getting any younger, and giants have shorter life expectancies than most of us. While he’s barely touching his 40s, he could be in his twilight years very soon. I know its morbid and sad to say, but its the truth. I get the feeling it might even be like a Joe Paterno situation for him, where once he stops it all catches up to him and he won’t make it much longer. That’s why, even though Brock is being held for the bigger stars, I’d love to see him and Show have one match on PPV. Between their prior history, Brock’s MMA style, and the fact that Brock is strong enough to lift Show and Show is believably strong enough to throw Brock around, we could feasibly see a 5 star Big Show match.
Bo Dallas: I’m not sure he really counts yet. Either way, being the new Freddie Joe Floyd might not be the best career move for him.
Bray Wyatt & the Wyatt Family: I was a mark for this character from the second I saw his first promo, and I called it by saying they should ditch Eli Cottonwood as his flunky and use Luke Harper. Husky wasn’t a half bad worker and Brodie was a pretty great big man worker, so they should have good things to come. I haven’t really seen Erick Rowan but his beard is excellent. And since their vibe is basically Max Cady leading The Devil’s Rejects, we are in for some fun.
Brock Lesnar: All I really want out of Brock is for him to have great, bloody MMA hybrid brawls every once in a while and put people over. At this point there are tons of money matches with Brock: Big Show, Punk, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Ryback, a Cena rematch. How many of them we actually see is up to fate and Brock but hopefully he’s done wasting time with HHH.
Brodus Clay, Tensai, and the Funkadactyls: Tons of Funk as the new Men on a Mission is okay with me. They can be a feel good team to challenge for the tag titles and make heel teams look good. Like Khali, they may not be serious threats, but it always means something to beat someone that big. As for Cameron and Naomi, they’re going to have to face the facts that Naomi has a future as a singles Diva and Cameron is the Jannetty (Jannette?)
Chris Jericho: What more could you ask for? Add me to the list of people who’d like to see him get one last run as champ briefly, to eventually pass the torch to someone. God knows he’s earned it, and he has a patina of fame around him, plus the crowds go apeshit for him.
Christian: Unfortunately, his prime has peaked. From the stories I’ve heard he’s another hard luck case: strong-armed into appearing at Slammiversary last year as an exchange for the Flair deal when he really didn’t want anything to do with them, and then looked down on by some people for not outright refusing to do it and appearing with the competition. Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Couple that with age, injuries, and a lack of motivation from creative to find anything for him, and I think the writing is on the wall.
CM Punk: He can do no wrong. I just want him back on TV, although I’m glad he’s taking time to heal. Anything at all will be great with him.
Cody Rhodes: His whole gimmick is having a mustache. I think they should have someone forcibly shave it, and then have him freak out and go back to his old Dr. Doom character. It’d serve the character even more to overreact to something so vain and minute.
Curt Hawkins: Lost cause.
Curtis Axel: Here’s my problem with this chode. Besides the fact that he isn’t a great wrestler, they’re pushing his legacy of being Hennig’s son. I’m in my late 20s, and I’ve been watching wrestling for over 20 years. Curt Hennig retired for the first time within a year of me starting to watch; he seemed over the hill to me most of the time I was watching. He’s also been dead for a decade or so. So if he seems that old to an old fart like me, what does the average kid watching have to relate to? And if that kid did happen to bone up on his wrestling history and had seen Mr. Perfect’s dvd or whatever, he’d be able to see how his creepy son doesn’t match up. So its a lose lose scenario.
Damien Sandow: I like the darker elements they’re adding to his character. Rather than just acting smart, he’s using his intelligence to mess with his opponents. He’s basically The Riddler, and that has lots of potential for great villainy.
Daniel Bryan: It’s happening. They can’t ignore the reactions he gets. He will be on top or damn near. Just you wait.
Darren Young and Titus O’Neill: The PTPs got a little crowded out of the tag scene, but they still have potential to impress. Since their comedic promos are their strong suit (and not so much wrestling) and since Titus is a little old, if I were them I’d just put a lot of focus into YouTube videos.
David Otunga: He’s not gonna stick with this. Plainly his heart isn’t in it, and he is stuck in the limbo of being untalented enough to suck as a wrestler but too jacked physically to just be a manager. Time to quit and go be a house husband.
Dean Ambrose: All they could do more with him is give him some more vignettes where he can fill in the background of his character like he did in all those excellent Moxley promos. The mysteriousness of The Shield is fine but there is more to him than that. But those are small complaints, and he is the top heel of the future.
Dolph Ziggler: If I were him I’d beat the piss out of Swagger when I came back. The biggest run of his career has lost all its momentum due to Swagger being a sloppy goof, and it doesn’t make him look good that HHH is out there acting as though coming back from a concussion is just a matter of toughness. Dolph has a case of terminal bad luck, and he is starting at a severe deficit. It also says something that in the time he’s been gone the World title hasn’t really been missed too much.
Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal: 3MB are the three worst wrestlers on the roster, give or take a Khali or Ezekiel Jackson. And they don’t really do much “comedy” per se by coming out and acting like rockstars. Heath is an effective JTTS but has no good offense, Drew is the dreariest wrestler I’ve ever seen, and Jinder is just awful all around. Scary to think that Drew was at one time supposed to be the “next big thing”.
Stay tuned over the next few days for thoughts on the remainder of the WWE roster.