Stylin? and Profilin? ? The Young and the Restless
Sheamus is wrestling John Cena for the WWE title. Yes. Sheamus. He kind of reminds of a cross between Kevin Thorn and Finlay in the sense that he’s as white as a vampire, but has that whole Irish thing going on. Or maybe he’s Hornswoggle’s evil giant twin who was lost at birth or something crazy like that. I actually wouldn?t be all that surprised if the WWE ran a storyline like that at some point to be honest.
That being said, I?m excited about Sheamus wrestling John Cena for the WWE title at another over-gimmicked Pay Per View. The tables match stipulation works well with these two and really tends to play to Sheamus strengths in terms of how he has been built so far. He has been tossing guys all over the place in and out of the ring. It’s far more within his character to throw a guy through a table then to climb a ladder to win a match. So I?m okay with the stipulation even though I think the idea of a TLC Pay Per View is, as a whole, just another bad, over gimmicked component of WWE programming at this point in time. My hatred for gimmick Pay Per Views aside, I think it is a very good decision to put Sheamus in the main event at a PPV like this. It’s the time of year when the WWE either has a longer-term program that they are finishing up, or they are simply trying to kill some time before the Royal Rumble, and ultimately the build-up to Wrestlemania. You could make the argument that it isn?t to early to start building towards Wrestlemania, and I typically agree with that argument. But at the same time I think there is more dust that needs to settle than usual. With the WWE shifting their focus to building new stars, I think in some ways they are trying to see how some of the recent pushes have shaken out and which of the new guys are in a position to potentially headline a Wrestlemania in the next couple of years. I know that may sound a bit crazy, but it reminds me of 2005. Going into New Years Revolution you had Triple H as your only true bonafide main event guy at the time capable of headlining a Wrestlemania. Smackdown was getting ready to give Cena his first run with the WWE Title, and on RAW there was a massive rush to find someone to hand the belt off too that wasn?t named Triple H. The initial build started with Orton and we all know how that went: he turned into Ephram the Retarded Rabbit as a babyface and it took almost a year to build him back up to where he could credibly sit in the main event picture again. All the while, Batista comes out of nowhere and turns himself into a star and ends up winning the World Heavyweight Championship and goes on to have a hugely successful reign over on Smackdown. I think we might see something similar happen this year, the difference being that there are more guys on both brands that could possibly find themselves main eventing at Wrestlemania:
Some would argue that Christian doesn?t fall into this category as a new up and coming star. There is some truth to that, but at the same time, I think Christian is pretty unique. He was away from the company for four years. He has been simmering on ECW for a while. It is only a matter of time for him to come to either RAW or Smackdown. He is and has been over on ECW since he has come back. In a lot of ways, Wrestlemania might be the right time to bring him over to another brand, push him to the moon and give him a Wrestlemania title match. That is one of the advantages of having two brands and two World Titles. Even at a show like Wrestlemania, you can take a chance on one of your title matches if the other is very strong.
Either way, the next few months are going to be interesting, as I think we are really going to see the WWE give the younger guys an opportunity to move up to the top of the card. Survivor Series really helped put this movement into high gear with guys like Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Kofi Kingston going over in their matches. It made me think about the guys to really watch in the WWE over the next few months. So here is my unofficial list of up and comers to really keep your eye on:
Sheamus: This one seems obvious now seeing as he will be wrestling for the WWE title in just a couple of weeks at the next Pay Per View. But I like his long-term prospects beyond this match. I?m not quite sure what he is capable of doing in a longer match (by longer I mean over 5 minutes), but this is a good starting point. He?ll be protected by working with John Cena and having the tables gimmick will actually help him as he can work the match around the idea of putting Cena through a table. Essentially it gives him something to structure his match with Cena around. He’s got a good look, and he’s decent on the mic. It’s all going to come down to his ability to translate the heat he’s getting in squash matches to the heat he can draw in matches against bigger opponents. I like his odds of succeeding at it.
The Miz: He’s another one that some would argue may not fall into this category of ?new? stars seeing as he’s been around for a while and held multiple championships with the company. But just a few months back many people were complaining because they felt he would be the forgotten man from this tag team with John Morrison. Now heading into 2010, I think John Morrison is in danger of being forgotten if he’s unable to elevate himself beyond where he is now. Beyond that, Miz, in my opinion, is the complete and total package. He has a catch phrase that’s caught on with the masses. He oozes natural charisma, and he’s improved in the ring to the point where you can?t even compare him to where he was when he first started. He’s got all the tools you need to succeed in professional wrestling. The only question is whether or not he is going to get the opportunity at the top of the card. I tend to think that he will. I look at US Title run as a proving grounds of sorts for him. If he succeeds as US champion (which I believe he is), then he will be rewarded for it.
Drew McIntyre: I wanted to deviate from the norm a bit here, so I picked McIntyre. This is a guy that I find very intriguing. It’s been well documented that he is well liked by Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Vince McMahon. Those three endorsements alone should theoretically be enough to push anyone to the top of the card. But truth be told, I like what I have seen from the guy in the ring. He hasn?t blown me away with anything in particular, but he’s working simple matches, staying within himself, and being booked in a capacity that makes him look strong. Do I think that he’s a future World Champion? I don?t know. But I do think he’s shown me that he has the tools to be successful. He’s raw and hasn?t quite figured out how best to harness and manage the emotions of a live crowd, but that all comes with time. I think McIntyre could end up at the top of the card in a Booker T type role one day based on what I?ve seen of him so far, but again it is far too early to tell with him.
The next few months are going to be interesting as wrestling fans. As someone who is personally bored to tears of the ?old guard? (i.e. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, and John Cena main eventing every PPV), I am looking forward to this run here. I have a strong feeling we are going to see Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, and Legacy get their shot at the gold, and I couldn?t be happier.