Let me preface this entire piece on the notion that I reside in Seattle (hence the out-of-place college football referencing below).
A good friend of mine and I were having a discussion as to why no team from the PAC-12 ever seems to be able to win a national championship in football. He pointed out that the problem is when one team starts to get hot, another team in the conference beats them. There is no real opportunity for any team to have really great success because they’re all too busy beating up on each other.
This thought has marinated on me for a few months as to where I could use it- of course, I can somehow relate this back to wrestling! The more I think about the new young stars of the WWE, the more I find them to be similar to the teams in the PAC-12 conference. None of them seem to get too hot because they’ll be cooled down and eventually brought back down to level. In theory it seems like sound logic to put the up-and-coming stars against each other to showcase their talents and what the future holds, but it’s unproductive to have them just go back and forth in wins and losses with no bigger picture.
Four names immediately came to mind- the four stars that I think are the future of the company, and if used properly will take the WWE to heights it hasn’t seen in years:
Kofi Kingston: A struggling mid-carder for years that, I feel, had one truly breathtaking moment in his tenure so far. Most of you would probably think of his Royal Rumble rebound in 2012 to escape elimination- that’s not it. In late 2009 Kofi and Randy Orton were in a small feud that eventually led to Kingston giving Orton the Boom Drop through a table at Madison Square Garden. Since then, Kofi hasn’t beaten a big established star- he’s dropped titles to Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett.
Ryback: He was the hottest star in the company heading into the fall of 2012. I don’t necessarily believe that having Ryback go over on CM Punk at Hell in a Cell would be the right move, nor having him beat John Cena and Punk at Survivor Series. However, having Ryback get buried PPV after PPV by new stars doesn’t make sense- he never should have been in the WWE Title picture essentially five minutes into his run to begin with. Sure, Ryback could continue to beat up The Shield, and The Shield could continue to beat up Ryback- but is it really good for any of them?
Wade Barrett: I don’t know what they’re doing with him. He has put on great matches with Orton and Sheamus recently, but it’s getting repetitive. To have him beat Orton cleanly one week and then lose cleanly the following week without any sort of build to something more meaningful is a waste of both talents. They could have a great World Title feud, but the back and forth isn’t helping either competitor.
Dolph Ziggler: He’s my last hope of the field right now. Ziggler wins Money in the Bank and “retires” Chris Jericho, then goes on to beat Cena on PPV- clean or not isn’t relevant- the win counts the same. The way to make this entirely right is for Ziggler to keep holding on to the briefcase and cash in at either THE one year mark or right around it. There should be at least one more non-Alberto Del Rio/Big Show feud before it’s Ziggler’s turn. Reason being: Ziggler needs a Punk’esq run with the World Title.
The four superstars above are the best assets WWE has moving forward right now- at least the four that still have a chance to salvage their careers despite never being in the main events as established powers. Kofi needs an attitude change and get some more attitude (pun intended) in him- the same gimmick isn’t working five years later. As for the other three, my gut tells me that all three will hold the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013 and will likely carry the company into the next era.
-You can follow me on Twitter at @Eddy327