August 26th 2013
An event has unfolded not seen in mainstream wrestling for twenty years. The two faces of the WWE, the number one and number two, are both injured at the same time for a prolonged period of time. John Cena and Sheamus are both out of action for 4 to 6 months with a triceps and shoulder injury respectively. Both injuries are legit, both timelines however can be works, as has been the case in the PG Era, Cena’s injury in 2007 being the most flagrant example. However, both men are likely to stay on the sidelines until after the new year to be both healthy and rested for the Road to WrestleMania that begins at the Royal Rumble.
Every member of the WWE roster both main and developmental should be as happy and excited as they can possibly be. Not at the misfortunes of others, but at the literally once in a generation opportunity to take an assisted leap towards grabbing a brass ring of World Wrestling Entertainment. Cena and Sheamus collectively are the face of WWE, one need only download their overly promoted app to see that both men literally are the symbol of the RAW and Smackdown brands. Both of the franchises are out until January, part timers like The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Chris Jericho have all fulfilled their contractual obligations for 2012, and there is zero news or even credible rumor of an available needle moving name like Batista, The Rock, or Goldberg being brought into the fold. What is WWE left to do to fill the void for the remainder of the year that involves presenting seven hours of original television content a week for the next 19 weeks?
With Triple H’s brief track record of calling the shots the answer is as obvious as it is positive to fans of my ilk; push young talent. Fans should not be discouraged by the current pseudo New Corporation that has formed between the McMahon family and Randy Orton. This angle/storyline is merely a vehicle to push Daniel Bryan in a way that Vince McMahon is comfortable and familiar with; that being the white hot babyface chasing the heel champion for the title making the face that much hotter. The angle merely takes up a handful of segments between RAW and Smackdown each week, even if it were to take up a full hour, that leaves six hours per week not counting NXT that needs to be filled.
One can always play fantasy booker, in future articles I will do just that starting with TNA/Impact Wrestling. However, one need not take a turn to unrealistic town to know that this is the time for the young lions to show what they got. Any promo, special move, or merchandise idea they have saved for a special time, now is the time to do/pitch it. Any favor to call in with a veteran or office personnel, now is the time to call it in. Any meeting they get called into between now and Jan 1st 2014, sell yourself as if St. Peter was on the fence about letting you in at the pearly gates. If you’re Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) start lifting weights with a smile on your face three times a day every day with an IV of whey protein pumping into your veins. The times is now gentlemen!
Not since both Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage exiting stage left in 1993 has there been this kind of opportunity for young wrestlers in “the show” to succeed and exceed with a perfectly legit shortcut dropped into their laps. There are no more than one contender for each title in WWE. Recent signees like Sami Callihan and Samurai Del Sol NEED be pushing to get on NXT television. NXT standouts like Adrian Neville (PAC), Bo Dallas, Corey Graves, Leo Kruger, Sami Zayn (El Generico), and Xavier Woods (Consequences Creed) NEED to be pushing to get called up to Smackdown. Opening match players like Justin Gabriel, Zack Ryder, and Drew Mcintyre NEED to be pushing to get into the US and IC divisions. Mid Carders that don’t have a MITB briefcase like Cody Rhodes, Fandango (Johnny Curtis), Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli), R-Truth, and Kofi Kingston NEED to be pushing to get in the main events. And main event jobbers like Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Kane, and Christian NEED to be pushing to get that World Heavyweight Title on their waste to (re)establish credibility with fans and cement their made men status.
Now is the time, not later. The Road to WrestleMania is where youth movements and veterans looking to finally get the big shot go to die this side of Rey Mysterio. WWE backstage politics is more than 50% congruence testing, now is the time for those who want to be the top guy to pass the test and grab the ring. Jim Ross, John Cena, and Triple H constantly reference the lack of desire to “own the place” this recent generation of superstars posses or lack in this case. What they mean is that the guys not named CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (Brian Danielson) have been too afraid of getting fired to stand up like men with complete confidence and say “I AM THE NEXT HULK HOGAN! I AM THE NEXT STEVE AUSTIN! I AM THE NEXT JOHN CENA!” Now is the time gentlemen to tell that to yourselves, to the fans, and to the office. This is when Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H will take a chance, not in January. The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels, and Kevin Nash can all a test that when the faces of a generation go away, WWE has to replace their spots and title reigns with somebody, might as well be you.