Damien Sandow has recently been complaining on WWE programming about not being allowed to speak. He’s been interrupted in recent weeks before he could finish and on the May 16 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, his mic was cut as he was speaking. Apparently, someone behind the scenes in WWE does not want Sandow talking in front of fans.
Before anyone begins criticizing, let me be clear. I have no issue with Damien Sandow. I’ve actually been a fan of his work for quite some time now. I was one of those guys that did not want to see him cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase against John Cena, mostly because I knew he would not go over.
But then again, he did have a nice showing against John and I was hoping that would lead to bigger things for him. As it turns out, I was right on the first count, wrong on the second.
And truth be told, Sandow’s character has gone through the natural evolution that we expect a WWE Superstar to go through. He came in with an eccentric gimmick, got some nice wins, formed a tag team with another talented star and then ended up on his own once again.
He got over from the very beginning; he entertains every time he’s on the mic and in the ring. He’s traveled the same road that a good number of WWE Superstars have traveled so many times before and by this point, Sandow should be somebody.
Yet he’s not. Not even close.
And that fact is lost on virtually no one. Damien is respected by a lot of fans, mostly because of what they feel he’s capable of. When they look at Damien Sandow, they see a top heel in the making. At the very least, they see a top tier heel that could match up well with any protagonist that WWE has to offer.
But again, he’s not even close.
So since nearly every WWE fan on the planet agrees that Damien is not being utilized in the right way and is simply not being given enough, there’s really only one thing WWE can do about it.
Who said “give him a real shot?” That was good, you’re funny.
No, that is not the answer that WWE has for this situation. Instead of giving Sandow an opportunity to shine and start inserting him into key positions on the card, the company has chosen to exploit the issue. In other words, they’re admitting that he’s not doing much.
And they’re letting him be the one to complain about it.
This does so many things, more than perhaps some fans even realize. For starters, it completely disarms fans that are unhappy with Sandow’s lack of direction. By broadcasting the situation on live TV, it’s completely taken the complaints out of the hands of fans.
Now, it’s hard to for fans to grieve over Sandow’s spot when he’s doing the same thing on Raw and SmackDown. The crowd knows that Vince signs off on everything that makes it onto TV, so they know that includes anything that Damien says on the mic.
So it’s a little hard to believe what he says at all now. After all when a cause falls into the hands of WWE creative, it ceases to be a cause; it’s now a storyline.
Another thing that is accomplished by using fan frustration over Sandow as an angle is the fact that for those who consider themselves smart about the product, they feel like WWE is listening. They believe that their complaints are finally receiving some serious attention from the front office, that WWE cares about what they want and who they want to see.
Ha. Another good one.
Here’s the thing. The truth is that WWE does care; to a certain extent. They care enough to make money off of guys that can produce for them in key areas. And they care enough to take what fans feel is important and use it to their advantage.
And they do it all the time. Remember the “here we go again” line? It’s absolutely true. From CM Punk to Zack Ryder all the way down to JTG, one Superstar after another has spoken his mind about not being utilized and every time it’s happened, WWE has used it to their advantage. The current situation with Damien Sandow is nothing new; he wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last.
Damien Sandow has a chance. And a chance is a chance, it’s better than nothing at all. Perhaps that’s all that matters here.
Even if we have seen it before.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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