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WWE Rebooting Lord Tensai

Lord TensaiIf you were wondering why you are being subjected to The Big Show vs. John Cena for the 20th time, you aren’t the only one. Many WWE fans have been asking that question and believe it or not, there is a good reason for a new chapter in this repetitive feud.

According to a recent report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, The Big Show was not planned to be feuding with John Cena at No Way Out. Dave Meltzer reports that Show is a late audible for the man that was once called Lord Tensai.

Meltzer reports that Tensai was originally booked to feud with Cena and wrestle him at No Way Out. The report goes on to say that WWE officials have become so frustrated with Tensai’s lack of reaction that they are starting over with the good Lord. Tensai was pulled from the match and will get a new makeover after being reportedly dubbed a “flop” by Vince McMahon.

Well at least the The Big Show vs. John Cena feud makes a little bit of sense. While Vince McMahon has known to rewind feuds quite a bit over recent years, Cena vs. Show seemed odd at this stage of the game. The Big Show just went from losing to Cody Rhodes and now is headlining with Cena? The move seemed terribly prepared and was a last minute audible after all.

The Tensai troubles didn’t surprise me. I can’t recall many instances (and if you do, please leave a comment) where a wrestler returns to the WWE with a new character and name and actually gets over. A great example of this came many years ago when Tony Atlas returned as Saba Simba, never coming even close to the success he had in his previous run. The Iron Sheik as Colonel Mustafa is another example while Rikishi may actually be one of the few who did work (okay, save the comments).

Tensai first appeared in the WWE as Prince Albert back in 1997. While Albert was not necessarily a headliner, he was a regular character during a very popular time in WWE history, the Attitude Era. The fans remember him and even though it has been eight years, all you need is a couple of people in the audience on RAW to bring it up, and now you have a situation that just looks ridiculous.

Personally, I think they gave up on Tensai too soon. I think he could have been salvaged. Why not openly acknowledge his past as Prince Albert? Matt Bloom left the WWE and enjoyed a very successful run wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling. I think that Bloom or his representative could have done an interview talking about the transformation and embracing his past. The WWE could have even shelled out some bucks and played some of Bloom’s big moments in NJPW. Once the pink elephant in the room was addressed, I think Tensai would have been fine.

Rebooting Tensai is fine, but it does make you question Vince McMahon’s magic touch in 2012. If Tensai is a flop, McMahon has nobody to blame but himself. What makes this one much worse than other McMahon failures is that New Japan found a way to get the same guy over in a foreign country that you couldn’t make work in your own backyard. I appreciate the humility in McMahon admitting his mistake, but Tensai is just another in failed attempts to get new talent over in recent years.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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