Going rogue in professional wrestling only works for a few dominant superstars.
Barry Windham, check. Hulk Hogan, check. Steve Austin, check. CM Punk, check. Seth Rollins, check.
In the case of Xavier Woods, I am not sure that is going to turn WWE on its ear and the fans in their seats. The third member of The New Day has been part of a storyline regarding the feud with the Wyatt Family that could have a detrimental effect on his career. Right now, Woods is a great addition to a three-man tag team – much like Buddy Roberts was with the Fabulous Freebirds. As a singles competitor, I don’t think he is taken seriously.
Where this program goes and what happens to both Kofi Kingston and Big E in the aftermath will go a long way towards the success of all three performers. I used to think Big E was the third wheel in this wrestling equation, but Woods is clearly on the outside looking in. How will the youngster survive in the quicksand of the WWE Draft, the brand split, the stronger than usual mid card and will fans adjust to a more determined, less jovial character? Can Woods survive on his own?
In years past, wrestlers would split from their partners and forge their own way. It worked for Eddie Gilbert with Tommy Rich. Mike Graham and Steve Keirn enjoyed regional success. Scott Hall and Curt Hennig were both national superstars once their split from the AWA. And if it did not work – there was always the move back to reality and the fans weren’t affected by it in the least. Today, with the mood of fans across the landscape tired of failed experiments, Woods might be the first wrestler who has great skills and has solid mic work to become the poster child for the right move done at the wrong time.
I’m very interested to see how WWE and its creative team works through this potential nightmare.
THE MISSED OPPORTUNITY
It has been a little less than a week since Independence Day. There is still a bit of a buzz about the lack of effort on the part of WWE to make the United States Title a focal point of the three-hour Raw program on Monday.
This was a huge swing and miss on the part of the creative team.
When John Cena was champion, it is argued that the United States Title was booked better than any other belt in the company. That has a lot to do with Cena and a lot to do with how he defended the title on a weekly basis, as if the US Title had become the World Television Title all in one.
It makes sense with everyone in favor of patriotism and Rusev carrying the title, the defense of said belt should have been the main event match – potentially with Titus O’Neal taking down the mighty Russian. The 16-man elimination match at the end of the night did nothing for me, and had plenty of people talking on social media.
If we can be honest about it, the United States Title will never be as popular as it once was with Cena in command. There is no other performer on the roster who bleeds red, white and blue like the 15-time world champion. Here’s hoping the company does not bury it again or its importance.
BEATING UP JOHN CENA
If you are looking for a new catchphase in the wrestling business, you can thank AJ Styles and The Club for giving us one that could remain fashionable for a while.
The “I’m going to beat up John Cena” craze has been as successful as anything uttered by a heel in ages and while it’s not as dynamic as “Give me a heel Yeah” by Steve Austin or “If you smell what the Rock is cooking,” it still has some miles on it.
I for one like the idea. So with that, I’m going to finish this blog, send it in for publication – and then I’m going to go beat up John Cena.