By Nabil Samy and Niall Kenny.
Edited by : Aya M Refaat
Firstly, I wasn’t always a critical fan of the WWE product. In fact I was the WWE’s biggest cheerleader as I enjoyed the product and was totally satisfied with what I was watching, but that’s not the case today. I was never a fan of the Indies (the independent circuit) but that was only because I had never been exposed to them, and therefore never gave them a fair chance. I was a fan who watched purely for entertainment, rather than technical wrestling, and the WWE provided that, despite the staleness of the product at times. But upon watching the Indies, I found out that the WWE’s standard of wrestling these days is absolutely nothing compared to the independent circuit. I’ve discovered moves I’d have never dreamed were even possible to perform. I stumbled upon wrestling talents that outclassed the WWE’s talents in every way. It led me to consider the WWE as the minor leagues in terms of wrestling talent, despite the millions of dollars that’s pumped into the product.
WWE is a business. And as a business, it’s understandable that their main concern is money. In many ways, the passion for the business has burned out over time, unlike in the Indies, where the quality of the wrestling is more important than the money it attracts. There are so many examples of wasted talents , many of them were made popular by the independent circuit for example : Antonio Cesaro , Colt Cabana , Kassius Ohono (AKA Chris Hero), and even the insanely popular Daniel Bryan, in addition to others who wrestled the Lucha Libre style in countries like Mexico, such as Sin Cara and WWE on-air personality Ricardo Rodriguez. While the incorporation of these foreign wrestling styles would add variety to the WWE product, it seems that Vince McMahon has no interest in showcasing his talent to the maximum, preferring to play it safe by giving us the same tired feuds involving Sheamus, Orton, Cena, Del Rio etc.
The first man I’d like to talk about is Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli). Cesaro is making waves in the WWE these days, most recently after his match-of-the-year-worthy bout with Daniel Bryan on RAW. He’s a fantastic technician and an utter powerhouse. He blends both styles seamlessly to create an offence that’s unique and interesting. However, this hasn’t been well shown by the WWE yet, because Cesaro doesn’t fit the ideal Vince McMahon mold: 6 foot 4, 250 lbs. What infuriates me the most is the incredible move-set of his that they refuse to use. I mean the strong spins and the UFO : 2 incredible moves , yet the WWE doesn’t let him use them. Here’s a video of Antonio spinning an opponent 82 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktSASMqjJ-s&feature=youtube_gdata_player When’s the last time you saw something like that on WWE television?
Here’s a second video of the UFO, which I consider the most amazing finishing maneuver I’ve ever seen, even more so than the Canadian Destroyer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5LqiZz24-w&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I watched a match from Chikara wrestling recently that blew me away. It was 12 minutes long so I can’t call it a 5-star classic, but I assure you, the quality of wrestling was better than in any 12 minute match I have watched in the WWE. Here’s a link to the match if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XesuznnHaA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Something worth noting is that one of the 4 participants in this Fatal 4-Way match is currently under contract with the WWE his name was El Generico. He’s created a lot of buzz around the internet, but as always the WWE has the bad habit of changing the names and most of the time the gimmick of every wrestler they sign, with the exception of CM Punk. Currently he wrestles under the name “Sami Zayn”. He’s lost his trademark mask, his attire has been altered to the point that he’s unrecognisable, and his moveset has been severely limited. Thanks a lot, Vince. Also, Vince, it might be worth noting that your performers are professional wrestlers, not “sports entertainers” nor “superstars”. They’re wrestlers. Why not let them do what they’re trained to do, and actually wrestle?
Cesaro had an excellent match with Colt Cabana on free Ring Of Honor TV. Even though the match was on free TV, I think most wrestling fans will agree with me in saying that it’s better than the average WWE match you’d see on PPV.
Here’s the link for it. Judge for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhxeECwCa7c&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Speaking of Cabana , here’s another example of wasted talent. Colt is best friends with CM Punk, and the two have wrestled hundreds of matches together. In his “Best In The World” documentary, Punk refers to Cabana as his favourite opponent. Surely WWE could capitalise on this connection and create a new star? He’s currently the host of “The Art Of Wrestling”, a podcast on YouTube. He even debuted in the WWE under the name of Scotty Goldman , where he had a match with a guy who also had a lot of potential despite his size : Brian Kendrick. If you need proof that the guy can wrestle, here’s the link to the match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8riRONS2TCg&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Chris Hero is another guy that’s criminally underused in the WWE. In the aforementioned CM Punk documentary, you catch a glimpse of how amazingly talented the guy is. But of course, he’s relegated to the development level in NXT. I’m confident that if you gave the guy a chance to shine, he’d revitalise the stale roster. Like Cabana, he could be used in some excellent angles with CM Punk.
Finally, this may surprise some people, but I also consider Daniel Bryan’s talent wasted in WWE! If you look into his old moveset at ROH and his current moveset, you’ll be surprised by the amount of moves they’re not allowing him to use. Same story goes for Sin Cara. The 2 guys have some of the most impressive moves of any wrestlers, yet they are limited by WWE creative.
My final example may come as a surprise: Ricardo Rodriguez. This is actually my most powerful argument, that’s why I kept it for last. This guy is just great. When a guy of his size can do flips and high flying moves etc., you should capitalise on his potential. He’s being wasted in his role as Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer. Ricardo’s been with WWE since 2011, but he’s only wrestled in 2 matches, and those matches were a joke, like the tuxedo match he had in which he was stripped of his clothes by Santino ! He wrestled under many names including El Local in the WWE show Saturday Morning Slam (where they had him masked so people won’t recognize him) against Sin Cara which was good but not the best he can do , but really, who watched Saturday Morning Slam? It was a kids show that was soon cancelled. He wrestled at FCW under the same name: Ricardo Rodriguez , and under the name of Chimaera. He can be a great high flyer and he’s a good technician. And as usual the WWE is doing what they do best: deny talent the opportunity to show itself.
Here are the links for :
1-The Saturday Morning Slam match:
2-Some other videos showing he can wrestle:
Give me a follow folks on Twitter @nabilSamy96