WWE: Santino Marella, 'The Resting Giants'
by, 02-20-2012 at 11:37 PM (3425 Views)
Had to make a pun at the accent...
I'll get to the point -- The WWE caught me a bit by surprise.
Let me start by saying that I haven't had a lot of mark out moments over the last few years. No, I think a better way to word that is: I don't have those child-like fan moments where I'm watching a match and I'm completely invested into it where I'm getting really excited and I want to know what happens next or I want "my guy" to win at all costs.
It's not the writers fault, or the different eras thing, it's just being a long term and now just an older fan of the WWE that I'm a bit more immune to a lot of things that would have worked on a younger fan since I've pretty much seen it all.
Fast forward to this past week. Orton was injured and there weren't many faces to pick from to replace him that was even close to Orton's league in being "Over".
If you had told me Santino would go into the Elimination Chamber, not be a joke, eliminate Cody Rhodes and nearly win the whole damn thing. I would have asked if what you're on is legal.
However, it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning:
Santino Marella is a "Resting Giants"
Over With Fans: Check
Excellent Mic Skills: Check
Been on air a lot lately: Check
Wrestling Skill: Above-Average (see FCW if you don't believe me)
Popular Backstage: Check
Sells Merchandise Well: Check
Outside of a recent push and his gimmick being goofy, he has all the top tier requirements, and I didn't even notice. In many ways he's farther ahead than a lot of our favorite picks for World Champion in 2012 (Rhodes, Truth, Barrett [hope his arm/collarbone is OK], Ziggler etc.)
Now you may think: "Yeah, but his gimmick doesn't have that World Champion or even near-main event feel to it"
Neither did Mick Foley after he abandoned Cactus Jack and Mankind.
Santino is not a hardcore legend, but with an addition of a more serious streak and most importantly -- time, would it be impossible?
No, it's not. It was easy to say on Friday Afternoon "Oh Santino is a joke being in the Elimination Chamber." Hell I thought like many: "Good for him, it'll be a nice reward getting that payday and recognition for his hard work, but he won't get close."
Then I saw Smackdown and saw the 4th biggest pop in the past 6 months -- outside of Zack Ryder winning the US Title, CM Punk winning at Survivor Series and The Rock's return at that same event.
Then the Elimination Chamber happened.... and I felt like that child, I caught myself actually hoping and pulling for Santino and thought... "He's not really going to win is he!?"
I wasn't the only one. Take one look at that crowd and name a star outside of CM Punk at MITB or Christian's first World Title who had that kind of reaction. You might find a few quick "pops" but not that sustained reaction.
WWE noticed, the "Resting Giants" that is Santino has woken up.
It's going to be slow, you won't see Santino headlining a PPV in 2 or 3 months, but he's going to join the upper mid card, especially with what seems to be a arm or collarbone injury to Wade Barrett, a concussion to Randy Orton which could keep him out of action from anywhere from 1 Week to 1 Year. [Example: Sidney Crosby(NHL) was out 11.5 months] and a number of lingering injuries to stars that will keep them at half-pace until Wrestlemania to protect them (ADR, Christian, Mark Henry, R-Truth).
We are all going to see Santino's first major push in years... and it starts at Wrestlemania.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes vs Santino Marella for the IC Title
Reasoning: Rhodes eliminated by Santino at EC, Rhodes eliminating Santino on Post-EC RAW and taunting