The other day, I wrote an article on a talent that WWE seems to be very high on, being RAW’s Braun Strowman. His ceiling seems to be quite high, and based on how dominant he has looked, he seems to have a bright career in store for him. However, there’s a star that’s reportedly even greater in the good graces of WWE, and that is Smackdown’s Baron Corbin. Based on how they’ve booked Corbin, they do appear to have a relatively positive outlook on his potential, but is he worth the investment?
The way things sound right now, WWE appears to be building Baron Corbin to become the top heel for Smackdown, and he will almost inevitably win the WWE Championship being that heel. However, does he have the talent and potential to be that very person and make the most of that big a role? I’m going to tell you all right now point blank. I don’t see it with The Lone Wolf. Let’s start with the positive. I like his look. He has the height, the tattoos on the upper chest can inspire fear, and the motorcycle jacket and music gives him a New York City/Chicago kingpin like feel to him. However, as far as his upsides go, it’s really hard to see where I go forward with him.
His ring work is respectable at best, but I don’t really see anything spectacular about his matches. His finisher is pretty unique and fun to watch live, and the Deep Six is pretty solid, but I don’t really see a diverse move set with him. Perhaps I am focusing too much on his ring work, but I think a big part of a WWE superstar’s character is explained through how he wrestles in the ring, and when it comes to Corbin, I don’t really see anything unique. His moniker, the Lone Wolf, is kind of corny if you ask me. I’m very sure that if you were to create a custom superstar in WWE 2K, you can find that nickname in a stock list. Then, there’s the conundrum when it comes to his attitude.
The man is supposedly going to be the top heel for the blue brand, and while he does look the part, nothing about him seems natural. What do I mean by that? When Braun Strowman goes out there and destroys everything in his path, it seems like it is second nature to him and you already know that you can associate domination with Braun. There have been many powerhouses to tear down WWE’s doors over the years, but Braun has diversified his talent to make it not look like he’s just another brainless meathead. When it comes to Baron, he really sounds and acts like he’s supposed to follow a script. Listen to how he speaks. When he talks, he doesn’t inspire any fear or intimidation with me. His body language is that of a person wandering around. Baron’s eyes seemingly stay in place throughout an entire promo. The emotion seems that of something that’s produced as opposed to something that is supposed to be natural. When he talks, I laugh, because the tone of his voice is rather soft. It’s almost like he’s a heel that does not want to be one.
Baron made his main roster debut by winning The 3rd Annual Battle Royal For People Who Have Nothing Better To Do At The Present Time last year. He then laid waste to the talent that has to put over all new-comers onto the main roster, Dolph Ziggler. Since that time, his only notable accomplishments were competing in the Elimination Chamber match and eliminating one of the heavy favorites in the Rumble match, Braun Strowman. So it’s clear WWE sees something in him, though what I am not so entirely sure. Now of course, he’s very young, and it would be very foolish to place all of our chips on him being successful now. You really can’t be successful without a couple of hiccups along the way, and since he is young, there is much more time to experiment with him to see what works and what does not. Despite that, on the surface, it appears as though WWE is falling into the trap in pushing someone to the moon and back just because they have “the look”.
A lot of people laughed at me when I said that Baron looks like a top superstar, mainly because of his balding spot at the top of his head and his cartoonish look. I disagreed and actually vouched for Baron, but his personality isn’t something that I haven’t already seen. While it is very difficult to reinvent yourself into something unique and different with the plethora of personalities that has graced WWE over the years, Baron is something that we haven’t already seen. A badass who wants to get what he likes through any means, jumps people and does not care about what anyone thinks, except for himself. Is that anything new? I should think not.
Every talent has potential when used in the right context, and I wouldn’t have an issue with WWE doing a slow, methodical build to have Baron be the top bad guy on Smackdown. WWE is even experimenting with a man we all cast off as a jobber and a former member of 3MB, Jinder Mahal and giving him a WWE Championship match with Randy Orton. Even if he’s just an interim challenger for Corbin and others, there’s no doubt that there is a sense of urgency within WWE’s higher ups, and they are putting talents to the test to see what will work. Baron Corbin, I believe, has talent, but can he transcend the WWE to be the top challenger to the WWE Title by the end of the year? I also feel as though the crowd hasn’t warmed up to Baron just yet, because again, he’s a bland character. I’m sure what WWE or even the casual WWE audience sees in Baron is something they can see in any other heel. All he has is a jacket and a balding spot which makes him look different in appearance, but not in theory.
So, do you believe The Lone Wolf is worthy of being a top contender for the WWE Championship? Should he be given the reigns as one of the top heels in the company? Let me know. Until next time.