Since 2010, the main event of WWE’s second biggest PPV, Summerslam, has featured either John Cena or Brock Lesnar in the main event. And at this Sunday, it would be appropriate that these two men battle in the main event for the richest prize in the business, the holy grail, the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Yet, this begs the question, why haven’t other wrestlers get that main event slot? Is it their own deficiencies, or is it the fault of WWE creative as to why they haven’t pulled the trigger? Is WWE simply not adept at creating new stars, or are the “stars” limiting themselves?
Wrestling fans could not help but feel dissatisfaction when they feel that talent such as Bad News Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Zack Ryder and Heath Slater aren’t given chances to shine and why WWE insists on making them lose often. What is my take on this question, the wrestlers or WWE? I’d say its a bit of both, but predominantly the former. Please don’t riot at my house and allow me to say my peace. You see, at the beginning of this decade, the main event slot has gone to Cena simply because he can attract a crowd. We all hate him, call him names, say he can’t wrestle and other things about him but at the end of the day, WWE realizes that this is a business entertainment enterprise first, and wrestling establishment second. WWE did a good job of giving CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, two ROH standouts, main event slots over the years. But when it comes to TV ratings, PPV draws and all that, the company falters. When Bryan has been in the main event at PPV’s like last year’s edition of Battleground, buys flounder at historical proportion. When CM Punk was given a WWE title reign that lasted 434 days, TV ratings were not as nearly as high as when Cena or Lesnar is in the main event. Which brings me to Lesnar. Now, people were in an uproar of why WWE decided to have the Undertaker’s legendary streak, one of sports entertainment’s most coveted achievements was ended at the hands of a man who does not have a full time commitment to WWE. Anger and turmoil was all about, but at the end of the day, this is why it happened, and you have to believe the Undertaker had to have some intake on this as well. The Undertaker is 49 years old and has had years upon years of wounds to his mortal body. Brock Lesnar is in the prime of his life and is arguably the most dominant athlete in all of sports. How weak would Lesnar look if he lost to the slow Undertaker? Had Undertaker been in his prime, Lesnar losing would be validated. But in addition to the physical comparison, Lesnar is a big draw too.
When Brock returns, its a big deal. Whether you are watching behind a TV screen or at a live event, when ever he returns, shockwaves are sent throughout the entire wrestling universe because everybody knows what he brings to the table when he performs. Now people may call it unfair when people like him, and even The Rock, return at get thrust into the main event, but to those people I pose the question, what exactly do you expect? The Rock and Brock Lesnar are two of the biggest wrestling attractions on the face of the Earth and I wouldn’t think of putting them on a PPV card slot behind a guy like Cesaro. And I’d like to thank myself for brining him up because as I mentioned before, I believe its the wrestlers themselves that don’t have the main event material. Allow me to tell you my mind.
Let’s take our good buddy Cesaro here. Are we really going to dispute this man’s wrestling prowess? Absolutely not. I’d say top 5 in the industry right now. But let’s look at the bigger picture here. Can he cut promos or speak on the mic for an extended period time like other perennial main eventers? No. Does he have charisma? Not a whole lot. People may reference WWE removing the Cesaro swing from his moveset because it was getting over with the crowd. Yet, people don’t realize WWE was doing the right thing. Cesaro was and is a heel. He isn’t supposed to be getting cheers from the crowd. Sure people may respect him for what he is capable of in the ring, but faces should be getting the reactions and pops, not heel. Has Cesaro done anything to make wrestling fans revolt and make him a top heel? Is attacking Kofi Kingston over the top dastardly? No. Cesaro is a great wrestler, but you can’t expect to hold the WWE Title and not have that “it” factor.
Why don’t we move on to another popular wrestler amongst the IWC, Dolph Ziggler? Great selling, has charisma, can put on a great match without blinking, so what’s the problem with him? Why not give WWE a chance? Simple, and this is where the business side comes into play. He’s not exactly a huge draw. I can’t imagine a huge amount of modern day fans pay big money to see Dolph Ziggler into the main event. At live events, I’m inclined to believe people want to see men such as John Cena, Randy Orton (yes, folks), and CM Punk/Daniel Bryan. Plus, on the other hand, Ziggler isn’t exactly a great promo-cuter either.
Damien Sandow just isn’t a big enough name and his moveset really deters me from giving him main event time. He can deliver a great promo and his cliche, “I know more than all of you” shtick was one I was digging. But once again, business guys. Is Sandow a huge draw? No. While I am not a proponent of him being used as comic relief, dressing up as a different character every week, he by no means is not ready for the spotlight yet either.
Now, WWE does not always hit the ball and they wrong on some occassions, like I mentioned before. For example, I am a huge Bad News Barrett fan. He has done some very reprehensible things that I think may warrant a main event feud. He has pushed Randy Orton down a flight of stairs, an indication of what Brock Lesnar did to Zach Gowen, he threw a bottle of water in John Cena’s face, and he has pinfall victories over John Cena and Orton as well. He has the promo ability as well as the brawling like wrestling repertoire complimented by the anti-American vibe that you may get from him. I think he would be perfect as a main event heel if given the chance.