Sunday Sermon: State of the Mid-card

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Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Russ Morgan

Last week we looked at potential next challengers for the WWE title. On a similar theme, this week we’ll give our assessment on the mid card scene in the WWE.

Craig: the WWE have certainly put a lot of effort into making Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins the two most likely mid carders to make the jump up to the main event scene.

Beyond that, and it’s a similar assessment to every other part of the roster, it’s slim pickings.

Of the two mid card titles – the US and IC – they are carried by two upper mid carders that have lost their way. Beyond that, it’s tricky to point out any mid card stars isn’t it?

Brian: Indeed, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. Cesaro is a beast and a valuable commodity for the WWE. It looks like after a cooling off period, they are ready to start pushing him back up the ladder. He deserves it. Right now, it seems to be a transitioning period for the WWE’s roster. Some new talents like Adam Rose have fizzled quickly while Bo Dallas is still up in the air. Rusev seems like a logical candidate for an upper mid card push with the IC or US title…but you are right….the roster is filled with guys that are stagnate and not very well regarded by fans.

Craig: Rusev might be positioned for such a push but is act has a very limited shelf life. I don’t think such a throwback gimmick has all that much in the way of longevity.

I think it’s a massive oversight that I’ve not mentioned the Wyatts. I think Bray’s promos need a slight rejig but the trio could be used as a proper force.

Cesaro, yes and a hundred times yes. He has all the attributes required. I’d like to see him feud with Brock but I am of the opinion that Brock shouldn’t be having competitive feuds but should be dominating.

That said, Cesaro v Ziggler would be an entertaining feud. Ziggler’s selling would make Cesaro look like a million dollars.

Brian: Agreed on Dolph Ziggler…who should be mentioned as well. Dolph is a modern day shawn Michaels with all the selling he can do. At least they are letting him win matches again. I don’t know when the next round of call ups are, but NXT could certainly help add depth to the mid card roster.

Jamie: Ziggler is in the same position as a of the mid-card i.e. if he were going to make the permanent jump to main events he would have done so by now. No matter how much we like him as a performer, WWE clearly don’t see him as anything other than a solid mid-carder that can sell for someone they have more interest in.

The key to a good mid-card is to load it with rising stars. Back in the day we had Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The British Bulldog and Mr Perfect all working under the main event. A few years later we had Austin, The Rock and Triple in the same mid-card. After that we had Jericho, Edge, Angle, Benoit and Guerrero. Rather than rising stars the mid-card today is loaded with falling stars (RVD, Jericho, Big Show, Mark Henry), guys that didn’t cut it at the top of the card (Miz, Ziggler) or guys that have remained at the same level for what seems like forever (Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Wade Barrett etc.)

There’s no doubt that Rollins, Ambrose and The Wyatt Family offer us hope, but I think Cesaro is walking a tight rope. As talented as he is not even he can withstand the stop/start booking he has received since his arrival on the main roster. Simply put, if WWE sees him as a potential player they need to push him now. If he remains stagnant much longer then fans just won’t take him seriously when WWE do get round to pushing him again.

Brian: I agree with everything that you are saying. A couple of things though….RVD is going on a hiatus..whic I hate to say it…is a good thing for the WWE. RVD at one time was the most exciting wrestlers in the business…but it seems father time is starting to catch up with him. His roster spot could easily be filled by a young stud in NXT.

Which brings me to my next point…NXT is jam packed with sensational talent. I’m not just referring to the obvious guys like Sami Zayne, Adrian Neville, Kenta, Fergal Devitt and Kevin Steen. NXT also has guys like the Ascension, Kalisto, Solomon Crowe, Bull Dempsey etc…Any one of them can easily jump to the main roster now and take off. I would be worried otherwise, but NXT is loaded right now.

Russ: I think the problems here are indemic and have been for a long time. The wrestlers either have no storylines or just don’t seem to connect with the crowd. I think we forget that with WWE being a global franchise, wrestlers seem to start younger and then are around for years and years, Jericho being a casing point. He has had his day really and is on the downturn yet the guy is 43 and still a tremendous athlete.

Jamie: Great point, and it’s unlikely to change any time soon. Randy Orton is only 34 but he’s already done everything there is to do. Granted one can’t label him a mid-carder at this moment in time, but he’s not going to climb the ladder any further so he can only come back down. It’s times like these when WCW is really missed. If there was a viable alternative to WWE then the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Wade Barrett might stand a chance. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that.

Russ: As you say Jamie, what else can Orton do?? He has faced everyone down the line many, many times and he still has alot left in the tank to potentially go for at least another 10 years at the top level. In the old days it wasn’t such a problem as most of the matches weren’t televised and/or at regional shows where they weren’t taped. Unfortunately these days, WWE’s main problem is…. WWE.

Brian: I understand what everyone is saying, but the crux of the problem isn’t necessarily the wrestlers…but creative and Vince McMahon. The wrestlers who have been in the company for years are capable of staying fresh and relevant if given proper story arcs. Over the last few months, we have read that wrestlers like Bo Dallas and Adam Rose fell out of favor with him. The faction that started up with Xavier Woods (Who was doing absolutely NOTHING) with Big E and Kofi Kingston was abruptly broken up. Things could be a lot better…if Vince would stop sticking his nose in every situation and let creative….just be creative.

Russ: Creative need to up their game, but with no competition as such to drive them, the storylines are weak and predictable.

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