Brian Damage, Craig Wilson & Jamie Lithgow
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Damien Sandow. You’re welcome.
Brian: Damien Sandow is a very interesting subject to tackle in the Book or Cook series. The reason being…because he grew naturally as a star in the few months leading up to Wrestlemania 31. By simply portraying the Miz’s body double….Sandow got over with the fans. It wasn’t until after he broke away from the Miz that Sandow started to falter….but again….it was nothing HE did. He was given the silly gimmick of the Macho Mandow, which was basically a rip off of the deceased Randy Savage and teamed with Curtis Axel (Who was portraying a Hulk Hogan parody)
When the real Hulkster got in trouble for some racist comments…the gimmick was scrapped and Sandow has been fluttering along ever since. So with all that said, can Sandow be saved? Is it worth it at this point or should the WWE cut ties with him? It just seems if anybody the WWE really missed the ball on with the current roster…it is Damien Sandow.
Craig: This is definitely an interesting one. On talent Sandow is a sure fire book. He can create a connection with an audience, is a great talker and can work well. But based on the fact that the WWE just appear to have no clue what to do with him then he’s a cook.
I certainly like Sandow a lot. He’s done whatever the company has asked. I certainly feel sorry for him, and Curtis Axel, that they were collateral damage from the Hulk Hogan controversy and it’s a real shame that as a result he’s back drifting aimlessly.
For me, I thought he was at his best as part of the Rhodes Scholars. Sure, the stunt man shtick was funny but in terms of something that had meaning, it was back in the Rhodes Scholars. It wouldn’t be the first team that the WWE has split and put back together again, right? And, yes, I know they’ve already broken them up and put them back together before…
Jamie: I really want to jump to the defence of Sandow and say that he should be kept for X number of reasons and provide X number of ideas for him…. but I can’t. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about him until his name was mentioned in relation to this post.
Personally I find him – in all his guises – a bit hit and miss. In the ring he’s good, not outstanding, but solid. However, he is blessed with the gift of the gab and great comic timing. Problem is, for every funny moment he produced as Miz’s stunt double there were many occasions where the gag was overplayed. That was possibly not his fault, and besides, he was over like a motherfunker in that gimmick. How he went from that – which was only earlier this year – to being totally forgotten is quite remarkable.
The fact that Sandow moved from a successful stunt double/personal assistant role to being a tribute act tells me that WWE do not hold him high regard. Remember the promo where he transitioned between the two? At first I thought he was going to drop a mini pipebomb and be a serious competitor, how wrong I was. Based on that – and the fact that I completely forgot he existed until a few minutes ago – I’d cook him.
Craig: It is indeed quite remarkable. Should we question the reason for that or is that just being paranoid? You’d think if they were big on the guy and for reasons that weren’t his fault his gimmick was shelved they’d do what they could to find something else but they haven’t…
Jamie: I don’t know what to root for here. Either WWE are somewhat petty and dropped him for a minor infringement – can’t be anything major given that he is still employed – or they have once again let a talented individual rot on the sidelines through no fault of their own. I’ve heard nothing about Sandow getting on anybody’s bad side, so I assume it must be the latter.
I do understand WWE’s position a little more with Sandow than others though. Even before the Hogan scandal, he was in a gimmick headed directly for the bin. Sandow would have needed to be repackaged again, and that requires thought and effort. Brad Maddox on the other hand had just turned face on The Authority and had a bone to pick with Kane. Whether he would have been successful against Kane or not, that shit writes itself. Instead, he disappeared.
Honestly, I just don’t think WWE are high enough on Sandow to bother finding anything for him. That does beg the question, why is he still employed? He has shown that he can get over, but they refuse to use him. Let him go WWE, you clearly just don’t like him as much as the audience.
Brian: I was originally going to book him…but you guys make excellent points pertaining to his development or lack thereof in the WWE. Why keep someone around if you don’t know how to use them or refuse to use them to the best of their abilities? My only solution is to re-team Sandow with Stardust and give Sandow a weird gimmick like they did Cody and have him join the Cosmic Wasteland faction. Otherwise….cook him.
You can read all other ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.