Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Earl Marx
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 Mike Kanellis.
Craig: It’s been a while since we’ve had a Book or Cook but I can’t help but think there’s been an air of inevitability about this one and thanks to Brian for the suggestions. In all reality, I’m sure we’ve all seen it coming since TAFKA Mike Bennett joined the WWE.
The wife of Maria Kanellis, it seemed at first that he and his other half were into a good thing when they debuted. They certainly seemed to have something in mind with the gimmick. But in the last few weeks, he’s been little more than a jobber to the stars.
So, is it book or cook? Stories have come to light this week relating to an addiction issue but is the die pretty much cast or does the WWE’s desire to have Maria on board keep him in a job?
Brian: I’ll be honest, I never saw Mike Bennett making it as a star in the WWE. He isn’t a bad wrestler nor is he horrible on the mic, he just seemed to me to be missing something. The gimmick itself isn’t so bad either, basically a man who is so whipped he took his wife’s last name. I think his addiction issues certainly curtailed what the WWE might have had planned.
I still say though that Mike Bennett just isn’t main roster material. I could be 100% wrong, but he should’ve gone down to NXT for a while and worked on different ways to present his gimmick before coming to Smackdown. That isn’t Bennett’s fault at all, but it hurt him I think.
Craig: Yeah I’d agree with much of that. He isn’t bad in the ring nor is he an abomination on the mic or anything, there just is that magical x-factor missing. I agree, also, that a spell in NXT would have honed his craft a bit and ironed out any issues the WWE had with him as a worker.
But was he even the one the WWE wanted in the first place or was he just part of the package? More importantly, is Mike Bennett in the WWE salvageable now?
Brian: I have a hard time believing that the WWE simply coveted Maria Kanellis when they signed the couple. I mean if the “Diva” era was still going I would say yeah that makes sense…but not now. They obviously saw something in Bennett as well. With that said, Mike Bennett can be salvaged if they send him down to NXT. Maybe repackage him or give him time to work the kinks out of his current gimmick.
Earl: I vote to rework the kinks.
Craig: Yeah, I’m minded to agree, too. I think there’s a talented worker in there and being allowed to flourish on NXT would take a lot of pressure off of him and allow him to establish himself as a star with the WWE. I’m in no way saying that he’s got the potential to be WWE Champion but, to be fair, we don’t really know. We’ve not seen enough of him but what we have seen hasn’t been all that great but I feel that much of that is down to his gimmick and how he’s been booked. And you cannot hold that against him. I think there’s a good performer in there somewhere – we just need a chance to actually see it without him being held back by what is, in all reality, an awful gimmick.
Well, there you have it, our thoughts on the WWE future of the artist formerly known as Mike Bennett. There’s no conviction that his current gimmick is anything other than something which is holding him back as an act. Frankly, what chance doe he have being whipped in such a fashion to his wife. A spell in NXT would perhaps play a part in ironing out kinks.
What do you think? Leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.