Friday 9 March 2012

Hispanic Armada

When Hunico lost his mask last October he enjoyed a brief association with Primo and Epico. The three men appeared as a unit on a handful of episodes of SmackDown before being quietly split into two sepeate acts and going their separate ways.

Hunico continued wrestling in his street clothes and was eventually paired up with Camacho (son of Haku). That Hunico has received the trusty “ringside enforcer” gimmick is a sign that WWE sees promise in him as a low- to mid-card act. They rarely give that gimmick to an act they’ve no intention of using. It’s also worth noting that Camacho is another guy who has benefitted from Hunico’s call-up to the main roster (the others, obviously, being Epico and Primo (more on that here)).

 Rosa Mendes: she's quite the manager

Epico and Primo killed some time as a generic low-card heel tag team, with Rosa Mendes brought in as their second. Thanks to a Wellness Policy violation they also lucked into a reign as WWE tag team champions. With no true doubles division in the company they’re unlikely to drop the gold for a while, which should guarantee them a TV spot for the foreseeable future.

All three men have fairly stable spots, Camacho’s received a promotion to the main roster, and Rosa Mendes has been given a role in which she can excel (wrestling was not her forte, dancing around ringside is much more up her street). So, good news all round then?

Well, sort of. While the two units are working out nicely as separate entities I think it would benefit all five performers far more if they were reunited as one single group. Forget the fact that it’s a faction based around racial stereotypes. While that’s not exactly ideal in 2012 it’s nothing new in wrestling. It would benefit five underappreciated talents and that’s what’s important.

The five would stand out far more than they do now as they would be the sole faction on WWE television. The greater number of seconds that would be at ringside (Hunico would have four people with him for singles bouts while Epico and Primo would have three during their tag outings) would help to create more heat and allow the writing team to include greater amounts of outside interference in matches. That may not sound ideal but if booked correctly it could make Primo, Epico and Hunico very effective bad guys.

If built up for a few months, to the point where the active wrestlers in the troupe were seen as genuine threats on the mid-card scene, they could even enjoy a brief feud with an established main event babyface such as CM Punk or Randy Orton. The numbers advantage would allow them to be booked competitively without the worry of having to present them as true equals (that clearly wouldn’t happen in WWE, and the goal would be to establish them as a solid mid-card unit anyway) and a fresh match such as this could spice up TV for a few weeks. It could provide a decent pay-per-view bout too.

WWE could also put together a storyline in which the gang set their sights on the United States championship. If the company were prepared to turn Jack Swagger face and give him a proper push as a singles performer (rather than the card-filler and Ziggler henchman he currently is) that’s a storyline that could provide some interesting matches. If a Hunico were booked to win the US title on an episode of RAW taped in Mexico he could be made to look like a big star. Not only that but it could make the US belt mean something again.

Is any of this likely to happen? No. If Vince McMahon and his writing team wanted the two acts together then they would be together. Despite the clear positives the situation would offer there’s obviously a reason they’re no longer affiliated on-screen.

If WWE were serious about creating an enjoyable mid-card scene they could do far worse than putting Hunico, Camacho, Rosa Mendes and the tag team champions together. Given time they could become a solid act.

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