Monday 11 June 2012

The Way Out (of a Tight Spot)

Last weekend was not a good one for WWE.
First it was confirmed that tag team champion R-Truth has suffered a broken foot and will be unable to compete for the immediate future. That's the same problem keeping Kofi Kingston's last tag team partner, Evan Bourne, on the sidelines. Is KK cursed?
That was followed by the news that Alberto Del Rio may have suffered a concussion at the June 5th SmackDown taping and be unable to participate in his scheduled World Heavyweight title match at No Way Out. That potentially leaves leaves current gold-holder Sheamus without anyone to face.
Sunday's No Way Out pay-per-view was already restricted by the lack of Randy Orton and Chris Jericho (who were scheduled to clash in a singles outing). Losing Del Rio is a further blow to an already bedraggled lineup.
At least they still have Big Show v John Cena. Phew!
While R-Truth didn't have a match announced for No Way Out there's a very strong chance something would have been set up on this week's TV shows. The company routinely relies on the tag champs to fill up the undercard and considering the lack of big names at the booking team's disposal I would have been surprised if 'The Suntan Super Man' (along with Kofi Kingston) hadn't been given something to do.
The fact that ADR has to sit the show out is a greater concern because he had a match announced. WWE have been preparing a proper feud between Sheamus and Del Rio for a couple of months which makes this news even more irritating for the organisation: they must continue to wait before promoting Sheamus v Del Rio one-on-one on pay-per-view. That was to be one of the key matches of the show and the company now has to scrabble to find something suitable to replace it.
Fortunately neither problem is insurmountable. In fact it's an opportunity for the promotion to surprise its audience and give new talent a chance to shine.
Truth's injury is mainly a problem because he's recognised as a champion. WWE do not rely on him to shift merchandise or carry big feuds, he's just there to produce mid-card matches that keep the audience happy until more important performers comes along. As such it's not too difficult to find a replacement for him.
Sin Cara is an option: putting him in a tag team decreases his in-ring time without decreasing his standing in the organisation, and his style would mesh well with Kofi's. Personally I'd give the spot to Zack Ryder as I believe he's more over, has more potential to become a big star and would find greater chemistry with Kofi.
The simplest solution is to have Kingston cut a promo on RAW acknowledging Truth's injury before announcing Ryder (or whoever) as his new tag team championship partner. Follow that up with them winning a match against one of WWE's handful of other units (Hunico and Camacho would be my choice) only to get attacked afterwards by Epico and Primo. Have Abraham Washington declare that the former champs are (finally) ready to have their contractually obligated rematch at No Way Out and there's a decent mid-card bout with a reason for happening booked and ready to go.

Zack Ryder would make a good tag team partner for Kofi Kingston
Finding a new challenger for Sheamus may at first seems difficult but the obvious thing to do is hold a number one contenders battle royal on SmackDown and have Dolph Ziggler win. This approach could also be used to elevate a new babyface star by having them survive continual elimination attempts and being the final man thrown out by 'The Show Off.' Justin Gabriel or Tyson Kidd would be the ideal candidates but Derrick Bateman or possible even a newcomer from FCW could work too.
Ziggler has warranted a higher position on the card for a while now and this is the perfect way to give it to him. He's talented enough to leave the option open for a title switch on the big night, though I think that would be ill-advised. 'Great White' needs a lengthy run as champion if he is to become the top face WWE want him to be. He has more potential opponents as champion than does 'The Heel.' He needs the belt until at least SummerSlam if I'm any judge. Ziggler or ADR should be used to relieve him of the it only when the time is right.
If WWE were to take this approach I think No Way Out would be a solid show. If Del Rio does end up missing the card I truly hope Ziggler gets to replace him. He's WWE's best bet for a new headline bad guy right now.

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