Justin Gabriel is an interesting case.
Watching him come out and get decent pops during his entrance, watching him put on a solid technical show every time he gets in the ring, and watching him execute that legitimately painful-looking 450 splash, one would think his push would be a no-brainer.
Not only that, but I couldn't tell you the last time he lost a singles match. So he's on the way to a title run, right?
The thing is, while there's nothing inherently bad about the guy, we don't really have a sense of who he is as a character.
Even back in the days of the Nexus, when we saw him bust his 450 splash on a weekly basis, we never knew anything about him other than he was South African and a bad guy.
What do we know now? He's South African, and a good guy.
Anyone with a passing interest in professional wrestling can see that Justin Gabriel is immensely talented in the ring.
While he may not be a virtuoso on the microphone, he has loads of personality, as you can easily see from the video packages the WWE made for him last year leading into their shows in South Africa, Gabriel's home country.
But we never get to see this personality on a TV to week basis. We do see Justin Gabriel regularly, but when we do, it goes a little something like this:
Justin Gabriel's music hits.
He comes out and the crowd cheers.
He has a short match, and goes over some random jobber.
Cut to commercial.
End of story.
Sound familiar at all? It should. That's how all his appearances have gone for the past six months to a year.
So, here's the solution.
Find a storyline that gives him an opportunity to speak, and gives him motivation.
Find a feud for him that makes sense. The most logical feud would be one that involved one or more of his former Nexus partners.
So, for starters, let's pick a Nexus member that isn't painfully obvious (as Barrett and Slater would be). Let's also pick a foe whose inclusion in this feud would automatically give it more weight.
Let's pick Daniel Bryan.
Justin Gabriel is so well-suited to being a good guy that D-Bry's character would only be enforced further by being pitted against him. Both their styles would mesh really well.
However, just a “we used to be partners and now we hate each other” feud would be boring, mainly because it's been used too often recently (some Nexus members, Legacy, Nash and HHH).
So, we need to add one more ingredient. That ingredient is A.J. Lee.
See, if she and Bryan split after WrestleMania, that could open an opportunity for Gabriel to pick her up as a valet. In comes Bryan, pissed that Gabriel stole his woman.
If they don't split, then Gabriel could simply be the good guy trying to tell A.J. that Daniel's no good.
Honestly, this scenario writes itself. Furthermore, it cements both superstars into their respective roles and allows us to see a little more of Gabriel's personality.
In the end, I think it's just a matter of time before Justin Gabriel gets a push of some sort.
It'd be a shame if it was a completely pointless and failed push that ends up putting him back where he started.
So, given a good feud and an opportunity to show some drama, motivation, and personality, I think that he could have a long-standing place in the WWE.
But, that's just my opinion.
If you think otherwise, just take to the comments to let me know! Either way, thanks for taking the time to read it.