Stuck in the Past, Ignoring the Future: Lord Tensai Is Coming
After a weekend of speculation, the WWE all-but-confirmed that Matt Bloom, the artist formally known as Prince Albert (or just Albert... or A-Train...or Giant Bernard) is set to return to the company as Lord Tensai.
There are many questions surrounding Tensai’s impending arrival. Who will he feud with? How prominent a role will he have on WWE television? How is he maintaining his back hair these days?
Though the question I am most concerned with is this: Is the push of Lord Tensai short sighted?
Now, this is not a slight on Matt Bloom. He is a phenomenally talented wrestler who has achieved great success in Japan. Nonetheless, Bloom will be 40-years-old later this year.
Can Lord Tensai be someone the WWE builds the company around for the next 10 years? Probably not.
So why not utilize the talents of a young wrestler coming up and give them the spotlight already given to Lord Tensai?
One of the main criticisms of the WWE in 2012 is the depth, or lack thereof, of the talent roster.
The problem is, there isn’t a lack of depth at all.
The likes of Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston have been floating around in mid-card obscurity for years. An insanely talented workhorse such as Tyson Kidd is a mere afterthought on NXT. Also, exciting prospects such as Kassius Ohno, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Antonio Cesaro are hidden out of sight in a developmental territory that seemingly does not exist anymore.
The problem isn’t depth at all. The WWE have simply forgotten how to make stars. In the last decade, how many bona fide main event talents have the WWE produced? John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton and CM Punk (and the WWE had very little to do with Phillip Brooks’ ascension).
It is very unlikely that Lord Tensai will be a major player going forward. So instead of giving the ball to a star of yesteryear, why not give a younger talent the spotlight? Why not try and elevate some fresh faces that have the potential to carry the WWE into its next evolution?
Lord Tensai is bound to make an impact. The company is positioning him as a superstar and is seemingly fully behind him in an era where they are hesitant to get behind anyone.
I just wish the WWE would look the future a little bit more.
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