There's a lot of talk about some big names in the history of WWE as of late. Undertaker, The Rock, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Stone Cold, Batista, Shawn Micheals, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk and Triple H have all been the names on people's lips this past year or so. Needless to say, with what's been happening with the WWE as of late, it's all warranted attention.
Still, as cool as all of this is, the fact is this: WWE cannot continue to rely on its older stars to draw as we continue on into the future. I'm not saying one-off things like Edge and Mick Foley a few years back are bad, but the fact of the matter is that these guys are going to get old and there will come a time when they either don't want to or simply can't get in the ring anymore.
With that said, big changes are happening for the WWE and while a lot of things are changing, one thing isn't, and that's John Cena being the face of the WWE. Still, this article isn't about Cena or any of the stars I listed earlier. This article is being written to provide a stable case for my opinion on why Jack Swagger could be the new face of the WWE.
Now, I'm sure a lot of you disagree with that, but before you comment, hear me out and then decide. Not only will I provide you with the proper qualities of a top guy, but I'll also prove Swagger has them. Now, before we get started, I'm not saying Swagger should immediately be pushed to the forefront of the company. He's a young man, and he has plenty of time to get better because he's not perfect and he doesn't have all the qualities down just yet, but I do believe he has the ability to get where he needs to be.
If there's one thing that can keep a superstar down faster than anything, it's a lack of ability when it comes to speaking. Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison and Dean Malenko are perfect testaments to that. In fact, between those three great athletes, I believe the highest honor achieved was the WWE's version of the ECW Championship.
In my opinion, the champion was usually an overall better choice for a top guy than the WWE or World Heavyweight Champion, but I know a lot of people probably disagree with that.
Anyway, we have Jack Swagger. Now, I'll admit he's not the best talker in the WWE and not even in the top 10, but he's just passable at this point. I think with some acting lessons and practice, Swagger could really go places on the mic. He's had his flashes of brilliance here and there, but this is probably his weakest point. The lisp doesn't help, but it's not something he can help, and being that I even have a minor one, I don't see too much point in harping on it.
Here are those flashes I mentioned:
This is where Jack Swagger shines. He's that rare combination of a big guy who's also technically sound. WWE often puts wrestling skills secondary to mic skills (I think it's on a case-by-case basis at this point), so it's a good thing Swagger is as good as he is in the ring. Not to mention, WWE loves to push its powerhouses and entertainers. (They don't really put out the technicians like Angle and Benoit.) So Swagger falls into a category of people WWE would push as far as his style goes. Not to mention the fact that Jack is surprisingly agile for a man of his size, and that's always a plus.
Along with that, Swagger is subtly picking up on ring psychology, in my opinion. He's getting good at telling a story in the ring which is very important when it comes to being a top guy, in my opinion. Swagger's impressive arsenal is a testament to the ring work that makes me think he could be the next face of WWE.
WWE is one of those companies that is obsessed with its public image (and looking at what it is and its past, there is a good reason for that). So it would make sense that the WWE would want its poster child to have a good look to him, and honestly, I think that could be Swagger's major selling point. Jack seemingly has it all in regards to image.
He's got the height, the physique and the background that I feel the WWE would be willing to get behind if someone could bring it to their attention. It's more a cosmetic thing, but when it comes down to saying who could be the next face of the company, you have to do a lot of nitpicking.
This is a question mark as far as Swagger goes, and it refers to one's ability to play both a face and a heel with about the same level of skill, as I assume most people are either better at getting others to like them or getting others to hate them.
As a heel right now, I feel Swagger is fighting a losing battle. Not only are there far better heels on the roster like Cody Rhodes and The Miz, but the top guys of the current era have already cemented themselves in the heel role (and in three-fourths of this group's case, they're better heels). Meanwhile, Swagger seems to be drowning in a see of heels, with his only life jacket being Vickie who is just keeping him afloat, but this can't go on.
I feel now is the time to let Swagger go off on his own as a face. I mean, he's already got a good gimmick. Why would you want to boo an "All-American American"? And it wouldn't take a lot, either. Some sort of blowout with Ziggler would be easy enough to draw out over a couple of months, similar to the Hart dynasty implosion. From there, I could see Swagger facing off against the likes of Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, Christian, etc.
Some people often think this is the same as mic skills, but that's not the case. Dolph Ziggler is good on the mic, but he has no charisma. Brock Lesnar is another person with no charisma. Those are a couple of examples.
As far as Jack goes, I've seen it here and there, but he has yet to really grasp it, and his diminished role as Vickie's lap dog isn't helping him garner any skill in that area yet. I look back at ECW and wonder what happened to that guy. Then I remember he won the World Heavyweight Championship and go, "Oh yeah...that happened."
Since that happened, Swagger went through this change and I've disliked it. He's gotten a little more of his "swagger" back, but he's been changed for the worse. I feel that he has the ability to get past that and really become a charismatic character like he should be.
Yes, there are better equipped stars, but I think Swagger does have a good resume for someone so young. He's a former ECW Champion, U.S. Champion, Mr. Money in The Bank from WrestleMania 26 and former World Heavyweight Champion.
That's more than most guys can say, honestly, and I think if he plays his cards right, he'll have more accolades added to that list, but it's more dependent on how he manages his other traits.
As I've said, there will come a time when the faces of the Attitude/Ruthless Aggression Eras have to quit. When that time comes, WWE will have to rely on the likes of its current roster. That's Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Zack Ryder and Randy Orton, to an extent.
Swagger is a young man and he's only going to get better as time goes on. With that, and a little faith from the WWE brass, I think Swagger has what it takes to be the next mega-star of the WWE.