The WWE has a lot of talent in its lower card from the likes of Tyson Kidd to Drew McIntyre, and a host of superstars in between. That said, if the WWE were to be missing out on one potential gold mine of a superstar, it would have to be the man affectionately dubbed the "Cape Town Werewolf," Justin Gabriel.
Originally known on NXT as the rookie of Tag Team specialist Matt Hardy and finishing third in the competition, Gabriel would have his career take a major shift as he became one-eighth/one-seventh of The Nexus and later a member of The Corre.
Gabriel is a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion, having won all three times with former Tag partner Heath Slater. Since then, he's been on his own, exciting the crowds on Superstars and the like, with occasional appearances on Smackdown. However, I feel WWE is sorely mishandling the career of this talented individual.
WWE has a lot of superstars on its roster; however, few of the superstars in the current midcard are able to excite like Justin Gabriel. Every time he steps into the ring, he's put on a show and left it all out in the ring.
From his beautiful Springboard Moonsault, his impressive arsenal of kicks, his surprisingly solid technical game and of course his ability to fly through the air "with the greatest of ease" and connect with a picture-perfect 450 Splash, Gabriel has what it takes to go in that ring night-in and night-out and give the fans more than their money's worth.
A complaint I hear is Gabriel having a lack in mic skills. However, I challenge that with a simple question: Have you heard him talk much?
Very often, we dismiss those who don't get the chance to talk much, if ever, as not having mic skills. However, it is quite possible that the skills are there. We just never really get a chance to see them. I'm sure fans of Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and at one point Daniel Bryan could attest to that.
So, before you dismiss Gabriel's ability on the mic, I suggest looking for a promo he's cut during his time in FCW or the WWE.
Another issue, though one I see being phased out more and more, is the lack of height Gabriel has. At around 6'1", he isn't the tallest guy on the roster, but I wouldn't call him a small man either. So, for where I see Gabriel (in the midcard, competing for the I.C./U.S. titles mainly), I'd say he wouldn't need to be all that tall really. And aside from that, I think his look is still pretty good and will allow him to connect more with the fans as a face.
The midcard could also use an injection of some new sights, and I think Gabriel is just the man for the job with a unique combination of high-flying and technical ability. Combine that with the potential output of charisma I see in Gabriel, and you've got something special on your hands. And that could lead to plenty of potential showdowns in the midcard with heels like Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Christian, just to name a few.
A big issue with the current WWE is its need for faces that people can get behind. Very few of those exist, and it's always "he should turn heel," or "he'd be better as a heel."
Simply put, it's very easy to be a heel. Faces are needed right now, not heels, and Justin Gabriel makes a good face. And with that, there are possibilities for advancement and even better possible tag teams with guys like Ryback, Yoshi Tatsu or his current tag team partner, Tyson Kidd.
A lot of guys in the lower-card deserve a push. However, I do feel that the most deserving of these men/women is Justin Gabriel. If for no other reason than the simple fact it's good for business.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!