WWE Faces: Great Potential Faces
A problem that seems to be getting a lot more attention as of late is the lack of credible faces in the WWE. That's a list that has the names John Cena, CM Punk and Sheamus on it. You could arguably put Kofi Kingston on their, but that's a tough one, so for the most part, WWE has three credible faces.
On the flipside, however, WWE has an abundance of heels of varying (but credible) degree. Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Cody Rhodes, just to name a few. So clearly, WWE has a problem with alignment and balance, but I have a solution.
A majority of the IWC is often criticized for preferring heels over faces, and when a face turns heel, turning on them (see Sheamus) like a pack of wolves. That said, I do believe there are some heels that would benefit greatly from a face turn. Especially with the only current rising face being Ryback.
I'll not only explain why I feel these men should be faces, but also how they could get there and where they could go after their turn. So without further delay, read away.
Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil)
Over the past few weeks, since they've come to Smackdown, "Mr. No Days Off" D-Young and "The Big Deal" Titus O'Neil have made one thing apparent. They are the most charismatic tag team in the WWE today. Not the smoothest on the mic, but they at least try and WWE allows them time to talk.
While It's hard to tell on Smackdown, I'd have a hard time believing that these two aren't getting legit reactions from the crowds, because these two go out there and not only do they talk a big game, but they back it up in the ring. They're not perfect in the ring, but they're getting better and I'm enjoying seeing them on television.
Now, as for how these two could turn face. I see them backstage just having fun as usual, when "Big Johnny" comes hovering in on his scooter and expresses to them that he feels Titus and Darren are getting a bit too "rowdy" backstage. Something to which the duo takes offense to. So, after presumably forgetting the incident, he informs the two that they'll receive a tag team title match if they can beat his surprise opponents for them.
Fast forward to match time...
Darren and Titus are just waiting for their opponents, sure they're going to win easy against The Usos or Team CoBro. Instead, out walks Big Show and Tensai. Needless to say, Big Show and Tensai win, Darren puts up a particularly valiant struggle against Big Show only to be knocked out not once but twice, Titus is out for awhile and in the meantime, makes it his goal to take down Tensai (who injured Titus.) Mr. No Days Off puts up a good fight for a couple weeks but is unsuccessful until he gets help from a returning O'Neil, setting up a tag team feud with the Prime Time Playas vs. Tensai and Sakamoto.
From there I see them joining up with a faction against Johnny Aces' establishment. Maybe helping Teddy Long out as his personal security. I say this, because I feel the big angle this Summer will involve the fall of "People Power" and Johnny Ace, and I see Long being a part of that and the Prime Time Playas being somewhat bit part players, but threats in the tag team division, as I expect All-World to have the tag titles at this point.
As of late, Jack has been given the shaft by paired up with Dolph Ziggler. A far cry from the success of old, but I feel with a simple alignment switch, the All-American American American could return to prominence.
Jack is a great asset. He's young, he's athletic, he can wrestle, he's got personality and, perhaps his most impressive trait, he's got a combover that makes Johnny Aces' hairstyle look like Tensais'. All kidding aside, though, there's no reason Jack Swagger shouldn't be main-eventing, but there's no reason he should be a heel either.
Backtrack a few years ago with Swagger on RAW before he won Money in The Bank. That's the type of Swagger we need. The man who won the ECW Championship, not the one who won the World Heavyweight Title. That man was a joke, and not a funny one. No, the Swagger who had swagger is the man who should turn face and all it takes is a few things. Luckily, though, WWE has him in perfect position to turn face.
As of late, Jack Swagger has been booked as a detriment to Dolph Ziggler. Honestly, I feel it should be the other way around, but whatever. Ziggler wants to be on his own now, and I think by declaring that and maybe with a "you're holding me back promo" on him, Jack would be given free reign to destroy Ziggler and get cheered for it, leading to a feud between the two where Vickie aligns herself with Ziggler once, and for all while screwing Jack out of a victory in a match between the two, getting more people behind him, until Summerslam, where Jack gets a big win over Ziggler.
From there, I say we go all the way by going All-Americana with his gimmick. He's got a hairstyle reminiscent of old-school television children. The jock from the days when Deuce and Domino would have been the "cool kids" (points to anyone who remembers Deuce and Domino). So go with that and give him some props and promos like the ones used for Mr.Perfects' entrance video. Maybe even a Letterman jacket.
Promo 1: Him eating dozens of apple pies and drinking gallons of milk (co-starring his incredibly attractive wife)
Promo 2: Him scoring home runs in baseball and making it look easy.
He could even get a catchphrase. Something like "That's All-American..."
From there, there's a lot you can do. Pair him up with Alex Riley (Varsity Club) or Ted Dibiase (Fortunate Sons 2.0) or let him go off on his own with feuds with guys like Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Camacho and Hunico, etc. Of course, he wouldn't just be stuck facing foreign-born stars. He'd be like the "America" for the WWE. Sticking his nose in things that may not involve him, but things that can he can help with. Sticking up for the little guy or for the Divas in the locker room, (bringing him into feuds with guys like Daniel Bryan, Tensai, etc.) There's so much potential in this man; it's a shame it goes to waste as a generic heel instead of an All-American Face.
Curt Hawkins is currently wallowing in the less-than Superstardom that is WWE:NXT, where he spends his days as "Security" alongside his tag team partner, Tyler Reks. A far cry from the days when he was a WWE Tag Team Champion and part of one of WWEs' most underrated stables in La Familia.
Last Monday was the first time in a long time Hawkins had even appeared on Raw, and I think it's safe to say nobody expected him to win against the tag Champions with Tyler Reks. Nay, Hawkins has been on a downward slope for sometime since the release of his last partner, Vance Archer, and it makes one wonder if it might be time for a change.
It worked for Zack Ryder, and I think it could work for Curt Hawkins because as a face, it opens up a lot of possibility, if given some consideration. It would be tough, but I think Hawkins has what it takes to pull it off.
I see this change coming in a relatively simple way. Similar in a way to the situation regarding Zig-Swag (Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler) in that Tyler Reks gets tired of Curt and decides he's ready to get things done on his own and drops him to the mat with a couple of Burning Hammers, giving him sympathy from the crowd and leading to a breakup feud that could be pretty good.
From their, I see a reunion of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Teased several times, but for once delivered as they become the Major Broskis. A situation that would help Zacks' currently struggling career and revive Hawkins' nearly deceased one.
Ricardo Rodriguez is billed as Alberto Del Rios' personal ring announcer—a job he does better than the regular announcers for the WWE right now. That said, I plan to reveal a little secret about this seemingly mild-mannered and physically frail man.
Alberto Del Rio is actually the employee of Ricardos', and as such, is merely a product of that investment won over by his skill in the ring. So, why is Ricardo following Del Rio everywhere? To guide him, of course.
Ricardo performs down in WWEs developmental territory FCW and has actually shown to be a capable person in the ring and would make an impressive addition to the mid-card. Surprisingly enough for his shape, Ricardo isn't a bad high-flyer. He's no Randy Orton in the ring, but he could hold his own with the likes of Kofi Kingston, Santino, Zack Ryder, etc.
That said, Ricardo can actually talk on the mic much better than his associate Del Rio, as displayed in the promo he cut above, and is actually somewhat witty. That will take him very far if given the chance in the WWE.
So, how does this sniveling man come out of his shell? Well, easy. Del Rio stated at one point that he only wants to wrestle another five years. (I forgot when I read this though, but I think we've another four years give or take) of Del Rio. At any point, if WWE feels they want to ease off of Del Rio but get something out of his time with the company on the way out, they could easily have Ricardo turn on his abusive associate by revealing the spoiler above. This could lead to a series of matches between the two with Ricardo finally coming into his own with a huge upset (perhaps even taking Del Rios' finisher) in a loser leaves WWE match.
Where Ricardo goes from here is tough to say. He could end up like Alex Riley—someone who got big by fighting against the biggest jerk in the company, but then flamed out with nothing to do. However, I feel Ricardo is a better talker than Riley and better in the ring. His career may not take him to the main event, but he would do very well as an upper mid-card guy. Perhaps teaming up with someone like Santino or even Sakamoto should he want to break away from his association with Tensai do to abuse similar to what Del Rio did to Ricardo.
Suave. When I see listen to and see Wade Barrett, that's a term that sticks in my head. He's that and every synonym you can think of for it. He's cool, he's smooth, he's knightly. "Knightly," though, is not something you hear often, but I think most people who see it are smart enough to know it means something along the lines of "Like a knight." That's something I think could be brought to the forefront of a face Barrett.
Barrett's main problem, in my opinion, is his lack of direction. There's no direction with his character nor his gimmick, and it's hard to get behind a guy when you don't know where they're going. So why not give him something solid to go with?
Now, I'm sure many of you would be against this because Barrett does make a very good heel, but don't knock it til you try it folks, and hear me out, because this isn't just something thrown together on a whim. This is something I've been thinking about for a while.
Imagine if you will, Wade Barrett. We tone down the arrogance (just a bit,) we give him some of that good ol' English charm and we add a "Code of Honor." Bam, we have a face Barrett. He'll still work in the ring as usual, just eliminate the dirty tactics and cheap shots. In character, we bring back the coats and roses (or maybe make them more personalized, with designs inspired by England) and we make him a man who believes he can get the job done via skill alone.
"It's nice, but how does someone like Wade Barrett do that?" you ask.
Well, I'll tell you. It's easy to explain since he's been on leave for injury, so we could simply have him cut a promo along the lines of he's been doing some thinking, and looking back on his career, he's been a disgrace to the great country of England. A country known for being refined and for having men of great nobility. He could say he's done disgracing England and that he's going to become World Heavyweight Champion the right way. He'll defend his honor like the knights of old: through hard work and a personal code of honor.
He could even bring out Regal, who could have something of a passing the torch match with Barrett, from one great English wrestler to another, and at the end of the match after getting the win, Barrett and Regal would shake hands in a sign of respect.
From their, there's plenty for Barrett to do. He could engage in a feud with someone like Daniel Bryan for his treatment of A.J., join forces with Jack Swagger as a tag team representing America and England working together. We could even have an amazing face vs. face feud with him challenging Sheamus for the World Championship. At almost every level, you can see a face Barrett in action.
WWE needs to focus on a lot of things if it wants a better product. It needs to find a balance between heels and faces. We don't need to always have an equal number, but when you've got only about three or four credible faces and about seven heels, most of which you've already had go against each other, it can be a bit underwhelming.
There's a lot of pressing issues that need to be addressed, but this is a visible one that can help rejuvenate interest in the product, allowing WWE more time to work on other aspects *Cough*KillWWEStudiosWithFire*Cough* that will help increase their bottom line.
At the end of the day, that's what's important to the WWE: the bottom line. Here's hoping WWE continues to address this problem. Ryback is a good start, but make him credible and get him some real competition. FEED THE MAN! The potential is there. If I can come up with ideas for their talent, they should be able to do the same.
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