Hopes were high for Tensai when he debuted the night after WrestleMania and squashed Alex Riley. While it looked like he might become something special, Tensai's push has totally evaporated. That has left many fans wondering whether WWE should just release the man formerly known as Albert and A-Train.
WWE management obviously had a lot of confidence in Tensai to start. He defeated John Cena in an Extreme Rules match and WWE Champion CM Punk in a handicap match, but those would prove to be the high points of his run. He has suffered several losses since then, including defeats at the hands of Tyson Kidd.
In addition to that, Tensai has stopped appearing regularly on WWE programming and is no longer a staple on either RAW or SmackDown. It's honestly hard to believe that the writers can't figure out anything to do with him considering the fact that he is a solid, veteran worker with plenty of size and a menacing look.
He would be a perfect opponent for several mid-card faces, but the WWE has been content to shelve him recently. There was once a time when the creative team would be willing to put time and energy into certain characters in order to get them over, but the writers seem very lazy and indifferent about Tensai, so he has fallen into a downward spiral.
The main argument against Tensai is that he hasn't gotten over, but that isn't entirely his fault. Everyone knew he was Albert when he returned and it seemed like the "Albert" chants hurt him, but that could have easily been rectified. Rather than hiding his past gimmicks, WWE should have acknowledged them and explained the change.
Tensai could have cut a promo about how he once wrestled as Albert, but went to Japan, adopted their customs, honed his craft and has returned to prove that the Japanese way of life is superior. Then he could have won the United States Championship and defaced it, which would have scored him major points and gotten him a lot of heat.
WWE's actual solution was to drop "Lord" from his name, get rid of his unique ring attire and have him lose to Cena and Sheamus. As hard as it is to believe, none of those things helped him get any more over than he already was. Making him relevant and establishing Tensai as a character independent from Albert wouldn't have been rocket science, but there was simply no effort put into doing that.
Should the WWE release Tensai?
Perhaps the creative team is past the point of no return in that regard, but at least utilize him in some way. Tensai has a lot to offer and could have a great program with someone like Ryback. He needs a legitimate feud in order to get over and Tensai is someone who can match Ryback from a physical standpoint, so the fans would probably be interested.
Using Tensai on Superstars, or not at all, isn't beneficial to Tensai himself or WWE. He's on the roster, has a ton of experience and a lot to offer, but is nothing more than a jobber at this point. Considering the lack of good mid-card storylines, it's almost inexplicable that Tensai is in the position that he is currently.
It doesn't look like there is much hope for Tensai to regain his footing, and releasing him would certainly be the easy way out. But why not just figure out something to do with him instead? The writers get paid good money to find a spot for all of WWE's top talent, I don't feel like it would be inaccurate to call Tensai a top talent considering his track record.
I can definitely see Tensai being a casualty in the near future since he's nothing more than a spare part right now, but there is no way I would allow that to happen if I were the man in charge. There are plenty of ways to incorporate Tensai and even if he doesn't make the impact that many had hoped, at least he could be a dependable mid-carder, which is a lot more than he is now.