Move over, Alberto, Dolph and Randy…there should be a new top contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Why Sandow? Why should the self-proclaimed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” be in line for a title shot?
Quite simply…he has earned it, thanks to the Aug. 31 episode of WWE SmackDown.
On that show, the former Idol Stevens interrupted Sheamus’ in-ring praise of Triple H with his usual “I’m-smarter-than-you” arrogance, claiming the Celtic Warrior was “as ignorant as you are enormous.” Then, when the banter led to Booker T. scheduling a match later that night, neither Sheamus nor Sandow disappointed. It was by far the best match of the night.
Each was able to put the other over with the crowd in a big way. Sandow’s beat-then-retreat tactics led to major heat from the crowd, who reveled in seeing the champ repeatedly go out and throw Sandow back in the ring. By match’s end—a count-out victory for Sheamus—it was obvious that the crowd wanted to see more of these two.
A lot more.
Since then, Sandow has been getting better and better each week. The level of competition for him has grown each week.
And he has won each week, therefore generating more and more heat with each passing match.
Let’s face it. Pushing Sandow to the front of the line can only help him. And Sheamus. And the WWE audience.
Since winning the belt at WrestleMania last April, Sheamus has been the victim of some stale feuds. Dolph Ziggler may have the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Sheamus has owned him in recent outings.
The third time at this month's Night of Champions was not the charm for Alberto del Rio. Sheamus beat him cleanly. Feud over. Bye-bye, Bertie.
As for Randy Orton, everyone—including Orton himself—is waiting for his heel turn. But Orton has held numerous championships in the company, so strapping him would still be another “been there, done that” moment for a company which already has seen enough of those moments recently.
Besides, Orton is getting ready to become a movie star when he begins shooting the upcoming sequel to 12 Rounds.
I know that the Internet is abuzz with rumors that The Big Show is next in line to challenge Sheamus for the belt; I understand that. Show needs something to back up that "iron-clad contract" and big bonus that former Raw/SmackDown GM John "People Power" Laurinaitis gave him.
But his monster heel turn has been played out many times before by others. It's not real fresh.
Sandow is a breath of fresh, albeit hot air. His smug ring performance is solid, as are his mic skills. In the short time he has been with WWE, his antics have generated heat from the crowd that easily could push him from midcard to upper card. His is a character that has not been successful in the WWE since the days of Lanny "The Genius" Poffo.
Plus, if their SmackDown showdown is any indication, Sheamus and Sandow work well enough together to pull off an exciting, action-packed match.
I can understand if WWE is a little hesitant about rushing stars to the upper level. Recent efforts have been tried, and most have failed (Tensai, anyone?). But there was one rapid push of a Superstar a couple of years ago that turned out well. Within months of his debut, this Superstar was WWE Champion.
His name? Sheamus. He's done pretty well since then, don't you think? Maybe it’s time to try again.
So, WWE, take a shot on Damien Sandow. He’s too good a performer to stay on the midcard much longer. Move him up the ladder. You won’t be disappointed.
(Slight pause here)
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.