WWE: Tensai, Anyone? Why the WWE Is Messing Up with Its Big Men

Bill Atkinson@@BAtkinson1963Analyst ISeptember 27, 2012

Brodus Clay (B/R photo)
Brodus Clay (B/R photo)

Earlier in the career of Alberto del Rio, he had a behemoth of a bodyguard in Brodus Clay. This 375-pounder had a spiked mohawk, a mile of tattoos and a steely, menacing glare that practically melted the camera lens every time it focused on him.

Clay had the ability to run roughshod over anyone who got in his or del Rio's path. Imagine the pain and suffering this beast could unleash on the rest of the Superstar roster.

Instead, Clay disappeared. And when he came back, he no longer was a fire-breathing monster.

He still had the spiked mohawk and the mile's worth of tattoos; But he was a kid-friendly, size XXXL version of the Disco Inferno, complete with a flashy disco ball and glitzy dancers. Cute, but it got old quickly.

Grade: Slow Fail.

Then there was Lord Tensai, the wrestler formerly known as Albert. The onetime WWE grappler moved over to Japan, where we were led to think he was a white-hot star who took Tokyo by storm. His return to the WWE was hyped beyond belief. Make no mistake ... he was coming, and coming hard and fast.

With Japanese writing all over his head, Lord Tensai scored some early impressive victories over John Cena and CM Punk. He had "WWE Champion" in his DNA. It was only a matter of time before the creative staff could slot a pay-per-view for him to capture the gold.

So what happened? The gimmick got old. Lord Tensai did the same thing every night in the ring. He would come in, throw around a few chops, punches and stomps, blow mist a la Kabuki and then finish with a very un-Baron von Raschke type of clawhold.

The WWE Universe got bored. They started chanting, "Al-bert! Al-bert!" The Japanese characters on his head began to look like tire tracks from the car that just ran over him.

So he was stripped of his regal title and just became Tensai. The result: Still boring. The WWE Universe responded with even more chants of "Al-bert! Al-bert!"

Grade: Major Fail.

And we won't even begin to go into what has happened with The Big Show lately.

Perhaps last Monday's Raw match between Clay and Tensai said it all. Midway between this match between two glaciers, The Big Show's music hit. Show came out and threw WMD knockout punches at both men, then walked away. Looking at the slow-mo replay, even Tensai could not sell the fact that Show knocked him out.

Houseflies have landed on countertops with more power.

That's the problem the WWE is facing with its big men. Not big, as in Ryback or Brock Lesnar, but as in "Piccadilly and Golden Corral would go bankrupt with them" big.

The company is having trouble putting and keeping them over.

Perhaps the WWE Universe has gotten spoiled with fast-paced, high-flying matches involving Superstars like Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler; or matches featuring wrestlers with stealth intensity like Randy Orton and Kane. Or matches with stratospheric stars like Cena and Punk.

They don't want to see matches with two men who move with the speed of a slug on a log after a rainstorm.

It's all about booking, or in this case, bad booking.

With Brodus Clay, the WWE cast him against type. Instead of a monster, they tried to make him as lovable as the Michelin Man with slick moves. With the exception of young kids, the WWE Universe is not buying into it.

With The Big Show, they have flipped him more often than a coin. Rough-and-tumble heel, big and lovable goofball, foil for Floyd Mayweather Jr., fool for John Laurinaitis, two-time PPV loser to John Cena.

With Tensai/Albert, they... they...uh...heck, what were they thinking with him?

The only big man who has been booked properly recently is Mark Henry, as long as you overlook that silly "Sexual Chocolate" character early in his career. The "World's Strongest Man" was the big guy who came in and could actually put his opponent over AND be put over at the same time.

The sneak attack on John Cena started him on the path to the World Heavyweight Championship. An injury has sidelined him, but everyone is waiting to see what will happen once he returns.

So what is the WWE to do with these guys? Time is not on the side of some of them. Tensai turns 40 in November. Show will be 41 next February. Henry already is 41. Only Clay, at 32, could be considered in the prime time of his career.

Show is getting perhaps his last shot at singles glory at next month's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view when he goes against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. But even if he wins the belt for a second time, his reign could be short-lived

Why's that? Because the WWE can only hold Dolph Ziggler back for so long before he has to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and take the WHC title.

Maybe the WWE could consider creating a mega-heel stable with all four of these big men. Keep Show as a heel, turn Clay into the monster he is destined to be, and wash those Japanese characters off of Tensai's face and mold him into something new. Then put a bow on the stable with Mark Henry.

Have them go on a tear through the rest of the roster, showing those young punks that "oversized" does not mean "over and out." Heck, put a couple of the mid-card belts, or even the tag team titles, on any combination of them.

With all that girth on their side, there would be more beef in that corner than you would find in any slaughterhouse.

Hey! Maybe that could be the name of the group. "The Slaughterhouse."

Now that is a storyline with a lot of weight behind it.


Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.