Rarely has a superstar come along in the wrestling business that possesses all the tools to carry a company upon their shoulders.
Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan could do it.
John Cena has been doing it for years. But now the time has come to anoint a new torchbearer.
Recent internet speculation has been that the next “top guy” in the company will be the last that owner Vince McMahon personally chooses. But that person has likely been under his nose the entire time.
Damien Sandow is that guy.
Sandow possesses nearly every characteristic that it takes to become a top-level guy.
His microphone skills are electric. At the moment, with his condescending personality, he manages to infuriate crowds simply by opening his mouth. This gimmick has been used before with Matt Striker. Even former ECW World Champion Shane Douglas did it for the company for a short time in 1995 as Dean Douglas.
But there is something about how Sandow does it that makes the character work incredibly well. The company thought so much of him that they recently paired him with the somewhat-boring Cody Rhodes in the WWE Tag Team Title Tournament.
Sandow’s character is so good in fact, that his ringwork becomes secondary to the larger-than-life personality.
That is interesting, considering that Sandow is one of the best in the company in that category as well.
Sandow’s move-set is always crisp and innovative and has a level of aggression that belies his calm and calculating personality. At times, his skills bring to mind the work of WWE Champion CM Punk, who performs with a very similar pace.
One need only look at his contest with World Heavyweight champion Sheamus on RAW this past Monday as proof of that. Several times throughout the match it was mentioned that this could possibly be Sandow’s most impressive bout to date. Granted, Sheamus always looks dominant, but Sandow sold his offense like very few can. He also added a great deal of offense of his own, making the champ look incredibly vulnerable at times.
Not to be overlooked, Sandow also seems to exude a swagger that very few superstars are able to convey. He sincerely seems to have great confidence in his abilities and it shows in his personality and ringwork.
However, it has long been known that McMahon covets guys with great size. This might be the one trait that Sandow lacks. At 6’4”, Sandow is far from Rey Mysterio territory, but isn’t a seven-footer like the Big Show or the Great Khali (who like it or not, has actually held a world title with the company).
Now let’s be clear. This article does not guarantee that Sandow will eventually become the greatest wrestler of all time, nor does it aim to put him in the same category as names like Flair, Hogan or Steve Austin. But Sandow certainly possesses many excellent qualities that could make him a top-level heel for many years to come.
Not bad for a guy that used to be one of Michelle McCool’s “Teacher’s Pets.”