WWE Black Friday: Wrestlers' Stocks You Need to Buy into Now
Black Friday took place this week as millions of people packed away their turkey and leftovers from Thanksgiving to rush over and take advantage of incredible savings at stores.
The feeling of being thankful for what you have was replaced by the feeling of getting what you don't have.
It's a symbol of the holiday season, I suppose.
What does that have to do with WWE?
Well, even though you could still get your favorite wrestling fan (or yourself) a deal on something wrestling-related at a lower price, WWE just passed Survivor Series and is quietly building toward 2013 and WrestleMania 29.
If you aren't a big star now or about to be one, chances aren't good for this year's WrestleMania. Still, there are some bandwagons with a few empty seats that sure will be filled up pretty soon.
Just like the Black Friday circulars tell you what to buy, this article will tell you where to look for a good deal in the next superstar you can support.
Before the other shoppers realize these great deals, be the first to align yourself with one of these superstars, and you may be a very happy wrestling fan going forward. Here are seven stocks to keep an eye on at the end of 2012 and beyond.
Slater sure has gotten the attention of fans in the past.
The One Man Band seemed like one of the weaker parts of Nexus during the group's existence, but he emerged into a great tag team partner with Justin Gabriel, winning the tag team titles on multiple occasions.
Even with The Corre, Slater remained a cog in what seemed to be a good faction to belong to. The Corre didn't last as long as Nexus did and ended up just as disappointing in the end. Slater and Gabriel eventually moved on, which led to a lot of support for Slater disappearing.
Then, Slater spent weeks calling out people, only to get squashed by returning superstars, mostly legends. It could be written off as nothing after one or two times, but it became a part of Raw every week leading up to Raw 1,000.
Following that historic night, you had to wonder what was next for Slater and if his attention was going away.
Now, Slater has created 3MB for Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre and himself. Who knows if this will become anything important or just turn into another flop of a faction?
At least Slater and his band mates are having fun with this one. Three weak forces individually could become a strong force collectively in the WWE going forward.
I won't tell you to buy stock in 3MB, because everyone is doing that, and it may not last very long. Instead, buy in on Slater, who started this group and could stand alone in his own band without instruments if he had to.
Prime Time Players
Some people have already jumped aboard the bandwagon for The Prime Time Players, so climb on while the getting is good.
The team of Darren Young and Titus O'Neil has tried its best to make waves since making it to the main roster. The Prime Time Players haven't become champions just yet, but there still is some time to support the team for when it does. Even without AW in their corner, the PTPs stand in a good spot in a crowded tag team division.
Young and O'Neil commentated this week on Raw and got a lot of positive feedback for their performances on the microphones during a tag team match. Their Achilles' heel since AW was fired was that they lacked charisma, but that segment sure helped them out in many fans' minds.
Consider this to be a leaked Black Friday deal. People are starting to find out that this team is for real. Jump aboard while there's still a seat.
Next stop: millions of dollars.
Jack Swagger hasn't been around in a while, which means you can say he hasn't been on the shelves lately.
However, it will all likely change soon as the former world heavyweight champion may be ready to come back before the end of the year. All that needs to happen is giving The All-American American something new to his character. After that, expect Swagger to actually win matches.
Swagger is healthy and should be in line for some wins when he returns. At the very least, when Swagger returns, trendy fans will flock to him and hope for the best.
You can beat those guys to it and become a fan of Swagger before he returns to the ring, hopefully with a tweak to his gimmick that will make a lasting difference.
Sure, this sounds completely nuts. Why would I even try to latch on to a goofy gimmick like the one given to Fandango, formerly known as Johnny Curtis?
It's appropriate that the last gimmick for Curtis was being weird, and now his gimmick is weird in of itself. Ballroom dancing should be limited in wrestling to Chris Jericho on Dancing With The Stars, but WWE thinks it has something here.
Eventually, Fandango will debut in WWE, but who knows what will happen with his name? Originally, the name had an extra "O" and was Fandangoo, but the current spelling of Fandango is the same as a movie ticket purchase website.
I'll be interested in how this will all end up because while it seems like a rushed and slightly comical idea for a character, WWE likes to push these unique takes on pop culture. It sure seemed weird at the time when Brodus Clay was dancing as "The Funkasaurus," but that worked from the beginning.
Johnny Curtis won that season of NXT, not Brodus Clay. Curtis is an asset for the future, even if he probably won't become a main-event superstar.
Curtis could have a good career in WWE. If the Fandango gimmick does it for him, then so be it. There's not a lot of talk about it anymore, and people are drifting away from supporting Fandango.
It's the perfect time to tango with Fandango.
It's always been a case of buying high for Wade Barrett, the original NXT winner and former leader of two factions. Barrett stands poised once again to become a world champion.
An injury derailed his championship aspirations and took Barrett down just weeks shy of WrestleMania 28. Now back, Barrett has been impressive since returning and can ride another solid streak into 2013.
Barrett is a smart choice for the breakout superstar of the year.
Barrett's gimmick feels improved, his offense is more fitting to his style, and his charisma even feels more assured. Barrett may have been missing something that would elevate him to the next tier, but he looks to have found it.
If you only take this advice, take notice that Wade Barrett will be a bigger deal in the coming year.
I tried to tell the whole world that Sheamus would win the Royal Rumble last January, and everyone ended up being shocked at the result. I won't go out on a similar limb this early, but Barrett's journey feels similar to that of Sheamus from a year ago.
When January's rumble match comes, Barrett needs to be a serious consideration to win the match.
You heard it here first.
Even though Antonio Cesaro has had fans since coming to WWE, the current United States champion isn't quite getting the attention he probably wished he could have.
There are chants of "USA" during his matches, but they are usually against other foreign superstars. Cesaro doesn't get the reactions from the crowds that he probably should be getting, which usually happens when a foreign heel tries to put thought into their reasoning for hating America.
Ludvig Borga tried it in the 1990s but didn't make much of a dent. Muhammad Hassan made an impact, but he was forced to leave shortly after creating controversy because his actions mirrored terrorist attacks.
Cesaro seems to be a nice balance of them both, and he has the ability to put on a good match with anyone. The idea of having him squash competitors left a while ago—he isn't afraid to squeak out a win or even lose to a lower-end competitor.
His reign as United States champion does not need to end for some time, mainly because there isn't a popular American babyface to take it from him just yet. I wonder if The Patriot is doing anything...
Cesaro will become more high-profile as the prestige of the WWE United States Championship rises in the grasp of a foreign heel. Cesaro will do what Santino Marella and Zack Ryder couldn't do: make the title mean something.
Cesaro should be spending most of 2013 either as champion or close to the title picture, unless it comes time for him to move up the ladder. He's a part of the future plans, so as others become uninterested, stick with him.
The question you're probably asking is: Who is Corey Graves?
Unless you are watching NXT, you probably have never seen him before, but you'll be seeing him soon. Graves has impressed in FCW and will be getting more of the spotlight on NXT in the coming months.
Most of what you see from Graves has been in tag team action. His NXT debut with Jake Carter, son of wrestling legend Vader, showcased the impressive duo's understanding of tag team wrestling.
He would fit in with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, who are going by The Shield now. Graves is smart in the ring and uses a lot of submission holds and quick strikes. He isn't flashy, but he sure gets things done. His tattoos and charisma remind me of CM Punk. He's been trying to break into WWE since doing dark matches in 2006 with the company.
Ironically, he tagged with Punk in one of those dark matches.
PWI ranked this guy at 199 in the PWI 500 for 2012, just a few spots below Michael McGillicutty and above low-card wrestlers like JTG and Johnny Curtis.
Now that stars like Ambrose and Rollins are showing up on Raw, it will be just a matter of time before a guy like Graves gets the same requests from wrestling fans.