Damien Sandow’s persona hinges on his elitism, but can the intellectual savior of the unwashed masses become part of the WWE’s elite?
In his short career as Damien Sandow, the man formerly known to WWE fans as Idol Stevens has excelled in every opportunity he has been given.
He has made fans yearn more for this arrogant and snobby heel who pays homage to the larger-than-life antagonists of the past. He refused to compete in his scheduled debut because of his dissatisfaction with the level of competition.
In a scheduled match against Derrick Bateman, Sandow simply insulted his competition and walked away, which led to a match between Bateman and fellow not-so-newcomer Ryback.
Ryback and Sandow’s characters cannot be further away from one another: Ryback is perceived as the one-dimensional, musclebound star that lacks any charisma.
Sandow, on the other hand, exudes charisma. His arrogant intellectualism begs fans to boo him. His in-ring skills are not particularly flashy, so he may have to make up for it another way. But since Sandow is a heel, he is inherently going to rely on something besides his wrestling abilities to get over.
Sandow’s and Ryback’s career paths have been very similar thus far, especially given that they started out around the same time. Both are being pushed and will potentially be the next WWE stars.
Despite the expected success, Sandow’s journey has been more believable than Ryback’s, whose own persona falls behind his own hype. Sandow has been pushed at a much steadier pace, but he has made more out of each opportunity.
There have been hints that Sandow was going to be pushed to the top of WWE’s totem pole. He briefly feuded with Sheamus, who was World Heavyweight Champion at the time, on SmackDown.
And even though the occasional confrontation did not flourish into a drawn-out feud, WWE still kept Sandow’s name in the limelight with the formation of Team Rhodes Scholars in the now-booming tag team division.
Just like Sandow’s character pays homage to the past, so does Team Rhodes Scholars. The team consisting of the two young stars was a reminder that the two are singles champions-in-waiting, much like The Rockers and the Hart Foundation were. And like those tag teams, one superstar inevitably takes a bigger step than the other. For Team Rhodes Scholars, it may be Damien Sandow.
He has the mic skills to keep him in the upper echelon of current WWE talent. Take, for example, his promo on last week’s WWE Main Event. The way he called out John Cena proves that he can definitely compete with the best.
His upcoming match against John Cena speaks volumes on how much WWE has invested in him. And although Sandow may not win the match, simply having him compete against the face of the company is more than enough to steadily push Sandow to the top.
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