Should WWE Abandon Damien Sandow's Apprentice Search?
Normalcy seems to have returned to Damien Sandow's world as his best friend and tag team partner, Cody Rhodes, returned to in-ring action this week. Their reunion led them to a victory on RAW and put them on the TLC card against Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio with a tag team title shot up for grabs. Yet, Sandow seemed a bit antsy in Rhodes' absence and a little bit lonely perhaps.
Sandow made it a point to start looking for an apprentice in the crowd that would seemingly follow him around and learn from his genius. A few failed attempts at pulling random fans into the ring to answer a series of questions brought some heat rarely seen in today's WWE.
In fact, the act seemed to bring on memories of Ted DiBiase promising money to a kid dribbling a basketball. Close to certain victory, Sandow would throw in a question that most people would have little understanding of, leading to Sandow's ridicule of the fan.
In both cases, fans were planted and it was all done to generate hatred from the crowd, but it is the same type of segment that can also bring new talent to the main roster. Just ask the likes of Santino Marella and Rosa Mendes, who both began their WWE careers as fans, only to be brought within the barricades and become members of the main roster.
Sandow looking for an apprentice could be a perfect chance for someone in NXT to come up the ranks and stand alongside two of the hottest heels in WWE today.
These were classic ways to bring developmental talent to the main roster, but that curtain has been slightly peeled back with the debut of The Shield at Survivor Series. The trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were clearly identified as developmental talent within minutes of debuting on pay-per-view. There was no cute story concocted for how the trio was being added to the roster. In fact, it still brings off the mentality of an invasion from NXT.
WWE can't have every new superstar mentioning their place in NXT, so the stories will still need to be written for how to debut new characters. The same kind of story could be written to repackage an existing superstar on the roster, but something tells me that Hunico or Alex Riley won't quite be as well-spoken to pull it off. In fact, if I had to choose anyone for the spot, it would probably be Kassius Ohno.
Bringing in a gigantic enforcer doesn't send the correct message. Sorry, Ezekiel Jackson. This isn't Shawn Michaels needing Diesel. This is like Matt Hardy needing a Mattitude follower. Ohno is the only developmental star that I know of that is good enough for the spot right now and has the mic skills to pull off being a genius-in-training. Ohno's style in NXT is to be able to knock someone out instead of simply pinning him, a unique trait for someone who isn't gigantic.
Following The Shield's debut, Ohno became the most well-known superstar in NXT, and it's only a matter of time before the man that used to be known as Chris Hero saves Sandow from giving up his quest for an apprentice.
The Miz attempted to drive a wedge between Team Rhodes Scholars on Miz TV this week, but it didn't work. It will work eventually and Rhodes will get back to his own business of trying to win a world championship.
As for Sandow, his mission is to still be smarter than everyone else and his ego will be satisfied with an apprentice like Ohno. Eventually, Ohno will break away from Sandow as well and likely feud with him, enabling the rising stock of Sandow to help younger superstars elevate themselves.
Sandow is such a unique character that almost feels like a throwback to heels of the late 1980s and early 1990s.To ensure that this storyline will not be a waste, Sandow's apprentice can be another great superstar in the future. That's why the best fit for this storyline, should it still exist, is Kassius Ohno. It gives Ohno that break into the main roster that he needs so much.
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