The Internet Wrestling Community is abuzz with the word that El Generico has signed with WWE. He's undoubtedly one of the biggest names still on the indy scene. With WWE cherry picking top talent from ROH, PWG and DGUSA of late, there have been new opportunities for indy wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Antonio Cesaro and Austin Aries to rise up and fill the voids left on the national TV stage over the last few years.
Per usual, though, along with great excitement, there is much dread. The cries of "don't change his name" and "WWE will ruin him" are instantaneous whenever Triple H snatches up an indy darling. In the case of wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and even Antonio Cesaro, their indy characters weren't changed much. That, though, could be attributed to their characters being very simple without much gimmick.
Daniel Bryan was the best wrestler in the world, and he's retained that persona while adding an impressive beard and a few monosyllabic catchphrases.
Seth Rollins was a fast-paced daredevil, and though we haven't seen him much in the ring since The Shield debuted, we can probably count on that continuing. He just happens to be a heel this time instead of the spunky babyface.
Antonio Cesaro has more or less retained his "Very European" gimmick, though it may be a bit more overt and cartoon-like with WWE.
El Generico, though, is a character completely defined by gimmick. The performer himself, Rami Sebei, is brilliant in creating the character. He was looking to be noticed early in his career, so developing a humorous take on the traditional Mexican Lucha superstar was perfect.
He's a pale white guy with bright red hair, which is certainly not to be expected of a luchador. But rather than portray a Canadian from Quebec who happens to admire the Lucha tradition and adopt the mask, he actually speaks Spanish and uses "Ole!" as a catchphrase in order to push the absurd to the limit.
The indy wrestling fan fell in love with El Generico for his ring-work, not this character. The mask and the name merely got him noticed. It's what he did between the ropes that has taken him all over the world.
I've only seen a few of El Generico's matches, though I've read plenty about his career over the years, skimming indy results. I can't say I'm a diehard fan, but if I were, I'd be more afraid of how he'd be used by WWE were he to keep the mask and character. Don't scream at your computer—just hear me out.
WWE loves to use an absolutely terrible brand of comedy on its show. Sure, Santino Marella can be amusing from time to time, but the camp isn't even good camp for the most part. Rarely has a comedy character ever gotten over to the point of being taken seriously. Comedy can keep you employed, but that's never enough for the indy fan to accept when concerning one of his or her favorite performers.
Do any of you honestly think Vince McMahon looked at Rami Sebei's bio and thought he'd be a good signing? He's 5'-10", 196 pounds, with red hair, pasty white skin, an average physique and a "Generic Luchador" character that hasn't cut a promo in the U.S. in English in some time. He sees this as a joke, and if he retains the El Generico character, creative will be directed to treat him as a joke.
El Generico storyline option 1:
He loses the mask. He loses the name. He takes on some variation of a traditional French character and joins up with his old running mate on the indy scene, Antonio Cesaro, as his lackey in evil foreign heel shenanigans. Rami Sebei speaks fluent French and could pull off the character. He also speaks enough Spanish to work that with Cesaro, as well.
While we'd all love to see Cesaro move up into main event level singles competition, there is room for a tag title run for him to continue to establish his character. Generico is booked as a babyface on the indies, so you know he can work that style of a match. After a tag title run of evil heels, a split and feud could make him a legit midcarder.
El Generico storyline option 2:
He keeps the mask, but with a different name. He debuts after Wrestlemania or sometime in the summer as a friend of Alberto Del Rio. He's a babyface and a young gun that Del Rio discovered and promised to bring him along and train him. Generico never speaks other than a few words of Spanish with Ricardo and Alberto doing most of any talking for him.
He goes on a losing streak and is trying to win over Alberto's approval. ADR starts treating Generico poorly to develop him as a sympathetic figure with the audience. ADR starts more heel-like tactics and tries to get Generico to do things he's not comfortable doing to help him win matches.
Finally, ADR puts the boots to Generico, who fights back. He gets on the mic and begins speaking perfectly fluent English. He tells the crowd he's always been able to speak English, but Del Rio and Ricardo told him not to. They've been trying to keep him in his place for too long. That time has come and gone. He doesn't need ADR. He's his own man.
El Generico storyline option 3:
He keeps the mask, but only temporarily. He attacks Sin Cara backstage with the mask on and nobody knows who it is. We essentially get Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara Negro from two years ago, but Generico is much better than Hunico and it's not over the name Sin Cara. Instead, it's about being the next generation of Lucha star in the WWE.
Finally after some build, we get a mask vs. mask match which Sin Cara wins, revealing that Generico isn't even Mexican. He cuts a promo to explain that he's long respected the history of Lucha wrestling and that he wanted nothing more than to be a Lucha legend himself. But since he can't even be a luchador anymore, he must destroy his hero, Rey Mysterio.