Big E. Langston's on-screen mentor Dolph Ziggler suffered a serious concussion at the WWE SmackDown tapings this past week. According to WWE.com, Ziggler was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia and will be out of action indefinitely.
Ziggler is still expected to return to the ring "soon." There's even an outside chance of Ziggler competing at WWE Extreme Rules.
However, it is just as likely that the reigning world heavyweight champion could be held out of WWE's May pay-per-view.
Should Ziggler be ruled out of his lukewarm triple threat match against Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, budding star Big E. Langston would be a viable replacement to defend the world championship in place of Dolph Ziggler.
WWE creative could easily create tension between Langston and Ziggler should Langston "retain" the championship on Ziggler's behalf and in turn feel entitled to at least a shot at the major championship.
Sure, the internet fans will side with Ziggler, but the most logical scenario would present Langston as the valiant babyface deserving said title shot.
With Ryback still floundering as a heel, permanent damage may have been done to what was once the No. 2 babyface behind John Cena.
The WWE is suddenly in the hunt for its next poster boy. As sketchy as Vince McMahon's track record is with African-American world champions, his love for big bodies far outweighs any hesitance in pushing African-American talent. Bobby Lashley, who was on pace to become the first black WWE champion before his abrupt exit, is a great example of this.
Langston's hulking physique and arsenal of power moves scream WWE top star. He rivals Ryback as a dominant competitor who has been well protected thus far in WWE competition. Langston has yet to take a pinfall loss since debuting on Raw last year. Any offense he injects is spotlighted by the WWE as a big deal.
Langston's limited in-ring resume since joining the main roster, while not terrible, should only continue to improve. And his parade of world records in power lifting will help establish him as a legit tough guy and athlete. The WWE should feel comfortable investing significant resources in his raw talents.
WWE's babyface problem persists, as evidenced by the promotion once again relying on a banged-up John Cena to carry the brand as a babyface world champion.