As intimidating and powerful as he is, it's hard to take WWE's Big E. Langston seriously with his current ring gear.
Fans are focusing and remarking on the excessive tightness of Langston's tights rather than his ring work, making it a distraction that needs to be addressed. Billing him as a force of destruction is a difficult task when the audience is busy snickering.
With as visual a product as WWE is, with as long as fans stare at the Superstars, selecting the right ring gear is not a trivial thing. WWE is doing Langston a disservice by letting him walk out to the ring in that skintight singlet night after night.
Langston's ring gear features bold colors and an eye-catching design. As he explained in this tweet, his singlet bears the Rastafarian symbol of the Lion of Judah.
BTW, my singlet bears the Lion of Judah (NOT a chicken as some savants have suggested) to pay homage to my Jamaican & Montserratian blood.— Big E Langston (@BigELangston) April 10, 2013
All of that is great in terms of both tying into who he is and visual pop. The issue is that the outfit is too tight. It grips his buttocks like Fritz Von Erich once gripped foes with the claw hold and too often slides up to reveal more of his body than most folks want to see.
Instead of oohing and aahing at Langston's impressive power, fans are busy making jokes at his expense.
Twitter and social media in general will always be home to snarky comments, but the amount of fans talking about what Langston is wearing compared to anything else about him has to be troubling to WWE. Tweets like this one from fan Arya Stark are far too common.
It's an easy fix. It's not as if fans are muttering about a quality that Langston can't change. Get him some gear that fits better and eventually the jokes will fade away, eventually his matches and mic work will take center stage and we can see how the audience reacts to those elements instead.
The gear he wore when competing for NXT fit him much better, so why the switch? This tighter, shorter version of his attire is the opposite of intimidating. It turns him into a punchline.
When fans make as many jokes about the gear's appropriateness on Twitter and elsewhere, it's an indication that the problem needs to be tackled.
We're not sure Big E Langston's outfit is PG. #RAWTonight— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) February 12, 2013
Loosen up what Langston is wearing so we can key on his strengths, his potential and the upward trajectory of his career. Being the victim of running jokes is certainly not elevating his career.
Some fans do want to see more of Langston, but more of him in ring action, not more of his body.