In the shadow of a huge championship unification match at WWE TLC 2013, Big E Langston will be brilliant.
Damien Sandow will be after the Intercontinental Championship, but there is more than that at stake on Dec. 15. After an electric title victory over Curtis Axel, Langston can either become another forgettable IC champ or evoke memories of when that title was a launching point to superstardom.
Expect the latter.
Sandow earned the right to challenge Langston by pinning Dolph Ziggler on the Dec. 2 Raw. Langston will be ready for him.
His match with Sandow is a potential show-stealer. That's partly because, apart from the main event, the TLC is uninspired at the moment. Langston's athletic ability and intensity will have plenty to do with it as well, though.
He's been busy teaming with Mark Henry as of late, but earlier this year Langston was impressing in a set of bouts against Alberto Del Rio.
There wasn't anything graceful or artistic about his clash with Del Rio on the May 22 Main Event, but there was a stirring energy throughout the match.
As the aggressor, Langston was a compelling wrecking ball, roaring and slamming until the crowd was feverish. When Del Rio was on offense, Langston's selling was convincing, just dramatic enough to sucker the audience in.
Although Sandow is not the ring technician that Del Rio is, count on the IC title bout being an engaging work of violent theater.
How will he fare against Sandow? Their recent tag team match gives us some insight.
When they collided briefly in that match, Langston's explosiveness was on full display. Sandow sold his offense incredibly well. He flopped backwards after Langston smashed into him and looked lifeless and limp after Langston hit the Big Ending.
That bodes well for Langston at TLC. If Sandow works to make Langston look as good as he did that night, the powerhouse is going to look like a world-beater.
WWE isn't likely to just have the champ completely dominate the challenger, but look for Langston to have a standout performance that makes him look like a destructive force sure to climb the company's ranks. WWE's recent focus on Langston and his title point to it having extreme confidence in him.
Who is the last IC champ to get a video about his rise to championship status?
Axel didn't get a mini-documentary like this when he won. Neither did Wade Barrett.
It has been during Langston's reign that WWE has emphasized the Intercontinental Championship's prestige. When Sandow and Ziggler fought for the right to face Langston at TLC, the announcers spoke about past greats who held the title.
Putting Langston's name in the same sentence as Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat is not only a sign that WWE will look to showcase the IC belt more but that the company has big plans for the Iowa Hawkeye defensive lineman.
Per F4WOnline, via PWMania.com, those plans reportedly include Langston feuding with his current ally Henry, including a clash at the Royal Rumble.
To entice fans for that showdown, to make Langston seem capable of knocking off "The World's Strongest Man," he's going to need a performance at TLC that slides jaws open and gets people talking. Count on Langston delivering in that regard.
Langston, the human freight train, is barreling down the tracks. Look for a memorable explosion when Sandow tries to stand in his way.
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