Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow at TLC: A Glimpse at WWE's Future Main Eventers

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2013

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Big E Langston will be defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Damien Sandow at the company's TLC pay-per-view on Sunday, December 15.  While this match may appear to be just a typical bout for a secondary title, I for one believe it's much more than that.

I believe that this match is a glimpse into two careers that will likely converge in the future. And those careers will belong to two main event Superstars.

For WWE fans, this is one of those matches to get excited about.  After all, the popular notion among the WWE faithful is that the company needs young, fresh stars.  And thanks to WWE's developmental territory NXT, we have been witnessing an influx of talent over the past year.

The Shield and The Wyatt Family are two great examples of workers who have successfully made the crossover onto the main roster.  In fact, at this point it's a little difficult to imagine WWE without them.

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Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are no longer the new guys, fighting for respect and to establish themselves in Vince McMahon's company.  Now they are as much a part of WWE programming as any veteran in the locker room.

And they have proven what they can do in one main event match after another.

The Wyatts have not had as much time in as their NXT counterparts, but they have made some serious headway on the main roster.  The truth is that their confidence speaks for itself.

Bray Wyatt owns any room he walks into.  The guy is such a character, so incredibly effective at what he does, that he just fits on WWE's weekly TV programs.  The fact is that he was built for this.  And as for Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, their quiet intensity only adds to the family's presentation.

The Wyatt Family is here to stay; there is no doubt about it.

Damien Sandow and Big E Langston may not have come into WWE with much fanfare, but the fact is that both men have serious potential to succeed in the future.  But the paths they have traveled to this point are very different indeed.

Sandow was basically just introduced to WWE programming, a new character who was really nothing more than a slightly retooled version of a classic pro wrestling gimmick.

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Sandow was billed as the Intellectual Savior of the Masses, a guy whose elitist attitude placed him high above any other WWE Superstar in terms of importance.  It also put him on a level far higher than any fan who was fortunate enough to see him ply his craft in the ring.

Damien's gimmick was very reminiscent of that of William Regal: He was a snob of the highest order. Sandow appeared to be saddled with a character that could either get him over in a very big way or leave him flat with the WWE audience.

The truth is that as time went on, Sandow began to impress.  His work in the ring matched his gimmick in terms of the classic heel-move set, and he developed a reputation with fans for being a guy who could get it done.  He was very capable of putting on a very good match, and many of his supporters began believing that he would eventually make some real progress toward moving up the ladder in the company.

Big E Langston debuted from out of nowhere.  He was brought in as a good friend of AJ Lee, who at the time was the girlfriend of Dolph Ziggler.  Langston soon became known as The Heavy, a big strong powerhouse who acted as muscle for both Ziggler and Lee.

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He played the role of the enforcer, and even though his strength was undeniable, the fact is that he was not really all that menacing.

The problem with Langston's character was very similar to the one experienced by Damien Sandow: Many fans viewed him as just another generic gimmick, a talent who was cut from the same mold as Ryback or Ezekiel Jackson. There was really no reason to believe that he would be anything other than just a flash-in-the-pan strongman.

But when Langston turned babyface, the crowd began to see him in a whole new light. Without having to play second fiddle next to AJ or Ziggler, Langston has improved and shown what he can do in the ring. While he may not be the technically proficient worker that Sandow is, Langston is still very effective and is playing his character to the fullest.

For me, these two men are on the right track in their WWE careers.  They each have a tremendous upside, and it's obvious that the company sees something in them.  I believe that with enough time and hard work, we could very well be seeing two future main event players in the ring.

Indeed, their gimmicks appear to be the perfect complement to each other. Sandow, the intellectual, battling Langston, who relies more on his physical prowess rather than a psychological approach, is a great mix of philosophies.  Throw in a championship that could propel both of them to the next level, and you have a rivalry that could do a lot of good for both men.  And it all seems custom-made for WWE.

And TLC could be just a minor glimpse into a feud that we could potentially see contesting the WWE Championship at some point down the road.  Based upon how well both men continue to do in the company and how well they are both received in their careers, Damien Sandow vs. Big E Langston could be an attraction that fans would definitely pay money to see.

That is the true test of just how good, just how successful, both men can be in the future.  If they can draw money, then they will prove to be invaluable assets to Vince McMahon's company.  TLC could be just the very beginning of something much bigger for Damien Sandow and Big E Langston.