Hernandez: Future World Champion?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2010

Hernandez. “Supermex.” Standing 6-foot-2 and tipping the scales at a well muscled 285 pounds, Hernandez is quicker on his feet than any big man in TNA.

He’s got the look. He’s got the crowd. But, will he ever have the title?

It’s a tough road to the top in TNA. After all, the locker room is full of talent who have a history of headlining.

Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, AJ Styles, just to name a handful. All of these guys have been at the top of the business; all have been World Champions. And all are currently employed by TNA.

It’s not an impossible task. After all, pro wrestling is a business of opportunities, and it all depends on the proper push at the proper time.

Hernandez has the push. Or does he?

His rise in the singles ranks is of course due to his success in The Latin American Xchange.

Hernandez and Homicide were a tough, no-nonsense tag team. Though Homicide previously went through two different partners, Apolo and Machete, LAX reached its peak with Hernandez in the mix.

Homicide and Hernandez were controversial to say the least.

With Konnan as their original mouthpiece, LAX claimed racial discrimination by TNA.

Using the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, LAX sought to separate themselves from the rest of the company, and were portrayed in what a lot of fans deemed to be a sympathetic light.

The LAX were over like gangbusters.

The fans began to respond, and it wasn’t long before this vicious heel tag team began to get a pop from the crowd.

The Latino fans in the audience could relate to them, but the rest of the crowd responded also. LAX had reached the “Stone Cold” level, being so bad and so dangerous that they became cool.

LAX was everything that Cryme Tyme in WWE were not.

Cryme Tyme were caricatures of street-smart African-American homeboys, funny and harmless.

LAX were two proud Latino-Americans who were adamant about their place in the business, and in this country. There was no comedy routine going on here. LAX was open for business.

After Konnan’s departure from the company, LAX turned face, and enjoyed a successful two-year run at the top of the tag team division, holding the TNA World Tag Team Titles for four months.

The team eventually disintegrated, of course, with Homicide turning heel on his partner, leaving Hernandez to his new role as a singles wrestler.

Now, Hernandez is Supermex. He’s working high-profile matches against the likes of Kurt Angle, and all signs point to him doing something really substantial at the main event level.

Whether TNA will continue his push and bring him the gold is open for debate.

Again, there’s a lot of talent in the TNA locker room, and recognizing their penchant for awarding the belt to the flavor of the month, one has to wonder if Hernandez will ever receive a championship run.

One thing is for certain, if it’s going to happen, it should happen soon. Hernandez is 37 and has been in the business for 14 years. The clock is ticking.

That is not to say that he is too old for the opportunity. After all, Batista was 36 when he won his first World Title in WWE.

Like Hernandez, Batista was a big man who had impressive power moves and was over with the crowd. Of course, Batista also had Triple H as a mentor who pushed him behind the scenes.

It’s not always about who you know, however. One of the key elements of being a real success in this business is charisma. The question is, does Hernandez have any?

He says all the right things, he cuts the appropriate promos at the right times. But, I don’t know that I feel any real emotion behind his words.

Then again, Randy Orton delivers one of the most robotic diatribes in the history of the business, and that hasn’t stopped his rapid ascent.

So, maybe the question is would Hernandez have a better shot at the gold in WWE?

The answer is not so simple.

On one hand, WWE thrives on building new superstars. With the right look and the proper push, talented young workers can potentially go very far in that company.

On the other hand, there’s Christian and Matt Hardy, who have received good pushes and who are both talented, yet they have never been given a shot at the strap.

Now, their moment to shine also seems to be waning. As with Hernandez, they are only getting older, and the clock is ticking.

Hernandez does not look like the typical World Champion. Perhaps that is a good thing. If TNA truly does want to stand out and become a unique promotion in the eyes of the fans, maybe giving Hernandez a title run is the way to go.

TNA at one time also thrived on building new stars. Choosing to shift the focus back on their own homegrown talent could be the thing that edges TNA ahead of the curve.

Hernandez could be the key. Will it happen for Hernandez in TNA? Or will his current push and run as a singles wrestler leave his career south of the border?