Before I get started, I would like to say that I wrote this article Sunday and planned to release it after RAW. The shocking events of last night’s RAW altered my judgment and I ultimately decided to change and release at a later time.
I’m sure we all know about the retirement of the Rated R Superstar and I hope to release my tribute article later today.
When I entered the B/R Wrestling section last August, rumors began to fly through B/R and the numerous pro wrestling dirt sheets. Most sites were reporting that top-level performer Chris Jericho was on his way out of the WWE. Y2J’s contract was expiring and most believed he wasn’t going to renew it.
Jericho had been one of the WWE’s biggest stars at the time, becoming World Champion three times since his return in 2007.
Jericho wasn’t the only star departing in 2010. Shawn Michaels and Batista left the WWE in 2010 as well. In addition to those who left, others were watching from the sidelines as they nursed injuries. Triple H and The Undertaker both spent the majority of 2010 recovering from injuries.
Both returned to the WWE on 2/21/11 and sparked the appropriate buzz for their WrestleMania rematch. Taker and Trips waged war on each other at the WrestleMania 27 event and the ending displayed something even the newest fan could see.
They don’t have much time left.
For the first time in his career, The Undertaker was wheeled out of WrestleMania instead of doing his signature pose.
Tragedy reared its ugly face last night when Edge announced that he will retire from in-ring competition due to problems from a neck injury.
In the short time span of a year, we’ve lost or will lose, five of the greatest stars in WWE history. All five were main event talent at the time of their departures.
While it's painful to admit, the WWE will have to replace each in the top card. For months, the WWE has been slowly building towards their younger talent. The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, and Sin Cara are all examples of the WWE trying to fill the roles of departing talent.
They’ve resurrected Tough Enough and ushered in WWE NXT which has given us Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, and Alex Riley.
With the number of these editions increasing each week, there’s one man who will greatly impact the WWE. When I joined the B/R, one of the first articles I read pertained to him inking a developmental deal with the WWE. Most of the writers spoke highly of this wrestler and called him a main event talent even before his debut.
The man I’m alluding to is former Ring of Honor World Champion, Tyler Black.
Doing a little research of my own, I found myself watching the Glory by Honor IX ppv in which Black took on Roderick Strong. In one of the greatest displays of diversity in pro wrestling styles, Black lost his ROH title but he gained a fan in me.
I was even more impressed when I dug deeper into to the enigma known as Tyler Black. Only 24, Tyler Black has already been a presence on the independents since 2005. For those who don't care to do the math; he made his professional debut at the age of 19.
Black has wrestled classic matches with Daniel Bryan, Desmond Wolfe, Austin Aries, Davey Richards, and let’s not forget, Roderick Strong. His move set is loaded with treasures that could make a grown man cry.
At Black’s stature, most would find it hard to believe that he can do moonsaults, 450 splashes, and super kicks.
With the build of Edge and the numerous comparisons to CM Punk, Black certainly can become a big deal in the WWE. One thing Black lacks is charisma. He isn't bad on the mic, but could use some work.
His heel work in ROH is considerably better than his face work. When Black threatened to take the ROH title with him to the WWE, he generated a large amount of heat.
It was enough to consider Black a decent enough heel.
But along with his fans, Black has a number of detractors. Most believe Black won’t fit the WWE mold and way of doing things. Guys like Chris Jericho, Edge, and The Miz made careers out of proving guys wrong.
That’s the type of person that people, not just wrestling fans, want to get behind.
A wrestler who can defy the odds is every fans' dream.
One thing I ask is to not rank him, or anyone else for that matter, as the next Edge or next Chris Jericho. When we have high expectations for these guys and they don’t live up to them, we are the ones left disappointed.
Living up to someone else’s legacy is a terrible fate.
So can Black become one of the guys to fill the void? I’ll leave that question to you.