WWE: Who Are the No. 2 Faces in RAW and SmackDown?
It is official now: Christian has turned heel and will challenge Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Capitol Punishment next weekend.
IWC’s heel-lovers are thrilled with this turn for Captain Charisma, but they seem to forget one crucial issue: neither RAW or SmackDown have a clear No. 2 face now.
We could be en route to a year full of SuperCena and MegaOrton at every PPV.
Why is so important having a top No. 2 face in each show? Because it allows Creative to keep the top guy away from the title picture for certain periods, in which he can focus on non-title feuds.
Let’s take a look at the last two years in each show:
The Undertaker returned at SummerSlam 2009 and immediately started a feud with CM Punk, eventually taking the title and holding it for around four months. Then, Edge’s return at Royal Rumble allowed Taker to focus on his match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI.
After WM 26, Edge was moved to RAW, so Big Show and Rey Mysterio had short-term periods in the title picture before Undertaker returned again at SummerSlam. Once the WWE learned Taker would have to leave again, Edge was immediately moved back to SmackDown to replace him.
When Edge had to retire, the draft was rushed so Randy Orton could take over as SmackDown’s top face.
When will we see a face not named Cena-Orton headlining a PPV?
After the lengthy Cena-Orton feud, Captain Fruity Pebbles was out of the title match only at the Royal Rumble, when The Viper started what ended in his own face turn.
John Cena returned to the title picture for WM 26 and after winning the feud against Batista he lost the title against Sheamus thanks to The Nexus.
By then Orton was already a face, so Cena focused on the feud with Wade Barrett for the rest of 2010, while Randy kept the championship until The Miz cashed his Money in the Bank contract.
Orton was Miz’s main antagonist until Royal Rumble and the Cena returned to the title picture for WrestleMania, while Randy focused on CM Punk.
Now, there is no “reliever” in each show. Big Show, Kane and Rey Mysterio are the only faces with main event experience, but none of them seems like a long-term option to headline a PPV.
“Hey, this means other faces will get a push!” some could say, but it’s not that simple. Check how many “new” guys have gotten a title match in the past two years:
Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto del Rio and R-Truth. We could also mention Kane, considering his first title reign lasted only one day more than 10 years ago.
John Morrison, Jerry Lawler and Christian. Morrison’s chances were on free shows; Lawler is a 61-year-old announcer; Christian lost the belt after two days and is now a heel.
It’s relatively easy to push a heel; fans will boo anyone who threatens their heroes. Getting them to cheer for a new hero is the problem.
Having a No. 2 face means the top guy can lose a feud. With the current situation, we all know that Randy Orton and John Cena will always win.
Follow me on Twitter: @luisrha
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