Nearly three-and-a-half years ago, my days as an avid fan of professional wrestling had officially begun. Sure, I tuned into a handful of episodes of Monday Night Raw months prior, but nothing that I had seen really appealed to my liking at the time.
During one average Monday afternoon during my April break, I came across an intriguing commercial on the USA Network that advertised then-Raw general manager William Regal challenging then-WWE Champion Randy Orton in his home country of England. From that point on, I was immediately hooked by the product, and I have yet to miss a Raw broadcast since then.
Being a fellow English native, I tuned in each and every Monday night just to see what Regal had in store for the WWE Universe after the numerous shenanigans he pulled while in control, including turning off the lights, abusing his power and even interrupting WWE Championship matches.
That May, Regal's roll of momentum came to abrupt finale due to violating WWE's strict Wellness Policy for a second time, thus suspending him from in-ring action for a total of 60 days. Due to this, Regal was stripped of his general manager title on a subsequent episode of Raw and hasn't been correctly used since.
Many speculated for the former WWF commissioner to finish where he left off upon his return, but he was instead dropped down to mid-card for a forgettable reign as Intercontinental Champion and partnership with the lovely Layla. Even during his days as an ECW extremist, Regal was never able to capture the ECW Championship despite the tremendous heat he received as leader of the Ruthless Roundtable.
Last November, William Regal shockingly announced his retirement as an active competitor during WWE's tour of England, taking many long-time Regal supporters by surprise. At this point, all hope was lost in ever seeing Regal finally be given the chance to become a true star in WWE.
Now, I do realize it was partially his fault that his well-deserved push he received in 2008 was cut short, but there's no reason as to why Creative couldn't have resumed the tremendous heat he garnered earlier that year. I'm all for pushing the young talent as the future, but there was much potential with Regal as general manager that could have possibly given him the WWE Championship reign he so rightfully deserved.
As one of the greatest wrestlers in history to have never held a World Championship, William Regal took to Twitter a few months back, proclaiming his quest for the gold. He stated the following on his Twitter page earlier this September:
Trying to think if Teddy Long owes me a favour. I need to get a World Championship match on Smackdown on Liverpool. Maybe the last chance I have of becoming the first English World Champion in front of WWE’s loyalist fans.
Some people are saying I’m passed it. Maybe so but @WWE, look at it as charity. Give an old rogue a chance.
He went on to retweet numerous replies from his Twitter followers that wanted to see him as World Heavyweight Champion.
With that being said, the question still begs to be answered: If Mark Henry could finally capture his first World Championship after nearly 15 years, then why can't the same be done for Regal?
Unlike the World's Strongest Man, William Regal is widely considered one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the business today, putting on a classic bout with pupil Daniel Bryan a few weeks ago on an edition of WWE Superstars from England.
He's been merely irrelevant and unseen from casual fans since last year, as Regal now takes on the duty of commentating WWE NXT on WWE.com each week. Technically, the former Intercontinental Champion still has three more years on his contract, so there is still time for WWE to finally pull the trigger on giving him the brass ring.
Of course, giving him the WWE Championship would be astonishing at his point, but the World Heavyweight Championship could allow him to provide solid matches with Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Sheamus over on SmackDown. Regal has continuously put over young talent for years on end, even taking part in a five-month losing streak at one point last year.
The way WWE continues to treat Regal simply astonishes me, as he deserves much more credit from officials as a respectable veteran and in-ring performer. He was drafted over to the blue brand earlier this year as a part of the 2011 WWE Supplemental Draft, so why not have him showcase his skills instead of limiting him only to the announcing booth?
Without a doubt, William Regal is a bona fide WWE Hall of Famer following an illustrious career over the past several decades. I'm not saying it's mandatory for him to become World Champion before he hangs up his boots for good, but it's disappointing to see him not used correctly by engaging in rivalries when he's still got it, even when it included putting over credible younger talent.
Hopefully, WWE comes to their senses sooner rather than later by utilizing Regal to his full capacity, whether it be by placing him on commentary, managing a younger talent (specifically Wade Barrett) or even being thrown back in the hunt for the prestigious Intercontinental Championship. Whatever it takes to get the 2008 King of the Ring winner back on weekly programming.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment with your thoughts on the treatment of William Regal. Most importantly, be sure to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!