Mark Henry, WWE's reigning World Heavyweight Champion.
Wrestling fans within the Web have been clamoring for the revival of WWE’s Cruiserweight division.
There are several factors behind their wish: great talents are being underused, smaller men beating heavyweights does not seem all that credible or the division would produce enough excitement to make WWE TV somewhat interesting again because, simply put, cruiserweights are (mostly) fun to watch.
I’m not an advocate of such proposal, but even I should admit that it has potential.
The issue at hand has attracted my attention not because I’m interested in seeing the revival of a division that was killed with a midget, but because of the possibility of creating something new that lies on the other side of the spectrum.
Why not create a Super-Heavyweight division?
The move would be risky indeed. It seems that fast-pace, high-flight and, in some cases, superb (if not extreme) technical skill is what’s “hip” in 2011’s wrestling landscape. So today most wrestling enthusiasts are not fond of big men in wrestling, which are characterized, at least stereotypically, as very slow and un-technical.
I’m not a fan of colossal wrestlers either, yet I beg to differ with the stereotypes. Big men in wrestling, at least in WWE, are very athletic and agile considering their size. The Undertaker’s the best example, though most fans classify him as an exceptional case. Nevertheless, Mark Henry, Kane and the Big Show have pulled admirable physical feats; even The Great Khali has shown off roundhouse kicks that would make Chuck Norris sort of proud.
Just like cruiserweights, giants in wrestling can’t showcase their full potential against “average-sized” competitors. It could be argued that giants look better fighting against other giants.
A man like Mark Henry has to rely on punches, splashes and body slams when competing with the likes of Randy Orton or John Cena. If he uses an abdominal stretch, a figure-four leg lock or an armbar, how are the recipients of the move supposed to sell appropriately? Breaking in half? It would not be credible.
The short series of PPV matches between Show and Henry have delivered, proving that both competitors have what it takes to entertain crowds and fracture the big-man stereotype.
While a Cruiserweight division uses fast-paced action and aerial maneuvers as primary selling points, a Super-Heavyweight division could rely on sheer power and ultra high-impact as main features. It would be like marketing a monster-truck battle coliseum.
Of course, unlike cruiserweights, WWE lacks enough super-heavyweights to build a proper division. (How many contenders build a proper division?) Besides, the possibilities of getting over such a feat, at least today, are slim, yet good marketing could fix it.
And, last but not least, just like it happened with cruiserweights, a Super-Heavyweight division could easily become another ring within mid-card hell.
Realistically speaking, I don’t see this happening, but the possibility is interesting and provides good groundwork for speculation.