Pinpointing the Biggest Flaw with These Top WWE and AEW Stars Right Now

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2021

Pinpointing the Biggest Flaw with These Top WWE and AEW Stars Right Now

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    The top stars in WWE and AEW got to that point by being incredibly hard-working individuals and dedicating their lives to chasing greatness. Despite the excellence they bring to the table each week, there are still flaws with many, some of which have very little to do with them and what they deliver every week.

    Sometimes, it is an uncontrollable element such as booking or heightened expectations by fans. Others, it is perception and how it affects the desired reaction.

    As the year comes to an end, these are the biggest flaws facing top stars in wrestling's most prominent promotions.

Roman Reigns

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    When a heel has been built to the level of Roman Reigns, there is a reasonable expectation that a babyface will come along and defeat him, thus elevating his own star and being the face around whom WWE can build around for years to come. 

    Except, that's not happening, and it's through no fault of The Head of the Table.

    Reigns' biggest issue at this point in time is that he is almost too big for the WWE landscape in its current state. He is insurmountable, a star so strong that it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone actually defeating it.

    The wrestlers that work with him are not elevated, instead, dropping right back down to the level they were in prior to competing against The Tribal Chief. Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Finn Balor were all failed by the writing team, returning to their state of creative limbo following their dance with The Big Dog.

    That should not be the case. Anyone that works with Reigns should benefit. They should be better off than they were before. They should be bona-fide main eventers having shared the bright lights and big stage with the Universal champion.

    Until that changes, Reigns' will continue to possess one major flaw that essentially has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the magnitude of star he has become.

"Hangman" Adam Page

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    The biggest flaw with "Hangman" Adam Page as a top-tier star in AEW right now is his lack of presence on Dynamite and Rampage. 

    As Winter is Coming approaches, the emphasis on his feud with Bryan Danielson has been on the challenger. It is The American Dragon that has been all over television since Full Gear, wrestling against Dark Order members each week ahead of his title opportunity. While Page has still appeared here or there, it feels as though he has not had a real opportunity to establish himself as the top dog in the company.

    That will likely change Wednesday in what could be the match of Page's career. 

    Page had an enormous amount of support from the AEW faithful as he chased the company's top title. The chase is significant, yes, but so is the follow-up. He has the title, so now what? It is a question fans will ask so it is up to Tony Khan and the rest of the creative minds within AEW to make sure Page does fall off now that his career-long journey paid off.

    Otherwise, interest will wane and Page will cool down, something rather inconceivable given how hot and emotional his run to the title was.

Charlotte Flair

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    Charlotte Flair is a generational competitor, already an all-timer despite having many years between the ropes left in her. She is great in the truest sense of the word, so why is her on-screen persona so boring?

    Much of it can be traced back to creative decisions that have proven detrimental to both her and her opponents.

    When Flair wins and loses championships at the clip that she does, it severely hurts the overall impact those victories and defeats have on all involved. Why would fans possibly care that she has been beaten by a fresh, young challenger when she is going to win that title, or another, right back?

    It is nearly impossible to digest a Flair defeat because, by the time you blink and open her eyes, she has brushed it off with another title win. There is no emotional investment in Flair or the woman that beat her because you know it's only a matter of time before The Queen regains her throne.

    Until that pattern changes and WWE Creative actually tells a story with Flair that proves she can thrive outside of the title picture, because she is damn good enough to, her biggest flaw remain the predictability of her character and the apathy that comes along with yet another title victory.

CM Punk

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    There was a certain expectation that came along with CM Punk's return to wrestling after seven years away and wrestling QT Marshall, Daniel Garcia, and Lee Moriarty was not it. That is in no way a knock on any of those talented performers. Marshall is a veteran of the business and a key figure behind the scenes with the company while Garcia and Moriarty are poised to be the future of AEW.

    Fans expect Punk to emerge from his wrestling hibernation and deliver dream matches against top stars but thus far, has tested himself against younger and more athletic performers. Maybe those fans should have paid closer attention to his promo on night one of his return, when he very clearly stated he was back to work with the young, hungry talent in the AEW locker room. 

    Perhaps then it would have tempered expectations.

    Still, knowing that does not erase the fact that Punk has yet to have that one defining match in an AEW ring.

    Until that happens, the subtle criticism of the return will continue. Until Punk steps foot inside the squared circle with a Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, Hangman Page, Cody Rhodes or even one of the Young Bucks, there will be questions about the overall success of his return.

    Fair or not, based on the agenda he laid out on day one.