In my hometown, there's a store by the name of One Man's Junk. The idea of this place is that treasure can be found amongst the many that some will consider rubbish. This column is to redeem a few of the tarnished.....to bring a little bit of dignity to those who've had it written away from them.....to turn them into promising prospects....because that's what TNA does more often than not. These are MY picks and solutions to turn some of WWE's jokes into the wrestling business' best kept secrets.
1. Santino Marella- That's right. I start things off from the top down. WWE used him the right way for about 30 seconds before turning him into the idiot keeper of the Cobra. When he debuted as Umaga's handpicked opponent back in 2007, he became the underdog Intercontinental Champion. THAT is how I became a fan. Within 6 months, he was rendered useless to the top tier and among the least likely to ever become a World Champion in WWE. If he were to leave the PG environment, the steps to success would be easy.
Lash out........Santino would lose his name and his original gimmick. I would wait 6 months before letting him loose on the roster. His new gimmick would be that of a prisoner of war. A broken man, one who, after being let go went crazy. His debut promos would include a snake, snapping at the camera. How do you re-make Santino? Make him that which he cannot control. Make his interactions limited only to those who saw what was done to him, at least at first. Jeff Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Mr. Anderson, and Rob Van Dam were the only ones in WWE who have a connection to Marella and saw his spiral.
Create a body count.....Give him a short winning streak against very tough opponents. Make every victory different. Give him 2 different finishers and a submission to make him more unpredictable and to make him dangerous. Let him chase the TV Title and hold it for 6 months, defending it every week with relative ease.
Raise a banner.....By giving the renewed Santino a catchphrase of some kind would make him a part of the American pop culture landscape. Even something as simple as Austin 3:16 made Steve Austin a legend. By choosing something central to his new character's persona, you'd make him something more than just a performer.....but I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
Make him a champion......You don't give a burned man the big belt right away. Give him a year to build to it. Make him a champion in a year at Bound for Glory. Make him work for it. Make his opponent stronger than he is. No one saw it coming.....except maybe me.