Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rants From Ringside: Is the Potential of the Midcard Being Wasted?


You ask any casual fan of professional wrestling who the WWE Champion, WWE World Heavyweight Champion, or TNA World Champion is and they would know, but most casual fans aren’t going to be able to tell you who the WWE Intercontinental Champion or TNA Television Champion is right now. I have been thinking lately about the titles that of course aren’t usually held by the top superstars in their finest hour, but are either used to lift a performer to those heights or revive someone’s career as they are coming back after an injury or suspension. Basically these titles are used to pass the torch by having a main eventer step aside for a new guy and still having a belt, or making it more legitimate in the future when someone does become a World Champion.

I don’t feel like any of these titles, with the exception of one is being handled properly. So, let me start with the company that seems to be doing pretty much everything wrong these days, WWE. To give you an example, I inflict upon myself the torture that is watching RAW and SMACKDOWN every Monday and Friday (I can’t bring myself to watch Main Event or Saturday Morning Slam) and I still had to go to the WWE website to find out who the Intercontinental and United States Champions are. For those of you who care the Intercontinental Champ is Wade Barrett and the United States Champ is Antonio Cesaro. Both of these guys have been champions for a relatively long time (Barrett won the title Dec 29, 2012 and Cesaro won his title at the 2012 Summerslam Pre-show), but nothing has really been done with these guys. When I realized how long these two had been holding these titles it angered me for three reasons.

First of all Wade Barrett was the one guy coming out of NXT that I really thought was going to skyrocket to the top. I mean he is physically intimidating, he is a great athlete and he isn’t awful on the microphone (yes I know he could use some work).  But I feel bad for the guy it was almost like WWE creative teased him with a chance at the top but now is holding him at the mid-card. Sure he is going to get to get a chance to defend his title at the biggest professional wrestling show of the year, but it won’t be the main event like I really had hoped it would be for him at this point.

Antonio Cesaro on the other hand is not someone I could see being a top tier competitor especially with the character they have him in now. But that is why I think he was a great choice for the United States Championship. He won it from Santino Marella who I think everyone knew was not going to be a top tier guy but was a perfect mid card guy who they let shine for a little while. But, it is what happened after Cesaro won the championship that blew my mind, he has not progressed one bit. All that has changed since winning the title is he got rid of the highly attractive Aksana, stopped carrying the flag down to the ring and they have cut down the time he has spent on the mic, which to me is a sign that they don’t have the confidence in him. Well, if you don’t have the confidence in one of your guys to talk on the mic on a regular basis, take the damn belt away from him.

Finally, I find it a little irritating that WWE creative has these two stagnant guys holding belts that can be a stepping stone for someone who truly does have top tier potential. Allowing a guy who is never going to be a top tier guy to hold the belt for a while is one thing because that may be the most impressive thing on their resume at the end of their career but these two guys are not great candidates for that and they need to step aside while someone more deserving takes their place.

Now for the hard part, I hate saying anything bad about TNA. I really do think they are the superior product right now, but I don’t fully agree with the way they are handling their mid card titles either. This is the part where I am going to bring up the one instance where I think they are handling a mid card title right and then I will tell you what I think they are doing wrong. I really do agree that it is a good idea to have Devon holding the Television title. I think it adds a little more credence to Aces & Eights being a badass group if they are holding at least two championships. Having said that, I hate that it the TV title is not being defended on a regular basis. I mean, I totally understand why it’s not being utilized, it makes total sense with the storyline that he wouldn’t wrestle, but I always hate seeing a title not being used.

That, brings me to the second title that I don’t believe is being used to its full potential at all. The X Division title is one of those things that I hate calling a mid card title, but really, that is what it is. First of all the X Division champion right now is Kenny King a guy that I really am not all that impressed with, I know I am going to get flack for that, but I call em’ as I see em’. I don’t think a guy like Kenny King should be holding the belt in the first place, but the fact that it is not being pushed is what is most disturbing about the X Division championship. The X Division is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of the rise and fame of TNA so why has it fallen to the side? I don’t really understand why it isn’t being utilized the way it used to be.

So, there you have it, I think both companies could improve when it comes to how they are using their mid card titles and their mid card wrestlers for that matter. But I do think that TNA has a little better idea about how it is supposed to work.
As always I would love to hear what you have to think, please leave a comment and thanks for reading
-TFC

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