Lutz's Blog: Random but organized thoughts on Antonio Cesaro, Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow from the comfort of seat 20C
By Jeffrey Lutz
I'm flying high above Tupelo, Mississippi with America's hottest band, and we're all about to die...
That's not actually true. I'm flying high above somewhere (but not with Arcade Fire or whoever is the hottest band), probably in northeastern Oklahoma, as my wife and I make our way, eventually, to the Bahamas. But if you can tell me what movie that first line is from, I'll send you some of the fortune I just inherited from a Nigerian prince. But only if you send me $80,000 first. Sorry, that's just how it works.
I'm not creative or innovative enough to come up with a new topic three days after my most recent blog, so I'll just share some random thoughts as my mind travels, slightly ahead of my body, to a tropical locale and a much-needed vacation.
-Antonio Cesaro's swing - which probably has a name, but I'm not about to drop seven bucks for fifteen minutes of in-flight Wifi - is the most impressive move in WWE history. Yeah, I went there. It requires sheer strength that other wrestlers, past and present, may possess, but none of the extra "help" needed to bodyslam Yokozuna on an aircraft carrier or slam Andre the Giant in front of 90,000 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome.
Unfortunately, because he's a heel on a tag team that isn't taken seriously by WWE's writing staff, the swing hasn't gotten the respect it deserves from announcers on televisions or from potential opponents in promos. The Real Americans, because they're not at the top of the tag team pecking order in WWE, don't get to have feuds that necessitate promos from opponents, so I have to settle for the awe I feel every time Cesaro performs the maneuver.
Remember when Sweet T (Then known as Tensai) sandbagged Ryback and and Ryback couldn't get him up? Cesaro, who phsyically looks like he should have about one-quarter of the strength Ryback has, picked that guy up by his legs and swung him. There's no way not to be impressed by that, unless you're one of JBL, Jerry Lawler or Michael Cole and you no longer have the ability (or the desire, maybe) to play up an incredibly unique performer with an amazing feat of strength.
-Daniel Bryan seems to have been completely robbed of his identity during his supposed push to WWE Championship level. This week's episode of Raw went off the air with Big Show leading the "Yes!" chant that Bryan patented, and I got the feeling that the chant is more over at this point than Bryan himself. The chant is also being delivered in mocking fashion by Triple H and Randy Orton, and it seems that WWE is attempting to strip Bryan of sole possession of the chant and one of his defining traits, even if it's not all that creative.
And what happened to Bryan portraying an underdog role? If the idea is that he's no longer an underdog because he has clean pinfalls against Randy Orton and John Cena, then why isn't he being billed as a true top star instead of someone who essentially lucked into those victories without earning them? And if he is supposed to still be an underdog, why isn't he putting up a fight about getting screwed out of the WWE title twice? I almost get the feeling that they're slowly writing Bryan out of the show. Is he going to fall down an elevator shaft next week or something?
I'm highly doubtful about Bryan beating Orton for the championship at Hell in a Cell next Sunday. I'm usually wrong about match predictions and outcomes that seem obvious in my mind, but the only ending to this story is that John Cena wins the World Heavyweight Championship so he's not seen as the obvious opponent for new WWE Champion Randy Orton and so Cena doesn't have to be the next guy to challenge Triple H and Stephanie McMahon while existing in a separate world with WWE's No. 2 championship. I also thought Brock Lesnar would beat Triple H at WrestleMania, so my word is hardly gospel.
-Finally, what's up with Damien Sandow? You'd think the guy being groomed for a potential World Heavyweight Championship run would be getting a little more love from creative, but he's had nothing to do since a lackluster (and apparently quickly scrapped) feud with Cody Rhodes. Sandow isn't Dolph Ziggler, and he can't survive being a mid-card player on his way to becoming champion. Ziggler, even though his character was basically stagnant when he cashed in Money in the Bank, had built up much more equity with fans through impressive in-ring work and a quality professional wrestling persona.
Sandow has both of those qualities, but he hasn't been doing it long enough for fans to completely take notice while he languishes in matches and feuds with no real circumstances. WWE appeared to be testing the waters on a possible switch to a babyface role for Sandow, but that would be a huge mistake. Character turns are WWE's go-to move when it runs out of ideas for a character, but the better answer for Sandow is to come up with more ideas for him, hopefully with his creative input. He's shown himself to be solid in the ring and on the microphone, so now is the time to develop his persona and see if he can get fans intrigued about him cashing in MITB in the near future.
Jeff Lutz has written for the Wichita Eagle newspaper in Kansas for over a decade and debuted with Prowrestling.net on November 4, 2012. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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