Where To Now For The E?
October 16, 2007 by Dave B.

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I sat down the other day and tried to nut out a list of the top 10 wrestlers in WWE as far as importance goes. This was purely for my own entertainment. I mean, there are plenty of top 10 "favorite wrestler" lists out there, and there are plenty of top 10 "best wrestler" lists out there. Matter of fact, there are plenty of Top 10 "anything" lists out there. Every man and his dog has one. And they are all open to conjecture. But I wanted to focus on importance to the company, not popularity, or ability. Because as we all know, ability alone gets you nowhere in the E these days. You need something to go with it. You need to connect with people. You can be the best wrestler going around, but if you don't make fans care about you, or want to care about you, you'll find yourself in the mid-card, putting over guys who aren't the greatest wrestlers around, but who the fans love. It wouldn't achieve anything, and would just start arguments if I named names here, but feel free to speculate. Wait, I'll name one: Finlay - The Fighting Irishman. Despite the gimmick about him loving to fight, and brawl, Finlay is possibly the most technically adept wrestler on the roster right now. He understands the psychology of a match, and works as a heel perfectly. I'll admit it, I am a Finlay mark. But a title run for the man? You must be joking.

Anyhow - so I started making my list of 10 guys the WWE needs performing at their peak in the next 5 years. I omitted some names purely because I don't see them being around in that time frame. Sure, HHH is important right now - but he won't be doing all that much as far as wrestling goes in 5 years time. Same goes for Booker, Ric Flair, Undertaker, HBK, Kane etc.

I was thinking of names such as Edge, Jericho (if he returns), Kennedy, Orton, MVP, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Cena and the like. All guys that the WWE will be relying upon in the next 5 years to carry the brand, and who should be right in their prime.

Anyhow, I was halfway through. I'd compiled the list, and was working on the reasons why I feel I was justified in selecting them. I think I can give away one name. As champ, John Cena was near the top of the list. Then it happened. THE CHAMP IS.. gone? Well, I'll be damned. The invincible man is injured? Surely not! It's an angle, it must be an angle. Cena can lift the 420-pound Punjabi Monster Khali over his head and FU him, but can't hip toss Mr Kennedy? It's gotta be an angle. Well, apparently, no it doesn't. Cena is gone for 6-12 months. Unfortunately, some out there are suggesting that it was a botched move by Kennedy (Cena fans), or by Cena (Anti - Cena Brigade), that caused the injury. I see it differently. Take it from somebody who's had the same injury (albeit less severe by the look of things), Cena has probably been carrying a strain or pain in the muscle for some time (as you have to when you are champ), and it was probably about ready to go. It would have torn as he reached back to begin the hip toss. The way I see it, the injury came before the "botched" move, not the other way around. Anyway - it doesn't matter how it happened, or why it happened. That's another column for somebody else to write. The fact of the matter is that it did happen, and all of a sudden I feel my little top 10 list is most likely going to change a lot very soon.

I have a feeling that over the next 6-12 months, we will learn exactly how good a champion Cena has been, and how important John Cena is to the WWE. Make no mistake; Vince McMahon will be very nervous while Cena is injured. It's make or break over the next 6 months. It really is. And I have a gut feeling that there is nobody else in the business (other than the veterans) who is ready to, or capable of, stepping up and holding the title. Orton is still a little sketchy with his behavior at the moment, but seems the best choice, and the heir apparent. Kennedy is allegedly in the doghouse, but could be a good champ. Lashley is still injured, but one of the better wrestlers on the list. However microphones seem as foreign to him as English does to the Great Khali. Jericho is apparently returning, and apparently has a guaranteed title run in his contract. But he's not even on the roster at the moment, and I doubt he would come back and win within a month.

Personally - I would like to see CM Punk switch to RAW and hoist the WWE title, but that would completely screw ECW, which is just starting to find its niche again. I have a feeling we will see some "Loser Leaves RAW" matches, and some roster changes around Survivor Series, just to freshen up the brand. Orton will probably hold the title until Cena returns though.

However, as is the case in most industries, the loss of the number 1 guy opens doors for somebody else to take the ball and run with it. Here's hoping that the creative team gives some thought to who they push, and we see some young guys really take their opportunity. WWE needs that to happen.

by Dave B. (View/Submit your feedback here)..

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