The Smark Remark: A Breath of Fresh Air
October 5, 2005 by Rhey Higgins

Recently, the wrestling world has had a pleasant change brought to it. No, I'm not talking about TNA iMPACT (although that was quite a pleasant change); I'm talking about the sudden multitude of rising stars on RAW and SmackDown!, many of which bring a fresh new outlook to the roster of the WWE. In this column, I'll take a look at the five that, in my opinion, have the biggest shot at stardom in the WWE.

Ken Kennedy: "MR. KENNEDY...Kennedy". This man is a great addition to the SmackDown! roster. With an original gimmick (which is so hard to come by these days), he immediately captured the attention of WWE fans. But, unlike many wrestlers, he managed to hold their attention with uncommonly good skills for a rookie, culminating with a rarely seen, impressive second-rope Samoan Roll (dubbed the Green Bay Plunge) as a finishing move. And, as of now, he has yet to be defeated on SmackDown!. Surely a good sign for this rookie.

Paul Burchill: While WWE fans were undoubtedly impressed by this newcomer, they haven't seen a bit of his true talents. This FWA-mainstay is one of the most gifted athletes on either roster, and, while he may not be the greatest on the mic, he doesn't need to be; his moveset speaks for itself. It's sad that WWE will hold him back, but it's almost a guaranteed fact that he won't be allowed to do his trademark standing shooting star press (impressive at any size, but especially so when you're 6'4'', 281 lbs.), standing moonsault, Samoan Roll (Kennedy's finisher form the ground), and the awe-inspiring C4 (a backflip Rock Bottom). If WWE ever decides to give Burchill the ball, he'll not only take it, but, being only 26 years old, he'll be able to run with it for years to come.

Rob Conway: True, he may not be new to the WWE, but he's finally getting the chance to shine on his own. It was always obvious that he was the most talented of La' Resistance, but to see him in singles action truly shows you the unlimited potential of Rob Conway. And, since creative seems to be pretty high on him right now, we may see a title around this mans' waist sooner rather than later. And lets be honest; with talent like his, who doesn't want to see him as a champ"

Bobby Lashley: The newest newcomer to the WWE, and also the one who quite possibly has the most potential. With an amazing amateur background (three national championships) under his belt, and with his amazing size and strength, Bobby Lashley could easily become the next Brock Lesnar.

Chris Masters: This guy may be closer to superstardom than anyone else I mentioned. Masters plays his heel role perfectly (I mean, who doesn't hate the guy"), and the Masterlock challenge finally managed to achieve it's purpose once the pitted actual wrestlers up against Masters instead of random hometown heroes posed as audience members. With great mic skills, ever-improving wresting abilities, a young age, and a character he excels at, Masters is almost guaranteed a great future in the WWE.

Keep in mind that this is all speculation, and any one of these wrestlers could easily have a Frankie Kazarian-type stay in the WWE. Only time will tell. And that's the remark from this smark!

by Rhey "The JBL Of OWW" Higgins..

Kevin Roberts wrote:
Good observation Rhey, all of these guys are indeed making an impact on the WWE. As far as Kazarian goes, he's a good wrestler, but I think he's a TNA or ECW type wrestler. Anyway, let's start with Conway. Although I HATE his theme music, I think he has incredible talent and his Ravishing Rick Rude-ish gimmick is slowly growing on me. He needs that cool, porn-sounding music like Rick Rude had and he'll be ok. Next is Ken Kennedy. Hey, when Vince himself says change your ring name to his middle name, you're gonna be around for a long time and will probably have a few title runs too. I don't think his third-person gimmick is exactly original because ALL gimmicks today come from old-school gimmicks. I've a few people do the Samoan Roll from the ground, but from the second rope, that's cool. I don't know much about Paul Burchill, but I keep hearing about his Lesnar-like athleticism, doing moonsaults and the shooting-star press from the ground!! I'd like to see that flipping-Rock Bottom too. With either Burchill or Kennedy, the WWE may have the wrestler with the best finisher in the world because I think that honor has been held by TNA's Petey Williams with his Super Canadian Destroyer, that move is awesome! Eventhough I'm too young to remember, I think Bobby Lashley wiil the impact on WWE that Ron Simmons had on the old NWA and eventually become a world or WWE champion. Like the other fore-mentioned wrestlers, Lashley also has a unique finisher. It's some suplex/bomb-looking thing! ... but innovative, it kind of reminds me of Matt Morgan finisher. I have really been impressed with the WWEs new guys' finishers. With that said, let me bring in the closer, Chris Masters. The Masterpeice is already a super-superstar and headed for greatness. He will be a legend. I am a big fan of Masters, and though he was just getting squash matches at first, he was fun to watch as he would just break people in half with the Masterlock. I'm a big fan of old-school, and I'm sure some of the old guys as well as myself really appreciate Masters tribute to the old-school by bringing back the 'old Full Nelson' as a finisher. I remember when Billy Jack Haynes made Herculae Hernandez puke on himself while Haynes held in the Full Nelson seemingly forever! But anyway, these guys are the future of the WWE, and if they are held back for the moment, no problem, they'll be around for a long time. AND I JUST HAVE TO SAY THIS, MUHUMMAD HASSAN WOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT UP THERE WITH THEM. Thanks a lot butt-holes!
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
People dont get this hole gimmick thing right. It's the time that makes the gimmick, rome wasnt build in one day. Big problem with WWE is that they create a gimmick to people who audience dont even know. Like they are trying to make people interested immediately. Austin established himself the right gimmick after like 7 years of wrestling. Who says Randy Orton doesnt have a gimmick" Just say that he is not interesting cus he has a gimmick and its called Randy Orton. Kennedy has one thing that stoods out of him and its his stupid "KENNNNEEEEEEDYYYYYYYYY...kennedy" ring announce. He will have a gimmick when he wrestles couple of years but dont tell me that seeing him shout "KEEENNNNEDYYYY...kennedy" couple times on TV makes a personality...
NamaewaJieshii wrote:
GREAT column! I personally enjoy these "listing" columns because I see it as being organized, sort of like a top ten thing. The thing is, rather than just writing about possible storylines or "what they should/could do," Rhey-- Mr. Higgins writes about what they've done so far and some of their potential. I've enjoyed Chris Masters' character since he debuted (I once wrote a column about him on which just about everyone argued back at me) and I am enjoying Rob Conway's new role. Ken Kennedy is possibly my new favorite rookie-my friends from school get irritated when I call out his name in the cafeteria-and no doubt will become a large factor in the wrestling circuit within the next few years. I haven't been able to see Bobby nor Burchill yet, so I can't comment on them. Expect some big time complaints, because a lot of people just don't see the potential in these wrestlers, well... in Masters at least. I've been watching WWE since 1997 and became a "smark" in 2004, but with these new rookies (and some other influences) I'm starting to mark out for wrestling again because rather than complaining about the product, I look at the positives and just enjoy the show. So maybe Chris Masters isn't a 18 year veteran or has an olympic medal, last I remember, a lot of people hated Kurt Angle when he first debuted. These rookies-or fresh characters in Conway's case-are rather new to watch if you get past the basic and look at the wrestler themselves.
Christopher mrfnballs Gilmartin wrote:
I just thought your column was excelent, I think its great the push that Kennedy and Lashley are getting on Smackdown. It reinterates that natural talent still counts for something in the wrestling world. I expect to see some major gold in the future of these two. I personally have most of the up and comers on your list in my fantasy draft. I think that Hardcore Holly will win at NO MERCY though, I think Chimmel will snap and low blow Kennedy. I would. Hey he is Raw (pardon the expression) talent, but his attitude (pardon the expression) is not very professionial. Great Column
Fraser Allen, wrote:
Great Article on the Five that could make it, here is my opinion on it:-

Ken Kennedy:- He has exceptional mic skills, has quite a refreshingly different gimmick and is a future WWE Champion. In some respects, hope that he takes the slow road up the ladder, wins the US Title, and then moves up the card like the Rock and Austin did and then wins the WWE Title at Wrestlemania. Triple H is a hugh fan of his, which surely is a plus.

Paul Birchill:- Being a Brit myself, I hope he does well but the problem is that his style apparently is much different in the WWE to the FWA and he probably isn't allowed to use a lot of his moves, which he is good at. However, association with Regal is good, which means they'll grab Tag Team Gold soon.

Bobby Lashley:- May be a star once he turns heel as he is getting a push too quickly, like The Rock did. Maybe a ploy that the WWE are using.

Rob Conway:- The fact that he is rubbing shoulders with wrestlers that people can remember in the 80's and 90's means that the WWE are going with this gimmick and Conway could end up moving rapidly up to the main event card. Move to Smackdown next year would be beneficial to him, once he gets the IC Title.

Chris Masters:- The Masterlock Challenge was a wonderful way to put over a wrestler whilst he was still quite green. The fact that the Masterlock hasn't been broken and his physical presense suggests he has a great chance of becoming a star.

Other wrestlers on the rise and should be given a push are:-

Carlito - Great all round talent and the Cabana is hugely entertaining, improving as a wrestler.

Melina and MNM - Best tag-team by a mile and their entrance is brilliant, problem is once LOD break out where are the challengers"

Christian - Why on earth is he losing to Booker T, the man should be challenging Batista.

Rey Mysterio - Very believable wrestler, whose all round skills including Promos are getting better.






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