What’s Ahead for RAW Stars?

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
What’s Ahead for RAW Stars?
On the eve of Judgment Day, The Kingfish Arnie Katz peeks into his crystal ball and forecasts the future careers of some of today’s best-known stars.

As WWE and its legion of fans prepare for the Judgment Day pay per view, my thoughts voyage to the future. The WWE announcers so often tell us that this wrestler or that one is “the future of WWE” or “a champion in the making” or similar glib predictions.

This installment looks at the current RAW roster.

MVP
Montel Vontavious Porter has had his ups and down – who can forget the epic losing streak? – but what about his long-term prospects?

He has strong plusses, but he also has some minuses. Porter has weathered his storms and come through as a dependable and exciting performer, but his physical appearance still needs some refinement. He doesn’t have the sculptured bodybuilder look, so a more covering costume such as he wears is probably a good idea. Making it skin-tight, however, undoes some of the benefit.

MVP may have a better run as a heel than as a babyface.

Randy Orton
Things haven’t always gone smoothly for the third-generation superstar outside the ring, but he really puts out a tremendous effort in matches and with the mic. He seldom has a bad match and lackluster promos are rare, too.

Some folks have commented negatively on Randy Orton’s real personality, but that’s unlikely to keep him from switching to babyface three-to-five years from now. You get the feel that the fans want to like him, despite the atrocities he has perpetrated, and they will ultimately get their chance.

Cody Rhodes
Rhodes has the size and pedigree, but he hasn’t yet developed the kind of charisma that made big ole Dusty Rhodes such a tremendous star in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

They’ve made him a heel and paired him with Orton, who really knows how to project, to give me as much help as possible. In five years, I expect to see Cody competing for lesser single titles and doing some tag team wrestling. He doesn’t seem to have the magnetism expected of a lead face or heel.

Ted DiBiase
He’s a third-generation superstar, which might be why he hasn’t yet found his own way, his own character. DiBiase looks like a significant wrestler, but he tends to let Rhodes take the lead both during interviews and the actual matches.

They will need to take him out of tag teams so that he can get an individual push. Like his dad, he could find himself veering back and forth between babyface and heel.

Matt Hardy
Don’t count out Jeff’s brother too quickly. He is caught in a lame gimmick and maybe a losing streak, but he will be back at or near the top within a couple of years.

Unlike his sibling, Matt works well as a babyface or a heel. Ultimately, he and his brother might form a tweener team that would stand among the very best in pro wrestling history.

It seems more likely, though, that Jeff will be a singles competitor most of the time for the next stretch of his career. If that’s the case, Matt is likely to remain a heel and wrestle primarily singles matches.

Matt Hardy will wear the WWE or World Championship

Carlito & Primo Colon
The tag team ranks seem like a good base of operations for the brothers. Carlito has probably had his chance to rise to the main event class and I don’t think Primo will ever even get such an opportunity.

As a tag team, they are highly visible and have a chance to put over their characters with the fans. They will occasionally compete as singles, but where they are now looks like the best spot to keep them.

Kofi Kingston
Sometimes, being a good, hard-working wrestler is not enough. Kofi Kingston is not big enough or skilled enough with the microphone to become a main event wrestler.

Kingston always gives a good account of himself in the ring, so he is likely to have a fairly lengthy career. He will repeatedly challenger for titles like the United States and Intercontinental Championships and could also have reigns as co-holder of the tag team belts, but he appears to be a mid-carder.

Batista
Recent statements have cast some doubt over what looked like an unbounded future. Let’s assume that the retirement talk is part of his next contract negotiation and that he’ll stick with wrestling for the next decade or so.

Dave Batista is as close to the third coming of Bruno Sammartino as WWE is ever likely to see. He should be promoted to the skies and put at the end of the roster. He has the capacity to be bigger than Bruno, possibly even bigger than the Rock.

The Animal is one of those unusual wrestling talents who have the option to pick his spot.

John Cena
Once Cena and Batista have their next epic confrontation, WW needs to put them on different shows. RAW can’t hold both of them, because each needs the push and prominence of being the Lead Face.

Cena will need a character overhaul in a few years, but he could well find himself carrying the torch as Shawn Michaels’ spot in the show. His character won’t be like HBK, but he cold easily have the same kind of pillar-of-the-promotion status as Shawn enjoys at this time.

Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker
Michaels and Undertaker are nearing retirement. Triple H has a few more years left at the top, but he will gradually segue into a character who does more talking and less wrestling. He has always wanted another heel run and might do exactly that, supplanting his father-in-law as Executive Badguy.

That’s it for today. I’ll e back tomorrow with a fresh installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring along your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(5/14/08)