WWE News – The lack of depth in the WWE roster is clearly showing these past few tumultuous weeks. Whereas it may come as a blessing in disguise to some – Alberto del Rio‘s most recent injury in the hands of Sheamus this past Smackdown! has paved the way for Dolph Ziggler to take del Rio’s place as the challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out – it become much more telling when top guys like CM Punk and John Cena are scheduled to work double duties because Smackdown! has been receiving low viewership, not to mention Randy Orton‘s suspension for having found illegal substance in his bloodstream, intentional or not. I’ve discussed this situation in more detail here.
So, what does the WWE do in reaction to its thin roster?
Looking backA 41-year old Vader strutting his stuff at a wrestling event in 1996.
At 06/11 episode of RAW, they got Vader to appear in a squash match against Heath Slater.
I like me some old school wrestlers reliving their peak years from the ’90s. In the case of the mastodon, the “Vader” chants during his match was testament to his popularity that endures today. Not to mention, his appearance played along the lines of RAW’s 1,000th episode, in which they tried to mix up the programming by putting in some throwback segments to commemorate the longevity of RAW as a television show, as well spread out the order of the matches lined up that night. Suffice to say, having Vader was a welcome addition to the program.
However, will it accomplish anything in the long run? No, and not even 58-year old’s plan for a comeback is going to make things better, either. As squash matches go, this is to either build an upcoming “monster” (Ryback and Brodus Clay spring to mind) or, as mentioned, fill out the time. Vader’s star has come and pass, so it won’t be surprising that this appearance will be a one-time gig only.
I’m not saying that getting Vader to appear on the show was a terrible decision, but the time could have been given, if not shared, with guys like Damien Sandow or Antonio Cesaro, who are constantly being used in Smackdown! these past weeks.
Bleacher Report does a pretty good and accurate overview of Sandow as a wrestler and performer. In particular, his mic work is pretty solid and comes off similar to Alberto del Rio during his debut and with less fanfare. They is no hype surrounding Sandow, so there’s less expectation as to how he’ll turn out. Honestly, given more in-ring time in the future, Sandow could wind up at least in the midcard, challenging for the Intercontinental Title at best, in two years time, which is not a bad thing.If everything goes well, Cesaro will be looking to play a bigger role in the WWE.
As for Cesaro, he’s given a much workable angle with Aksana and Teddy Long that would allow him and the Creative Team to test how he would fare against a non-competing fan favorite (Long). Although he’s going through squash matches as of late, no one can deny Cesaro’s wrestling pedigree, not to mention his accomplishments outside the WWE, in particular being one-half of the Kings of Wrestling with Chris Hero, currently known as Kassius Ohno in the FCW. His height will work to his favor and accentuate his strength, agility, and skills inside the ring. Compare to Sandow, he has a greater upside as far as seeing success in the WWE as a guy in the upper midcard who could make a possible jump in the main event scene.
With Orton out for possibly longer than two months (some within the company are even pushing for his exit) and del Rio out with another injury, it’s high time that WWE push their developmental talents and build up new stars in the roster. Regardless of long-term prediction, Sandow and Cesaro are good additions in the roster who could play a crucial role down the road, if everybody plays their cards right. Also, they’re slowly but surely grooming Dean Ambrose to appear on television anytime soon, so at least they’re doing something good.
Regarding Vader, instead of looking into the glory days of wrestling, it’s time to stop obsessing over getting The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and, to a lesser extent, guys like Vader on television. Fans will always be grateful for what they accomplished in the ring, but it’s now time for the company to put the past behind them. Sure, buyrates will increase if they get the old guys working again, but as I’ve mentioned before, how long will they keep relying on the old dogs?