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With Breaking Point a mere four days away, I thought I would go in an entirely different direction and go through the entire WWE roster and give quick thoughts on each person, if they’re on the rise, if they should be future endeavored, and other lovely topics worthy of discussion and whatnot.  So here we go.  Let’s start with Raw.

Batista – I hope his big announcement next week is about him returning to action soon.  The guy’s been so injury prone over the last three years that if he were to rush back again, I would think that when (not if) he gets hurt again, it’ll end his career for good.  He’s stated in interviews a few months back that he has one, maybe two years left in him.  For a guy that’s only been in the business for about seven years, that’s not even close to impressive.  He’s just another heavyweight who got a push because of his looks.  I hope the announcement is about him taking a backstage role for a while until he can safely return to the ring for probably four to six months before retiring for good.

Big Show – I cannot tell you how much this Tag Title reign has helped Show out.  Now, we’re no longer tortured by his sluggish movement, his limited mobility, and shrinking moveset.  We get a few big power moves, then he switches off to Jericho for the longer control segments and mini-builds during matches.  It’s the perfect setup for Show, who’s appearing on both Raw and Smackdown.  The less in-ring work he does, the better for the audience.  He and Jericho will hold the tag titles for a long time, and hopefully bring some prestige back to a championship that’s been dumped on for such a long time.

Carlito – I was honestly hoping that he was going to be Chris Masters’ partner in the main event against DX last Monday night, and reunite a halfway decent tag team from a few years back.  But of course we get Orton again.  Carlito’s silly emo look to go along with his heel turn isn’t really helping him move up the ladder of success much.  I can’t see him doing much of anything now that he and Primo have gone their seperate ways.  Just jobs here and there.  I actually wouldn’t be surprised if he gets released before the calendar year is up.

Chavo Guerrero – People are saying that Chavo should be happy he’s on TV every week getting a paycheck just to lose to a midget.  I don’t think I could do that for very long.  Yes, Chavo was never a world champion, and yes, he probably never will be, but you really should respect the Guerrero family.  At least give Chavo something other than a loss to Hornswoggle every week.  If for nothing else, for Eddie.  I don’t know how he does it every week.  Probably because WWE is dangling enough cash in front of his face.  Hell, if they paid me $5,000 a week to get embarassed by a midget on a weekly basis and probably have the easiest job in the company, maybe I’d do the job.  By the way, that’s just a rough estimate; I have no idea how much Chavo actually makes.

Chris Masters – Had he been victorious in his match against DX last Monday night, it would have been a huge rub for yet another musclebound moron who doesn’t honestly deserve a main event push.  I wonder if his past Wellness Policy violations have carried over to this current run, because if they do, Masters had better be damned careful.  He’s already been suspended twice (to my recollection), and a third violation is immediate termination.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this happened.  As to where he’s going…who knows?

Cody Rhodes – Rhodes and Dibiase MUST win at Breaking Point this Sunday if they want anybody to take them even somewhat seriously as competitors.  Alas, they’re facing DX, so they’re probably going to lose again and fade into nothingness.  Which is too bad.  They both had potential to be good singles competitors.  But poor booking has turned them into punching bags that don’t deserve to lick the boots of most other WWE talents.

Evan Bourne – Looks like he’s moved on to being Hornswoggle’s newest protector.  I’m really getting tired of this whole affair.  Bourne is an extremely talented individual, capable of things no one else in WWE can perform (or, if nothing else, are too afraid to attempt).  Bourne needs to distance himself from the midget as soon as possible if he ever hopes to be taken seriously again (see Mark Henry).  His stock is on the rise, but this whole Hornswoggle debacle is putting a damper on his push.  He needs to stay focused and fly solo again.

Festus – The walking gimmick hasn’t been seen since, I believe, his “talent competition” with Jillian Hall.  Good riddance to a character that should never have been seperated from his handler in the first place.  Drew Hankinson, the man behind the gimmick, is actually quite talented inside the ring, and if he’s repackaged into something a little more awesome, he may have a chance in this business.  Otherwise, he’s doomed.

Hack Swagger – I will continue to deride Swagger until he is taken off the main roster.  He just doesn’t have all the pieces to be a true WWE superstar.  He’s an amateur wrestler who had no other prospects on the horizon, so he gave WWE a shot and got lucky.  I hope his luck runs out soon.

Jamie Noble – I bet ROH would welcome him back with open arms seeing as how their two biggest talents are now WWE property.

John Cena – Poised to become the next WWE Champion, which will probably help the merchandise sales and boost profits overall.  Randy Orton’s had enough time at the top, and he’s gotten stale.  Though this would be to the detriment of most faces ready to take the next step towards the main event scene, it all comes down to business in the end, unfortunately, and many talented guys will get thrown under the bus for the sake of bigger profits.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Cena.  I laugh at all the Cena haters and the smarks in every crowd and on every forum.  I love that they all hate him because they think he has an extremely limited moveset, or that he only appeals to young children and women, or that they only think he’s popular because he sells merch.  You just kind of have to accept the fact that Cena is the best talker in the company today, and his in-ring work is right near the top of the list, behind only guys like Undertaker and Jericho as far as telling a story is concerned.  Take your lumps and accept the fact that Cena isn’t going anywhere, and as long as he’s around, WWE’s profits will always be better than they would be without him.  He’s just doing his job.

Kofi Kingston – If I’m not mistaken, Kingston is now the longest-reigning champion in all of WWE.  I’m pretty sure of this, at least.  And as long as he keeps getting put into random multi-man matches, he’s going to keep his title (sidebar: does anyone else find it hilarious that a man born in Ghana portraying a Jamaican wrestler is the United States Champion?).  The next one-on-one title match he has, he’ll probably lose it.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t lose it to Carlito or Swagger.  He’s still fun to watch, but still bad at selling when it’s his turn to take over the match.  People don’t seem to mind, though.  As long as we’ve got one flippy-do guy holding a title, it’ll keep the smarks quiet for the most part.

Mark Henry – His first night on Raw, when he pinned Randy Orton, I thought he was going straight to the top of the company.  Then he started helping out Hornswoggle.  Now he looks like a giant tomato with his red singlet, and doing tag matches with MVP in an entirely pointless feud with Jericho and Show, whom we all know will be tag champs for the next year or two.  It seems like Hornswoggle is tainting anyone who helps him out.  First Finlay, who still hasn’t recovered and is jobbing on Smackdown, then Goldust, who’s jobbing to a musclehead on ECW, then Mark Henry, who went from the greatest win of his career to fighting in matches that honestly don’t matter since we all know that the champs will win every time.  I feel bad for Henry.  He was poised to become one of the top faces in the company.  Now he’s plummeted to the lower mid-card, just like his current tag team partner, who I was going to segue into, but The Miz ruined everything.

The Miz – I thought moving him to Raw was a mistake.  I was mostly wrong.  He entered into a feud with John Cena, thought he was better than Cena, then had a terrible match with Cena at The Bash.  Then, he got “fired,” returned, beat Eugene in Eugene’s one and only return match, and is now angrier and finally has a legitimate finisher.  I love the Skull-Crushing Finale, mostly because of its name and because I thought of it first.  But I won’t sue WWE, because I have no case against them other than, “I thought of it first!”  Whatever.  Miz is standing pretty strong in the mid-card, and probably will stay there for a long while.  He might have a chance for the US Title, but not against Kofi.  Or maybe he does.  Who knows?  Either way, he’s certainly improved from some reality TV reject to a halfway decent WWE competitor, so I give him props for that.

MVP – See Mark Henry, only minus the midget.  MVP comes to Raw after the Draft.  His first act of business: talk down the WWE Champion and seem poised to be Orton’s next challenge.  Then he has to lose the US Title because one person holding both singles titles on one brand is (in WWE’s mind) outrageous and foolish, and he hasn’t recovered.  It’s the whole face turn thing.  He’s just not as entertianing as a face.  Sure, he’s got more lenience to do the crazy moves like slingshot cross body blocks onto the floor, but his character has suffered tremendous damage and it may not be fixable.  I do wish he would turn back heel and be better than us again.  I miss that.

Primo – If the Cruiserweight Championship was still alive, Primo would be a prime contender for the title (see what I did there?).  He’s fast, agile, and he’s got a tun of crazy flippy-do moves that wow an audience.  But he’s stuck at the bottom of the barrel because he’s not Vince’s prototypical superstar.  He should look elsewhere where his talents would be appreciated and savored.  In almost any other company, he could be a world champion.  But in WWE, he’s a nobody who they can pull out for squash matches and still entertain the crowds with some awesome aerial maneuvers.

Randy Orton – Legacy looks to have run its course.  Dibiase’s movie is coming out soon, Rhodes is acting all weird, and Orton is the most pussified champion in recent memory.  He can’t do a damn thing on his own anymore, and when Rhodes and Dibiase leave, he’s a sitting duck for the first guy to cross his path.  Whether it’s Cena this Sunday, or someone else down the line, Orton’s title reign is not long for this world.  Then maybe he can grow some hair, stop looking like a serial killer, and spend some time with his family instead of creeping us out and kicking people in the skull every week.

Santino Marella – Mister Vignette.  He’ll never be taken seriously as an in-ring competitor ever again, but at least he provides some comic relief during various segments involving the Raw guest hosts.  He’s kind of the WWE’s ambassador to the celebrity world…kinda.  His prospects for world championships are a bit lower than a snake’s belly, so don’t expect him to be pulling five star matches out of his ass anytime soon.  But he’s found his calling, and unfortunately for Colt Cabana, there’s only room for one jester in WWE.

Shawn Michaels – Same shtick for 12 years, which is exactly how old he’s acting now in DX.  Sigh.  What happened to the Shawn who battled Chris Jericho for most of last year?  What happened to the Shawn Michaels who had the match of the year against the Undertaker?  I suppose things just ebb and flow with time.  He’ll be back to being the Showstopper once DX merch sales slow down.  Which they never will, because people eat up the DX bits like they were cheese curds (if you’ve never eaten cheese curds, trust me on this one, and do yourself a favor and go eat some).  I was never a big fan of HBK’s work, and I don’t expect him to be around for too much longer, so he’d better get what he wants done soon before his retirement match, whenever that will be.

Ted Dibiase – He could have been THE throwback wrestler.  He reminds me so much of a late 1980’s/early 1990’s-era WWE wrestler that it’s crazy.  But, like Rhodes, he’s been built poorly and weakly, and his face turn is imminent thanks to his movie career.  Besides, it looks like David Hart Smith is going to be the throwback wrestler for now.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley – When was the last time you heard that name?  Years, I think.  Anyway, HHH is stuck in DX mode and probably will be until Dibiase turns face and Legacy breaks up.  Does anyone else think we’ve had face HHH for too long?  I think this may have been the longest stretch in which he’s been of one consistent alignment in his entire career.  He’s been a face for about three and a half years.  It may be time for a change.  That would be a great change and a huge shift on Raw.  I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cerebral Assassin return.  Let Santino handle the comedy, and go back to beating people with a sledgehammer.

Okay, that went on far longer than I was expecting.  So I’ll probably break this into three seperate posts.  One for each brand.  And I’ve also come up with a (what I believe to be) fun and funny concept: a WWE drinking game.  I’m sure people have come up with their own, but I want to come up with a comprehensive drinking game that will guarantee you’re sloshed within 20 minutes.  This coming from a guy who doesn’t drink.  Should be fun.  See you later with the Smackdown and ECW roster, and Breaking Point picks later this week.


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