The People’s Column: The Undertaker’s Injury & Smackdown Midcard Opportunities

Hello again readers and welcome to yet another action packed edition of The People’s Column. As always, I would encourage you to check out my blog at itswilltime.wordpress.com where I am currently discussing Daniel Bryan and NXT’s failures as well as the odd strategy that TNA seems to be employing with their world championship matches. I update it frequently and would love all of my column readers to become regular blog readers also.

With that plugging aside, I suppose I should get down to business. As was reported over the weekend, The Undertaker is injured. He suffered these injuries in a match with Rey Mysterio that aired on this week’s Smackdown. If you didn’t catch the show, he was bleeding from the nose after the match. Apparently this was a broken nose and on top of that, he also suffered a concussion.

This creates a huge void in the already barren Smackdown main event scene. Yes, they are elevating Jack Swagger and using Big Show effectively, but the blue brand is without a strong main event babyface. Rey Mysterio can always be plugged into that slot, but he is on borrowed time due to his knee surgery that has been needed since before Wrestlemania (on a side note, his knee brace is what busted CM Punk open at Over the Limit). We must now ask a question: who is there to step up and fill this vacancy?

The role of a main event face for the fans to get behind is often a difficult one to fill. Look at Randy Orton’s failed face turn in 2004 to see how not to build a main event face. There is also the element of competent main event level heels to put over and feud with that face. I would venture to say that it is too soon in Jack Swagger’s run for him to be paired up with a new main eventer. The worst possible thing that could happen in this situation is for the World Heavyweight Championship to look like a mid card title. CM Punk is a more than capable heel and could help to get over any babyface he is put against.

Candidate Number One: Kofi Kingston
For many, Kofi is the obvious choice. He was a red hot babyface on Raw last Fall, but significantly cooled off during the Winter. Kofi was moved to the Smackdown brand in the draft and despite not being given a lot of promo time has been given the Intercontinental Championship. To me, this title seems like a vote of confidence in his future potential even though he is not at the heights that he was once at. If given the opportunity to fill a top babyface role, Kofi would have to develop slightly better mic skilled, but more importantly he would have to be put in a program much like the one he was in last fall.

Candidate Number Two: Kane
Kane has been in the upper mid card for most of the last ten years. He briefly held the WWE Championship in 1998, but never reached that height again. Throughout the beginning of the brand extension, he was plugged into the occasional pay per view main event, but now only seems to reach that status in February at Elimination Chamber. Kane is a competent performer, although he does not really do anything special. He has been used to elevate younger talent recently and has been seen with the likes of Dolph Ziggler. He is just one promo away from elevation. Kane is not a pretty choice for is slot and he will not attract viewers to the Smackdown product. He could get the job done as a spot filler until the injured are able to return, but he wouldn’t do much more.

Candidate Number Three: Christian
This is probably the internet’s favorite choice for a person to fill this role and it is obvious why. Christian is a tremendous performer. Longtime readers know that I love both Edge and Christian. This could very well be Christian’s chance to break the glass ceiling that many feel has been placed on his career. The problem with this choice is that you can never tell if Christian will be motivated and put on a great match (as he did against Edge a couple weeks ago) or if he will coast to a merely passable match (as he did against Shelton Benjamin at TLC in December). Christian is a great wrestler for elevating mid card talent, but is also just a kind of stepping stone on the way up the card. This is not a bad role for a wrestler to be in, as he will always have a job and a place in history. Personally, I would love to see Christian given this opportunity, but understand why he would not be.

Candidate Number Four: Matt Hardy
If you watch videos that Matt often posts near hot tubs, you know that he has been waiting for this opportunity. If you have watched Matt Hardy’s career, you know that this won’t happen. Matt is a wrestler who is just past his prime and has spent his best years in the same potion that Christian may be destined for. Matt Hardy is a main event level talent. He may get big pops when his music hits, but that does not translate into superstardom in the ring.

Candidate Number Five: MVP
Although he has floundered in the over crowded face scene on Raw for the last year, MVP has great ability and connection with the audience. He can pull together a nice promo and has a personality the Smackdown head writer Michael Hayes loves. The main thing holding him back is the last year of his career. MVP may be a better main event heel than a babyface. This is not the time for Smackdown to attempt to get another main event heel over, as they should be focussed on establishing Jack Swagger.

Candidate Number Six: Daniel Bryan
Alright, so this is definitely a long shot. It would be pretty silly to put Daniel Bryan on a show where he is not against his two main rivals, Michael Cole and The Miz. Silliness aside, he can work. Perhaps that is the most important thing. Daniel Bryan can work a great main event style and, as we have seen on NXT, cut a great promo. It would take some work and storyline maneuvering to get Bryan into this position, but it could be worth doing. The fans already support the guy.

Above I have given six choices for someone to fill the main event babyface void on the Smackdown brand. My choice would be either Kofi Kingston or MVP, with Christian as a sentimental favorite. Any of these men would get the job done and competently fill the void. Who do you think should be Smackdown’s new main eventer? Injuries are tragic occurrences, but they are also opportunities for new stars to step up. This makes them exponentially exciting.

Remember, check out my blog (itswilltime.wordpress.com) today and through the weekend to keep up with my wresting thoughts and check back on Monday for my 10 Thoughts!

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