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"The Man" of The Future

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John Cena, born April 23, 1977 can't stay the face of the WWE forever and the time is coming for the torch to be passed. The question is of course, who will become the face of the WWE after Cena? Who are even the list of candidates? For the sake of realism and even brevity I will only be including guys currently on the WWE roster or higher profile on the FCW roster who are at least 5 years younger than John Cena. Though this won't just be a look at the future face of the company, but perhaps of the future of the company in general.

Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H

John Cena's Stats - 6'1, 251lbs

Shawn Michaels: 6'1, 225lbs (Smallest)
Bret Hart: 6'1, 234lbs
Stone Cold: 6'2, 252lbs
Triple H: 6'4, 255lbs
The Rock: 6'5, 260lbs
Hulk Hogan: 6'7, 302lbs (Largest)
* Denotes Vince's hand picked guys AKA "The Man"

Note: Swapped Bret Hart for Undertaker as it turns out Taker was supposedly more of a "fluke" than having been hand picked.

Range: 6'1-6'10, 225lbs-302lbs
Averages: 6'3, 254lbs
(Closest to Average: Stone Cold & Triple H)

Damien Sandow (August 3, 1982 - 6'4, 243lbs)
Sandow simply put, doesn't have the look or the gimmick to become the face of the company. Though he definitely ALMOST has the build which can make him a candidate. Looking back at his work in FCW however, he's a hell of a heel and quite merciless in-ring. In addition, he's juuust over 5 years younger than Cena which all makes him physicality aside, out of the running. Though major kudos to him with his heel promos.

Ted Dibiase (November 8, 1982 - 6'3, 214lbs)
Currently out with an ankle injury, Dibiase is "Meh." Seriously, people want to like him but his in-ring and gimmick are boring as watching a Ryback match with Heath Slater. He has the look, but would need to bulk up another 40lbs or so before he's in the range of the other guys. Of course, the boring in-ring may not effect him as much... just look at Cena.

Derrick Bateman (March 18, 1983 - 6'2, 222lbs)
This guy suffers from the same problem that DiBiase does. He's very generic and forgettable. His promos like the one the other night remind me of Cena's promos before he found at least a bit of dark place again. It's just all around "Meh," at least from what I've seen.

Heath Slater (July 15, 1983 - 6'2, 216lbs)
Read the above about his match with Ryback? Nobody takes the McDonalds kid here seriously and won't so long as he's simply squash fodder. The future I see at this point for Heath Slater looks less like Cena and more like Slam Master J. Though who knows? Maybe someday a few years from now he'll end up the new Shawn Michaels... Dear god ROTFL, I can't believe I just said that either.

Curt Hawkins (April 20, 1985 - 6'2, 223lbs)
Hawkins hasn't really done anything since he was teaming with Rack Ryder as Edge's flunkies except find another tag team with Tyler Reks. The guy reminds me too much of Paul Burchill now. His mic work is also pretty much non-existant.

Zack Ryder (May 14, 1985 - 6'2, 214lbs)
Ryder has juuust eeked his way into stardom by being, essentially, an internet buffoon and making his hair his gimmick. He can only go as far as the people can bring him, but then that seems to have worked for The People's Champion/The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment. Though physically this kid is about on the same level as Shawn Michaels and doesn't seem to have nearly the same heart.

Drew McIntyre (June 6, 1985 - 6'5, 254lbs)
Brought into the company as Vinnie Mac's "Chosen One" as a vicious heel, McIntyre pretty much burned out after his first few months and a feud with Teddy Long. Other than that, he seems to have all the qualifications, but can he play well as a face? The answer to that question is doubtful as they made him a pseudo-face recently and he clearly does better work as a heel.

Cody Rhodes (June 30, 1985 - 6'1, 215lbs)
This is the guy most would predict becoming the "new Cena". He's got the lineage, the gimmick, the in-ring talent, and even the heart. But look at his stats. Rhodes has the same problem that Ryder has in being very much physically like Shawn Michaels. Unless Rhodes were to bulk up, he would miss being pushed as a Cena replacement and perhaps find his fame much in the same underdog spirit of HBK. In fact, his physical stats at present are lower than HBK's!

Dean Ambrose (December 7, 1985 - 6'4, 225lbs)
This guy is great in the ring and almost has the physical stats to pull it off. There are two problems here however... Jon Moxley is a sick man and he's currently in FCW. Though the latter isn't a real problem, the former makes him a candidate to be an anti-hero unless completely repackaged. Though this guy is awesome, his promos, look, and in-ring remind me of a younger CM Punk. While I don't forsee Ambrose being "the man", I see him becoming our next great anti-hero.

At least 10 years younger than Cena...

Trent Barreta (March 30, 1987 - 6'1, 203)
When you look at Barreta, you have to wonder why he hasn't been released. The answer is that he's a young guy and his in-ring is great. Don't believe me? Find a match of his that isn't a squash match. If nothing else when I watch his match, it's like watching that young Jeff Hardy that hasn't discovered TLC yet.

Bray Wyatt
/ Husky Harris (May 23, 1987 - 6'3, 300lbs)
NXT did a number on his gimmick, just as it did with Ryback. If he can overcome that speedbump, Bray could be a decent competitor later on as since returning to FCW his ring work and gimmick have gotten better. Though given his physique, he'll never be "the man".

Richie Steamboat (July 7, 1987 - 6'2, 220lbs)
Richie Steamboat is shaping up to be everything you'd expect from a future friendly rival to Cody Rhodes. While that might not seem like a huge compliment, it is gigantic and I believe either he or Steamboat will become "the man" down the road. He's got the lineage, the skill, the look, and physique with just a bit more effort to become "the man."

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Updated 05-12-2012 at 06:00 PM by TheLegendaryIcon



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  1. bharath's Avatar
    This is one of the best blogs I have ever read - and such a detailed analysis of all the young talent available on the roster. I have always maintained that talent is abundant - but as far as this blog goes, it is about the numero uno, "The Man".

    IMHO, I really think we may be running this a bit too early. As one of the co-bloggers commented, Cena has a good 5 years to go and it looks in all probability that Steamboat/Rhodes will carry the mantle. But what it does bring to the fore is how these kids are shaping up and how the IWC perceives them / rates them. Without some formidable, tenacious competitors, the 'face' of the WWE will never be "The Man". The other ring workers put the face over - and it is exactly the context in which I believe this blog must be read.

    I will be honest in saying that when I first skimmed through the blog, I felt some names were missing - but after I read it in full detail, I looked up the dates of birth and some in-ring history and completely got why some names like Ryback or Gabriel were left out.

    For 2 cents - my vote goes to Rhodes more than Steamboat (it is because I have seen less of them but his pedigree and developmental work is very impressive), though a double-turn here and there would mean both of them would be the top 2 in future.
  2. Mikeyboy7777777's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLegendaryIcon
    To be fair to Hawkins, I have enjoyed his work on Superstars quite a bit. I have little recollection of him on the mic or cutting a promo at any point aside from little backstage vignettes that lead to nowhere. I would say that Hawkins is probably the best guy in either of the tag teams he's been in.

    It seems like WWE has this obsession with pushing one known tag team member over the other. I knew the midcard mafia existed and got canned by the 'E. So now I'm thinking that Hawkins is getting Christian-ed or Matt Hardy-ed while they push Ryder, only because he can sell merch to kids who think he's "cool" and falls more-so into the PG show expectations. It's just sad because Hawkins' in-ring beats the absolute crap at times out of anything I've seen Ryder do.
    yes i'm afraid he'll receive this treatment and i shall frown upon it hawkins is a cool bad guy a funny guy as well but wwe just couldn't even make one well thought feud out of this? ryder is established and hawkins is ryder is a face hawkins is a heel is it so hard? they even have a credible excuse for a long feud which will hopefully lead to another us championship run for both hawkins & ryder
  3. Docdawolf's Avatar
    I would love if it was Dolph Ziggler all jokes aside I mean he has it. I mean I love his entrance I love his attitude he's it. WWE needs to wake up and realize that's he's the next Man......

  4. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    Other than it being preferable to Vince that the face of the company be physically big, why can a Shawn Michaels-esque guy not carry the company?

    Michaels himself did it, Bret Hart did it and he isn't exactly muscular, and you mentioned both. It seemed to me that you set a lot of this blog on the idea that a small, athletic guy couldn't carry the company.

    For me, Punk is effectively carrying the company now that Cena has been put into non-title feuds. The difference is that WWE is going for legitimacy rather than aiming at the kids again.

    Also, Triple H was holding the company up as the best heel in WWE history, and Daniel Bryan could easily be the next anti-hero face of the company.

    I think this blog misses out on some serious contenders because of the statistics you set it to. The face of the company is based on both Vince's preference and who goes over with the crowd. You cannot ignore the importance of the live crowd.
  5. ToiletBowl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLegendaryIcon
    Dolph Ziggler was born on July 27, 1980, so about 3 years away from Cena. You have to remember Ziggler was around the company when Cena was beginning to rise. While I believe he's a great talent and will be a top guy in a year or so, he's a bit old for Vince to crown as "the man." I think if they weren't so afraid of touching on the old legendary gimmicks, they should have Ziggler embrace the Mr. Perfect comparisons. Then they could also resurrect the fading of Joe Hennig by giving them both a decent rivalry over the whole thing. Though of course, those are just my thoughts.

    Ryback just misses the 5 year cut-off by being born on November 10, 1981. Beyond that his NXT gimmick has damaged him one way where I also feel how they're presenting Ryback in WWE to be making things worse. Of course, bad gimmicks are dues you pay in this business and even Cena, HHH, Stone Cold, Undertaker, et al went through theirs. Ryan Reeves definitely has the physique to be "the man" at 6'3 and 291lbs, but he doesn't have the mic skills. If anything, he's shaping up to be another Goldberg wannabe/knock-off at this point. That's kind of sad because I've seen his work in FCW and it's definitely above this crap they have him doing now.

    The 5 year cut-off was to keep things short and in perspective of Vince most likely wanting a guy that can go the seven to ten years Cena and others have done. This was actually least fair to Mason Ryan of all guys who was I believe like 3 months under the 5 year mark.
    By all accounts, Ryback is Ryan Reeves idea. He played this character before he was ever Skip Sheffield from what I understand. He's gone back to this character because he wants to create a juggernaut that can destroy everyone. I dont think he has the mic skills either. Plus he's an Aggie, so that doesnt help. But, Ryback is somewhat of a throw back... and who would have ever guessed Batista had mic skills when he burst on the scene? I dont think Vince would be so high on a guy that wasnt the complete package. Then again, see Drew McIntyre.
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