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Rick Starr

The Splash: Who Will Be WWE's Next Big Thing

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Welcome back Splashers. This past week John Cena had removal of bone fragments or spurs in his right arm this past weekend. While it was a mild operation, Cena is expected to appear at Hell in the Cell. I read the interview with a former member of the WWE creative team: Court Bauer posted by Ryan Clark. It had raised a disturbing question: How much more can Cena take? John Cena, who is only 36, is one of the most gifted athletes the WWE has ever seen, might start to be getting a little worse for wear.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m NOT suggesting Cena needs to retire. Far from it! He has at least another 5, even 10 years in him, if he paces himself smartly. However Cena’s injuries are starting to build up, and as the older he gets..The more injury prone he will become. Grandfather time is slowly catching up with Super Cena…That his is Kryptonite, along with every other wrestler in the business.

Before John Cena started to carry the WWE on his broad shoulders, there were several other legends who came before him as front-runners of the business. People like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin. These men have all been the leaders of the WWE. Everyone else includes Triple H, The Undertaker, Randy Orton, and others. Those big names are the foundation of the WWE, but they were never defined as the leader of the company. Ultimate Warrior came very close to becoming one of those names. However that was not meant to be.

So now we come down to the question to, when Cena steps down as “The Leader” of the WWE or even retires, who could step in and take that spot? First it would greatly depend on timing, let’s say, just for example 5 years from now, Cena (who will be 41) wants to slow things down and only wants to wrestle part time. Needless to say he would have to drop his role as leader of the WWE, and someone else would have the opportunity. So who would that next person be?

Randy Orton: No. I am a huge fan of The Viper, and I think he has both the ring skills as well as the mic skills to have all the fans follow him. However he has several strikes against him with management. That plus his legit anger problems will always keep him from being the number one guy.

: I’m not sure if Sheamus could be the #1 guy for the company. He definitely has the “It Factor” to be in the top 3, most certainly top 5 in the company. But I see something missing in Sheamus for him to lead the company, maybe in a few years he could prove me wrong.

Dolph Ziggler
: Maybe! Anyone who has read my past Splashes know I am way over on Dolph Ziggler! He has taken some incredible bumps this past year, his work ethics are undeniable, and both his ring as well as his mic skills are getting better as the weeks go by. However Ziggler loves being the heel and that could be the deal breaker.

CM Punk: Absolutely! Despite Punk has been a heel in the past, he has always gotten over big with the fans as a face. Right now he is the #2 guy in the WWE, so it makes sense for Punk to be the next man in line, unless he drops the ball somewhere in the future.

Who do you think could fill Cena's Shoes? post your thoughts
in the comments below

Final thoughts:

When you get right down to it, no one can see the future, even the WWE. Consider this: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels didn’t get their first pushes, until Hulk Hogan took a leave of absence in 1992, due to steroid allegations. Bret Hart won his first WWF Title in 1993. Shawn Michaels didn’t win his first WWF Title until several years later. If Hogan never had steroid charges, and stayed with the company, Hart and Michaels might not have had the opportunities that they had throughout their WWF careers. Some may not want to hear that, but back then Hulk Hogan was the #1 guy, and it wasn’t until he left when the WWF started looking for the next big thing.

That's it for this one, Until next time…See you when I see you –Rick Starr

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Updated 10-01-2012 at 03:03 PM by Rick Starr



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  1. Spankyspank22's Avatar
    Isn't Vince high on Ryback? I don't know how he'd go leading the company but your choices are valid, but ortons a different story as you said with his record, I would honestly love to see ziggler be the leader of the wwe
  2. Thunderlips's Avatar
    I honestly dont think Orton and Punk will be there in 5 years. You are getting closer with the younger guys.

    Thinking Ryback, Barret- someone with size maybe and who knows when Linda stops derailing the company we may just see the need for a tough SOB to rule the roost again.
  3. akbar's Avatar
    Give Cody Rhodes some sort of gimmick, maybe new persona, tell him to either bulk up a little or become more athletic, some nice feuds and with a little spice sprinkled on top, I think he could lead the resistance along with Dolph.
  4. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Gotta disagree with your list from top to bottom. When you talk about "leader" of the company, and you talk about those in the same class as Hart, HBK, HHH, Undertaker, and Stone Cold? Not even close...and no chance any of them could ever reach that point. There's one thing the past leaders of the company, Cena and Rock included, have that any of your mentions don't have, and that's the charisma and the ability to captivate the audience in a way that everyone feels they HAVE to go see them day in and day out. Orton, Sheamus, Ziggler, and Punk can lead this new WWE, but that's not saying much. WWE is nowhere near as popular as it used to be. I'm willing to bet the popularity of wrestling as a whole, has dropped to a post-Hogan, pre-Stone Cold level of the early to mid 90's. And it's just going to continue to fall. People like me have outgrown the days when wrestling was "the cool thing", ie...Monday Night Wars and Attitude Era.

    So can they lead the new WWE? Of course. Do any of them have any chance at ever reaching a Stone Cold, Bret Hart, or John Cena level. It should be quite obvious that answer is no.
  5. pld459666's Avatar
    I think that as long as the WWE remains wading in the kiddie pool and continues to pander to the voting public, you will not see someone carry the torch that has an edgy look or personality.

    Sheamus has a unique look and goofy personality. He fits right in what what the WWE are trying to get across tot he viewing public.

    That campy direction will only be pro-longed should Linda win her election.

    I find it very difficult to stay involved, invested or interested in the WWE today and alot of that has to do with who they are looking to entertain.

    Personally, I think Ziggler could be the guy, but they have to allow for a more risque attitude. Get him a hot valet (get that fat turd Vicky off TV, blech) and give him a bit more freedom on the mic and you have the guy that can carry the WWE.

    Until they loosen up in that regards, you need a clown type guy. Sheamus is the man for the job.
  6. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    The top guy in the company can't be a guy who is about the same age as Cena. Cena is 1 year older than Sheamus. So much for looking for the next Cena when they will likely retire around the same time.
  7. pld459666's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatOne
    The top guy in the company can't be a guy who is about the same age as Cena. Cena is 1 year older than Sheamus. So much for looking for the next Cena when they will likely retire around the same time.
    In this day and age of immediate satisfaction, there is no more taking your time letting a youngster grow into that role.

    The guy carrying the promotion needs to change more often today than in years past because fans get bored of the current product/direction all to quickly.

    If you have more than one guy that is Cena's age that has the ability to carry the brand, you guard against injury taking your top guy out of the picture for a while. It also makes for a much more anticipated return and allows for creative flexibility when the guy does come back
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