What’s up guys? Welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing, so let’s get right to…
– On a a recent episode of Talk is Jericho, EC3 provided details of his pitch for a heel character. Apparently, he wanted to be a heel who was pushed as a babyface. He never even got close to getting to what he pitched because he hardly featured on the show. He also mentions his debut vignettes and I thought they were pretty good, even moreso considering he had it filmed in his apartment. The vignette made him look important but everything that came after went down the drain. I actually think his idea had some legs to it. The idea is basically Cena on crack and I’m sure it could have worked somehow. Truth be told, when he was one of the main attractions of TNA he was a big fish in a small pond. But once he went to the big leagues it was the exact opposite and he got eaten alive by the WWE system. He never really got an opportunity so his nixed idea may never come to light, although it would be cool to see how it pans out if he were to work that gimmick in another promotion.
– Eddie Kingston has signed with AEW and much has been made about it on Twitter. I do not have plenty of experience when it comes to Eddie’s work but he’s a wrestler who seems to be loved by many. It’s funny how almost every independent wrestler has some hype attached to their name – and that’s a good thing – but alot of them don’t live up to the hype. I never jump on the bandwagon when it comes to independent stars because I feel that alot of them tend to be over-hyped or overrated. I haven’t seen enough of Kingston to form a proper opinion, but what I’ve seen from his one appearance on AEW to date he’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination in the ring. He seems like he can go in the ring to an acceptable degree. His work on the microphone sets him apart though. I thought his promo before his match was fantastic and I’ll be looking forward to see if he always cuts promos to such great effect. I’ve only got a taste of Eddie Kingston; hopefully a full meal will leave me wanting more.
– Vickie Guerrero recently joined the AEW roster – which was almost inevitable when she started appearing on screen – by becoming the manager of Nyla Rose. Vickie is a great heat magnet with her annoying screech, but I don’t think Nyla really needs her. I think the booking team has really done Nyla disservice. She’s a great big womens wrestler with skill and agility not in need of a manager, yet Vickie has taken up that mantle. Perhaps the pairing can work in the short-term considering Nyla’s heat being reduced. Vickie should be able to get some of that heat back for her and from their she should branch out on her own. Vickie has experience with garnering heat at a prominent level so hopefully that wisdom can elevate Nyla. I don’t see Eddie’s widow staying on AEW for too long though. It’s just a matter of time before Nyla turns on her and branches out on her own again. Let’s hope that the third time’s the charm with The Native Beast.
THE MAIN EVENT
In recent weeks Cody has leaned heavily into wrestling as a heel in matches where he is up against a face. When it comes to professional wrestling, this normally indicates that a heel turn is on the horizon. If this is indeed the case for Cody it wouldn’t be the wisest decision.
It could be argued that Cody always had this air of arrogance about him, especially when he’s in the ring. He tends to gravitate toward a more villainous mindset. His craftiness can sometimes be mistaken for heelish tendencies as his in-ring style can at times be associated with what the bad guys are normally supposed to be doing. This was especially evident in his match against Sonny Kiss a few weeks ago.
Cody’s cocky demeanour early in the match were tell-tale signs. Underestimating your opponent is a sign of over-confidence, a trait held by those on the dark side. The American Nightmare was exposing his heel tendencies more than a pornstar exposes herself at a sex convention. The guys on commentary even alluded to this aspect during the match. His bout against Kiss is the most prevalent example, but he’s been incorporating heelish antics in alot of his matches lately.
The fact is that Cody’s a fantastic heel and we’ve seen him excel in such a role before. He is arguably a much better heel than he is a face. Arguably. I’ve never really associated Cody with being a face because his runs as a babyface in WWE were mostly bland. He really took it to the next level with his “Dashing” Cody Rhodes gimmick which ultimately led to his second best gimmick to date, “Deranged” Cody Rhodes. Add in his heel runs as part of Legacy and Stardust and for the most part he was a heel and that stuck in my head.
But with all that being said, his current face run has felt epic. I thought Cody would be a heel for most of his career, with a few babyface stretches sprinkled in between. Yet he surprised me and put on a passionate display of what a babyface should be. He wore his heart on his sleeve and that counted in how he came across. You can hear the sincerity in his voice when he cuts an impassioned promo. I’d even go as far as saying that there’s hardly anybody who could match Cody’s passion in a promo when he turns it up. That promo where he announces he won’t challenge for the World Title if he loses to Jericho will always be a classic AEW moment.
I have to admit that I’ve never seen Cody as anything more than a midcarder, especially the way previously booked him. He certainly changed my opinion on that stance. The way he presents himself now screams main-eventer. His aforementioned promo ability really sets him apart from most of his peers. To me, he is the embodiment of AEW and the star of the show. He carries himself as such and is presented accordingly. Those who don’t see Cody as the top star of AEW – at least with what his presentation suggests – are not watching with both eyes open.
It’s his inate ability to portray raw emotion when having that microphone in his hand that makes him so endearing as a good guy. All of the points I’ve mentioned factor into exactly why he should not turn heel. At least not yet. Cody is the heart of AEW which is why he should remain a face. Him going to the dark side would negate alot of his work as the main attraction of the promotion. I don’t doubt for a second that his eventual heel turn will be epic, but in the meantime he should revel in this great run as a face and continue carrying the company forward.
It should be clear to see that turning Cody heel at this stage would be the wrong move; just as clear as it is to see that turning Kenny Omega heel is absolutely the right move. In what world is The Cleaner entertaining? NJPW World? Probably, because that’s where you can actually go back and see when Omega was worth watching. I remember a match I watched between Omega and Naito and I was blown away. Now I’m just blown away by how underwhelmingly boring Omega is.
He has no real character besides the fact that he is apparently the greatest wrestler in the world today, although if you’ve just seen him in AEW would you truly believe that? I haven’t seen anything that comes close to his match against Naito. The funny thing is that Omega has alot of control over his booking so he’s practically failing himself. In the beginning of AEW he was hyped as their biggest star. Haven’t heard that on commentary in a while…
In the early days of AEW, Omega was the most hyped wrestler on the planet – by the promotion and fans alike – yet I haven’t seen anything that would indicate what the hype is all about. If you’ve watched any NJPW when Omega was there you would know what all the hype was about. But on AEW you don’t really see the full extent of it, if any. I’d even argue that Kenny is the least interesting member of The Elite. I hope one day soon Kenny can live up to all the hype. If not, it will prove that he was always over-hyped and overrated.
The first step toward living up to the hype would be to turn heel. He needs to stab Page in the back and move away from the Tag Team Division. I absolutely love AEW’s Tag Team Division but why was it ever a good idea to put two of their biggest singles stars – and one they hyped to be THE biggest – in a tag team? No matter how much emphasis you put on the division that can never be a good idea. I think Kenny going on a singles run would aid him in rediscovering his true form.
A heel turn and a break into the singles picture can be done simultaneously and to great effect. Nothing will save Omega’s career now more that turning heel. He has absolutely failed as a babyface and lacks anything that makes him interesting. We all know Page turned out to be the breakout star of that team in AEW… Omega needs to turn heel and use that run to silence all doubters because there are those – like me – who are beginning to forget about the greatness he may have once had.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. Do you agree that Omega should absolutely turn heel and Cody refrain from doing so? What did you think of the recent AEW signing of Eddie Kingston and the debut of Vickie Guerrero? Feel free to drop a comment below. Alternatively, you can pop me an email at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter @donfranclop. But until next times folks…
This is Don Franc signing out.