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Cain Velasquez - What do we think?


David
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So, I've seen discussion around Cain in a few different threads, but I thought one thread to kind of discuss his progress so far, his look, his possible future and so on would be worth starting.

He's heading into Crown Jewel to face Lesnar in a big rematch from their UFC title fight. Sounds great, except that original fight happened almost ten years ago, and since then Brock drifted back to WWE and Cain has fought three times since 2013, losing two of them. Still, there's a backstory there I guess, so they can sell it.

What happens after that though? 

I'll be the first to admit, I watch nowhere near as much wrestling as I used to, so I haven't seen much of Cain outside of him making his entrance with Mysterio and then battering Shelton Benjamin on Raw.

The thing for me is that in the UFC he was as dull as dishwater. Every build up show he was on featured his dad picking lettuce or something if I recall correctly, and there was virtually no interesting aspects to him whatsoever. The dude could throw hands though, which is what mainly mattered, so he largely got a pass on his boring personality.

In pro wrestling though? I honestly would never have seen this move for him a few years back. He seems the antithesis of everything you'd want in a wrestler. He has a bland, shit look with a body type that doesn't look all that athletic, he is pretty unremarkable looking overall really. He can't hold his own families interest in his own home when he starts to talk, let alone an arena full of people.

As I said, I don't watch much these days, but what I did see has looked horrific. His entrance is the embodiment of Cain as a person. He just walks to the ring as though he's sauntering out for a newspaper and a packet of smokes. He wears rubbish black t-shirts and jeans that look like he bought them at H&M, and his exchange with Benjamin looked terrible. His punching was blatantly fake, and his takedown looked weird.

Seeing him has made me realise how much the likes of Kurt Angle really was a star, making that jump from legit sports to pro wrestling.

So, what am I missing here? There has to be something for them to offer him a deal like the one he got? Clue me in, folks.

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Short answer is that he impressed in his first wrestling match in AAA, and had big money offers from NJPW and AEW as a result, so WWE got on board.

 

Long answer is that we're seeing in the US something akin to what happened to NJPW, and Japanese wrestling more broadly, in the late '90s and early '00s. An industry that has always had to negotiate where it fits between "sport" and "entertainment" now having to consider if, and how, MMA impacts on that balance, while MMA stars are starting to age out of that sport (which, in the grand scheme of things, is sort of a recent phenomenon). 

Edited by BomberPat
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9 years ago today. 

Screenshot_20191024-181328_Chrome.thumb.jpg.3d8764bd00b59a30aaf13bfca7946d18.jpg

I didn't know the name Cain Velasquez, which is odd because I was working for the UK UFC DVD distributor at the time. MMA has never got under my skin so in the intervening years his name has completely disappeared from my consciousness. Therefore this rivalry is irrelevant to me until WWE make it relevant. Right now he seems like a big plasticine potato. 

Is the crossover between UFC and WWE still there? If we've spent a decade in the PG era, that doesn't scream that the young audience they've cultivated is right for this. 

The Stephen Amell SummerSlam crossover seemed like a more logical move, but I'm guessing it either didn't move the dial or Vince wrinkled his nose at silly superhero stuff. Yet if they could tap into some of that zeitgeist, that could resonate with that audience. 

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The WWE audience is mostly in their 30s-50s. The “young audience they’ve cultivated” doesn’t exist, at least not in greater proportion than it did when wrestling was all about beer and cars and tits.

Sheik Highlander is giving them big money and wants big names and big fights. Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez is a bigger deal than Brock Lesnar vs any cunt from the WWE roster. Beyond that, there might be nothing there in Velasquez. Or he might have some name value tagging with other Hispanics now and again.

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17 minutes ago, King Pitcos said:

Sheik Highlander is giving them big money and wants big names and big fights. Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez is a bigger deal than Brock Lesnar vs any cunt from the WWE roster. Beyond that, there might be nothing there in Velasquez.

That's probably why I assumed that this would be a one-event deal for decent coin, with him going up against Lesnar in Saudi, then maybe even doing a rerun of it in the US, but beyond that? I honestly don't see where he fits in.

2 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

Velasquez is a huge star in Mexico.

Is he? The UFC had high hopes for him being the face of their Mexican push and when he finally headlined defending his UFC title against Fabricio Werdum it drew 300,000 buys and he got spanked. The talk of him being the face of the company there quickly died on its arse.

Maybe times have changed since then mind you.

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As discussed in another thread, Cain has only had three fights in over 5 years and got stopped in two of them - his one win being against Travis "Ronda's man" Browne who has a record of 2W 8L in those 5 years. He's never been a Rousey super draw either, so the only appeal he ever had was he was at one time one of the best heavyweights ever, which was over 5 years ago and he's clearly no longer the best. Of course, the big reason he's never been a huge draw is he's never shown any personality or any instincts selling the soap.

Cain has had almost no time to learn the craft too. He may get it eventually, but he's not like Rousey where you can say there are at least instincts and a level of charisma there to carry any flaws.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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Only way I can see Cain working out is to keep his appearances minimal (e.g. shows like Crown Jewel) or to let Brock destroy him and then Cain turns heel on Mysterio and goes in his own direction (with a mouthpiece as he can't talk). 

I can't see him going far as a face and not even with Rey Mysterio (unless Rey turned heel). 

Edited by Briefcase
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I was hoping he would be in a tag team with Rey for a bit after this, hope it would breath some life into the division whilst hiding his weaknesses and also honing his craft a bit more.

Could be a good story with him turning on Rey a year down the line or something.

Edited by The King of Old School
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6 minutes ago, The King of Old School said:

I was hoping he would be in a tag team with Rey for a bit after this, hope it would breath some life into the division whilst hiding his weaknesses and also honing his craft a bit more.

Could be a good story with him turning on Rey a year down the line or something.

He's booked to team with Rey on a show in Mexico coming up. I can't imagine he's on a full-time schedule, though, and needs knee surgery by all accounts.

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30 minutes ago, Gus Mears said:

It's in reference to former WWE tag team The Highlanders, where Mohamaded bin Salman played the part of Rory. 

That actually happened on the show? How odd. Of all the gimmicks he'd want to get in on.

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