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Missed opportunity


SwayWays

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Reading an interview about TAFKA Elias, made me think. I was a fan of his from his NXT days starting as The Drifter, thought he had a huge upside, and genuinely thought he was going to have a solid crack at it on the main roster. And he did, for a decent time, fake brother storyline I thought was great, but it never got it's satisfying pay off. 

 

He's definitely someone I thought could have been a main stay, even potentially a run in the main event, or potentially at least an "other" world title run. But it was never to be, subjective as taste is he was always someone I thought could have done more, albeit not everyone does. 

 

Maybe he'll make a run else where, or "do a drew/cody" and make his mark elsewhere before returning. 

 

I just wondered who else people may have thought was a good fit for more. 

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2 hours ago, SwayWays said:

He's definitely someone I thought could have been a main stay, even potentially a run in the main event, or potentially at least an "other" world title run.

I definitely don’t agree with that, which is maybe why he’s not there now. He was very limited in ring, and his character had grown stale. That said, I’m kind of surprised that he’s not turned up in TNA.

As far as a missed opportunity goes, I think it’s quite clear now that WWE made an enormous mistake by parting ways with Swerve Strickland. Yes, he’s smashing it in AEW right now; but Triple H must look at what he’s doing right now and regret decisions made by the old regime. What an addition he’d be to their roster right now. And he could be there, had they not released him. So he was a missed opportunity for WWE; even if he’s unlikely to end up a missed opportunity in wrestling.

In a wider sense, I don’t think WWE got everything they could have out of Damien Sandow. He was a heck of a lot of fun in the pre-pandemic NWA, and I think WWE moved away from the Genius-inspired character before they got everything they could have out of it. And he’s shown since then that he was capable enough to evolve. It’s a shame that he didn’t get that chance.

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20 minutes ago, RedRooster said:

I definitely don’t agree with that, which is maybe why he’s not there now. He was very limited in ring, and his character had grown stale. That said, I’m kind of surprised that he’s not turned up in TNA.

As far as a missed opportunity goes, I think it’s quite clear now that WWE made an enormous mistake by parting ways with Swerve Strickland. Yes, he’s smashing it in AEW right now; but Triple H must look at what he’s doing right now and regret decisions made by the old regime. What an addition he’d be to their roster right now. And he could be there, had they not released him. So he was a missed opportunity for WWE; even if he’s unlikely to end up a missed opportunity in wrestling.

In a wider sense, I don’t think WWE got everything they could have out of Damien Sandow. He was a heck of a lot of fun in the pre-pandemic NWA, and I think WWE moved away from the Genius-inspired character before they got everything they could have out of it. And he’s shown since then that he was capable enough to evolve. It’s a shame that he didn’t get that chance.

His Impact run begs to differ.

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2 hours ago, RedRooster said:

As far as a missed opportunity goes, I think it’s quite clear now that WWE made an enormous mistake by parting ways with Swerve Strickland. Yes, he’s smashing it in AEW right now; but Triple H must look at what he’s doing right now and regret decisions made by the old regime. What an addition he’d be to their roster right now. And he could be there, had they not released him. So he was a missed opportunity for WWE; even if he’s unlikely to end up a missed opportunity in wrestling.

I was thinking him and even Toni Storm but then would they have found the success and the characters they have now if they'd stayed? Probably not.

Sometimes these people need to leave and thrive in a different company in order to find real success.

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2 hours ago, TheScarlettChad said:

His Impact run begs to differ.

That’s kind of irrelevant. The subsequent NWA run disproves any assumptions created by the short TNA run, not the other way around. You can’t really use ‘he was shit BEFORE a good run’ as a way of suggesting someone wasn’t a missed opportunity. You wouldn’t use Max Dupri as a counterpoint to LA Knight, or Ringmaster as a counterpoint to Steve Austin (not that I’m comparing Austin to Sandow, obviously).

27 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

I was thinking him and even Toni Storm but then would they have found the success and the characters they have now if they'd stayed? Probably not.

I think you’re probably right. Vince McMahon would have defined him down as he typically did with NXT call-ups. Based on NXT, I think Triple H had recognised Swerve’s value; but McMahon had inexplicably pegged Top Dolla as the man to push in that stable. He’d probably still be in a tag team if he’d remained.

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They might have only had him for a short time, but WWE could surely have done more with Monty Brown than whatever ‘Marcus Cor Von’ was.

Around the same time, maybe it was rose-tinted ‘Paul Heyman Booking OVW’ glasses but Johnny Jeter had potential that we would never get to see once he became Spirit Squad Johnny. Maybe he was a bit small for mid-00s WWE and it was a wrong place wrong time kind of deal.

Speaking of Heyman’s OVW, Sandow peaked down there, coming out to ‘Brick House’ with Beth Phoenix on one arm and Ariel on the other.

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TNA could have done more with Monty Brown than they did. They had a homegrown star with real momentum and didn't have the nerve to run with it. Then they turned him heel and aligned him with Jarrett. 

I still think Ryback should have beaten Punk for the title in the cell. It would have established him as a guy who can win the big one, and then it's super easy to screw him over in a TLC match the next month. I don't really buy that it would have damaged Punk before his match with Rock. His greatest attribute is that people believe what he says, he could have easily talked people into wanting to see him against The Rock. 

And, just for balance, AEW not capitalising on that Thunder Rosa/Britt Baker match was a missed opportunity for all parties. 

 

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I used to think Elias has 'it', a recognizable gimmick that got the fans behind him but really nothing ever went up to that next level. I realized a while ago I couldn't think of a notable match he had in his entire run. I don't know if that is to do with injury or booking or simply him not being given any stand out TV/PPV matches. 

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For me it's a whole host of guys in WCW. In 99 you had Hogan, Flair, Nash, Sting and Macho Man still headlining regularly. None of them seemed arsed. Bischoff protected his mates though.

Raven, his gimmick was fantastic, he got huge crowd reactions. He could have been part of a real shake up in 99.

 

Bret Hart, didn't main event until Mayhem 99. He could have at least made matches with the old guard watchable. Him in the nWo made no sense, he was a main eventer and shouldn't have been put as a nobody in a stable.

 

DDP, yeah I know he briefly won the title in 99 and then went on a run in 2000 but Animal and Sid Vicious main evented in 2000 so it's not a big achievement really. 

They should have utilised Benoit earlier too. He might not have fucked off with the title. Although it was stupid to give the title to someone without a contract.

 

I feel like the 4 above could have had great main events with each other. At the very least better than what 99 generally chuffed out.

 

In 2000 I think they could have done more with Mike Awesome. He was huge, and the crowd were interested when he came in. Soon he was Lance Storm's lacky and wore flares.

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Vader in the WWF.

If they hadn’t had such a boner for “Bret vs Shawn at Mania for the belt would be the best match ever1!!1” despite both being babyfaces, and stuck to the company formula of heels transitioning the belt between your heroes, he’d have been the perfect monster to cripple Bret so he can go film Lonesome Dove or whatever and then have Shawn chase him and effectively recreate the Vader vs Sting rivalry with Shawn as the hero. Thinking about the best Bret vs Vader interactions from their singles matches on Raw and in the Final Four, it’s a hell of a grudge match when Bret comes back and you can still do Bret vs Austin later too.

Although if the butterfly effect here causes Sid to not win the title, forget it.

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13 hours ago, air_raid said:

Vader in the WWF.

If they hadn’t had such a boner for “Bret vs Shawn at Mania for the belt would be the best match ever1!!1” despite both being babyfaces, and stuck to the company formula of heels transitioning the belt between your heroes, he’d have been the perfect monster to cripple Bret so he can go film Lonesome Dove or whatever and then have Shawn chase him and effectively recreate the Vader vs Sting rivalry with Shawn as the hero. Thinking about the best Bret vs Vader interactions from their singles matches on Raw and in the Final Four, it’s a hell of a grudge match when Bret comes back and you can still do Bret vs Austin later too.

Although if the butterfly effect here causes Sid to not win the title, forget it.

It’s an interesting thought as so much of 96 would change

Royal Rumble - Vader debuts and wins the match instead of Michaels 

In Your House 6 - card stays the same, except the Michaels/Owen match doesn’t have the WM shot on the line, the Taker spot still happens in the main but Vader attacks Bret as he drops from the cage

Wrestlemania - Yokozuna doesn’t turn face so the 6 man becomes Owen/Davey/Yoko vs Ahmed/Jake/Michaels, Bret goes into the main injured after Vader attacks him again during the contract signing on Raw, puts a typically gutsy fight up but Vader wins handily then continues to punish post match only for Michaels to come to Bret’s aid

In Your House 7 - with unanimous support, Michaels had pleaded for a title shot only for Cornette to not grant it unless he gets through the Camp. He beats Yoko by DQ here with the finish they (irl) did at KOTR with Ahmed and Warrior making the save

King Of The Ring - the Michaels/Davey match still goes ahead, sans title, but with a No DQ stip thanks to Gorilla Monsoon, Shawn wins sparking a post match beatdown on he, Warrior and Ahmed by Camp Cornette when Sid makes his return to even the odds

In Your House 8 - the 6 man we got, turns into an 8 man with Camp Cornette against Shawn and co (in this timeline Warrior doesn’t leg it yet) with a reverse of Michaels pinning Vader to show it’s doable 

Summerslam - the title change happens to a massive pop and Michaels has a more crowd friendly title run where he doesn’t end up getting booed at MSG at Survivor Series against a now heel Sid

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That was a travesty but his heel turn was what broke my heart. When he played those few bars of Thunderstruck to the Aussies and they started cheering before he turned on them, I thought "everyone's dying to cheer for this lad, he's going to be huge as a babyface." Then they barely gave him chance.

On 3/9/2024 at 8:40 PM, RedRooster said:

He was very limited in ring,

On 3/10/2024 at 6:30 AM, simonworden said:

I couldn't think of a notable match he had in his entire run.

Hasn't been a problem for LA Knight.

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14 minutes ago, air_raid said:

Hasn't been a problem for LA Knight.

As far as crowd reaction goes, perhaps not. But in terms of a sustained push, it probably has. Everyone thought he was going to face Logan Paul at Wrestlemania, but they've opted to pair him with AJ Styles instead. Not a terrible landing spot, but it's not a featured match either. If he could hold up his end of the bargain in ring, I suspect he probably would be challenging for a title at Wrestlemania. Given how over he is, there's no reason not to push him to that level other than his ring work. 

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21 minutes ago, RedRooster said:

As far as crowd reaction goes, perhaps not. But in terms of a sustained push, it probably has. Everyone thought he was going to face Logan Paul at Wrestlemania, but they've opted to pair him with AJ Styles instead. Not a terrible landing spot, but it's not a featured match either. If he could hold up his end of the bargain in ring, I suspect he probably would be challenging for a title at Wrestlemania. Given how over he is, there's no reason not to push him to that level other than his ring work. 

But having said that, is it fair to say they've still gone further with him in terms of position on the card than they did with Elias? Or was sharing the spotlight with John Cena at a couple of Manias the highest point that either has achieved?

I guess what I mean is, Knight rode his popularity all the way to a World title match on a Saudi Shitshow - might Lesnar vs Elias have done the same if they'd used him better?

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