The Big Beginning for the Big Ending: WWE's Newest Beast
First things first, apologies for my absence last week. I went for a short break up north and inexplicably managed to fall through the pier at lake Palic. I now have infinitely more respect for professional wrestlers, because good lord it hurt. Anyway, let's get into this.
SummerSlam is shaping up to be one hell of a show, It is marketed as the number two show of the year after Wrestle Mania, but looking at how the card is shaping up I would be shocked if it didn't surpass it completely. When we think of a Mania card, we think of fresh, exciting matches, and that is exactly what this years SummerSlam is shaping up to give us. Just take a look at the card for a minute. Daniel Bryan is going to challenge John Cena for the WWE Title, which is a match we've barely seen and have all been baying for all year. CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, The Best versus The Beast, sells itself.
The introduction of The Wyatt Family and their subsequent attack on Kane, whatever comes out of that will be fresh. A freshly turned Mark Henry will surely do battle somehow with the Hounds of Justice, The Shield. Then you have ex-best friends Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, never before seen and the possibility of the briefcase being involved as well. It's shaping up to be a fresh and exciting card, one that shows the much-talked about new talent initiative in full flow. How many of these guys were regularly on RAW before 2010? Not many, that’s how many.
Today though, I want to have a look at the other fresh match being hinted at for the card, and one chap in particular who has really impressed me since making his bow. This involves the recently split up duo of Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Again, this is an immensely fresh match up, one that we have never seen before. It's also one of the most intriguing potential matches in my book. It really has sleeper match of the night potential, and I say that with a straight face. Ziggles has proved time and time again that he is one of the best in the company, and there isn't anyone who makes their opponent look like an animal. And an animal is exactly what Big E Langston should be looking like. Ziggler needs these sorts of matches to solidify himself as a top level babyface, and Langston needs them to make him the beast heel he can and should be. It's a perfect match up for both men.
Big E Langston has done a lot since making his first appearance on RAW at the end of last year, whilst not really doing too much at all. He was introduced as AJ Lee's heavy, attacking John Cena. This quickly led to him aligning with Dolph Ziggler, acting as the enforcer figure. He didn't actually make his in ring début until Wrestle Mania XXIX, in a losing effort with Dolph against Team Hell No. After Ziggler was out with a concussion, Big E was left to carry his feud with Alberto Del Rio, coming out on the losing end of a Best of Five series. Despite losing three to two, Big E was still made to look immensely strong against a recent World Champion.
He remained in some form of the spotlight when he was revealed as Kaitlyn's secret admirer, only for that to turn out to be a ruse in order for AJ Lee to get into the head of the then-Divas Champ. With AJ winning that title and Dolph turning face at the Payback pay per view this past June, Big E started spending less time with Dolph and more with AJ. This all led to him turning on Dolph last week, after Ziggles dumped AJ. This is the road to what should be another marquee match at Summer Slam.
When I first saw Big E Langston on NXT, I was a bit apprehensive. 'Oh great', I figured, 'here's a muscle bound genetic freak to squash more people, yippee'. It quickly became clear however that Big E is no ordinary hoss. In fact, Big E Langston is something quite special. On first glance, he looks like your prototype mid 1990's WWF guy. Whilst not being too tall, he is as impressive a physical specimen as anyone on the roster today. The guy is built like a tank. His move set in the ring compliments this. There isn't too much that is fancy about what the man does inside the ring, it is all smash smash smash. His running body block is exactly the short of thing he should be doing, and Dolph Ziggler will continually make it look vicious as all hell. A guy of Big E's size and build should 100% be just running through people.
Despite that, he's actually pretty sneaky good in the ring. The guy does quite possibly the most effortless leap frog I have seen in years. His series with Del Rio also showed off his in ring chops as well. He showed himself to be fluid, inventive with his counters and he sold Del Rio's offence like a veteran. WWE have their fair share of muscle men, but Langston differs from say, a Mason Ryan, because he can actually wrestle, and wrestle well.
He has a very unique background too. He isn't just a body builder who happened to chance upon a wrestling career. He was a state wrestling champion in college, and also went onto hold multiple power lifting records. Big E Langston is a genuine athlete who doesn't just look strong, but boy he actually is strong. He's impressive from the get go.
There is another thing that sets Big E Langston apart from other stereotypical WWE muscle men. He hasn't been given many opportunities so far, but whenever the man has a microphone in his hand he is charismatic as all hell. I was sceptical at first, but his old timey interview voice more than sold it. Some of his appearances on WWE's You Tube content have been nothing short of genius. Kielbasa anyone? You try and ask him a question whilst he's enjoying quality sausage? Wonderful. His reaction to receiving a My Little Pony on the Wrestle Mania XXIV diary is glorious too. The man has a unique natural charisma that will surely be exploited.
Anyone who follows Big E on twitter will be more than aware of his humour as well. He is one of, if not the funniest WWE personality on twitter, with a sort of sweet soft humour that shouldn't work with a guy of his size, but for some reason it does. It is another thing that sets him apart from your Jackson Andrewses, Mason Ryans and Ezekial Jacksons.
However, this feud with Ziggler won't allow this side to come out yet, and this is a good thing. For the purpose of the feud Big E will be the Diesel to Ziggler's Shawn Michaels. Allowing the comedy to come out too early might lead to Big E becoming a joke a la Tons of Funk. By keeping him in beast mode for as long as possible, you can get him over as the tank that he is. Langston has the ability and charisma to keep his character fresh over the coming years, with obvious evolution. Both roles seem natural for Big E, he has a unique flexible. It's what will stop him from being another Bobby Lashley.
Ultimately, the stars very well may have aligned for Big E and Dolph. Dolph is in danger of being the latest victim to the curse of the WWE babyface turn, like The Miz and Alberto Del Rio before him. This ready made story is tailor made for a babyface of his ilk. He can be thrown around rag doll style by the vastly more intimidating Langston, and he can come out on top against the odds. No, not Cena style. It also can really solidify Langston as a top level potential talent, by going toe to toe with someone who is obviously destined for greatness.
I can not say enough positive things about Big E Langston. The WWE really have a sleeper star in their ranks here, almost the perfect modern day WWE performer. Possessing multiple facets is an absolute must, wrestlers just cannot get away with being one dimensional any more. He has the look of a mid 90's McMahon wet dream, but the personality that most modern day wrestling fans can really fall in love with. I know I have.
What do you think about Big E Langston? Super charismatic wrecking machine or token muscle throwaway? How do you see the Ziggler feud playing out? Leave a comment in the lonely comment box below, and let's get into some Big E lovin'. Failing that, twitter me (@pingvinorkestra) or email me ([email protected]). I'm off to the flea market.