Welcome to the first edition of The Diagnosis on TJR. Back when I was writing more and had my own blog, The Diagnosis was a series of columns that I would write when I had something on my mind. With WWE Main Event taking a dive into Superstars territory, I decided to write about that show on a biweekly basis. That means every other week I will be posting two Main Event reviews in one column. In my off weeks from Main Event, you’ll be getting these Diagnosis columns. Everyone good? Let’s get started.

Now that Dolph Ziggler has finally won a World Title (that 45 minute reign in 2011 doesn’t count) everyone is pondering who will be that next guy to finally reach the top of WWE’s mountain. Sure there are guys like The Miz and Daniel Bryan that have been there once, but that’s the key, they’ve been there. This column focuses on five guys that haven’t won a World Title yet and who could potentially become a World Champion in the future.

Wade Barrett

The current Intercontinental Champion seems to have the look that WWE would want in a World Champion. The company seems to have faith in him as he was the leader of The Nexus. Granted, the faction was never really a threat but they were the focal point of WWE for several months in 2010. He’s already had PPV main event Championship matches with Randy Orton and main evented PPVs with John Cena. The rumor floating around WWE in 2011 was that he was in line to win one of the Money in the Bank briefcases until an elbow injury sidelined him for most of the year.

To me at least, Barrett is boring. That’s not totally his fault. He has good matches and can handle himself well on the microphone. The problem is WWE books him poorly. He is the Intercontinental Champion but he loses all the time. Fans don’t care when he is in the ring because they are conditioned to think he’ll lose despite that gold around his waist. His feuds with Randy Orton and Sheamus should have led him towards the top but they went on too long with him not looking like he is on their level.

I still think before all is said and done, Barrett will become a World Champion. He has all the tools to do so. It’s just a matter of WWE getting behind him enough for him to win a feud over a guy like Orton or Sheamus and look like a credible threat to a World Title.

Kofi Kingston

The reigning United States Champion frustrates me greatly. He has been stuck in the same spot since he debuted in WWE about four years ago. He’s in the same damn cycle. Win the Intercontinental Championship. Lose it. Become a jobber. Win the Tag Team Titles. Lose them. Become a jobber. Win the United States Championship. Lose it become a jobber. Rinse and repeat. He’s an athletic guy that can do some unique things in the ring. The fans, especially the young ones are into him. His problem is also bad booking. He had his shot at a career making feud with Randy Orton in 2009 but it didn’t seem that he was ready for it and he has never really reached that level since. He wrestles the same guys all the time and rarely feuds with anyone. It’s tough to really care about a guy like that.

Based on the fact that he seems to be right under that main event level all the time that he could be a future World Champion. I just don’t see it. He’s the midcard John Cena. A guy that they’ll never touch. They’ll just leave him alone. I want to see if Kofi is capable of more but I don’t think WWE cares to see if he is. At this rate, Kofi will retire a 45 time Intercontinental Champion. I guess that’s something to be proud of.


I think this is the biggest no brainer. It’s only a matter of time before he’s on the top of WWE’s mountain. Or is it? This heel turn is a character reset for Ryback. If he flops this could be it for him. WWE was doing the right thing with him when he debuted in April of 2012. Have him go out there and just destroy guys and get the fans behind him. Slowly move him up the ladder until he is ready to be a real challenger for one of WWE’s two top prizes. The John Cena got hurt and since WWE has no real depth on the babyface side the stuck Ryback in a WWE Championship Match with CM Punk.

Of course, he had to lose and they went the cheap way out which is fine. Sure, it killed his undefeated streak, something unique and marketable about him, but it still kept him strong. Instead of building him back up and just brushing the loss under the rug, he went on to lose every single PPV match he’s had since then. Including the match against Mark Henry at WrestleMania, which is even more mind boggling since he’s John Cena’s first challenger for the WWE Championship.

Normally, a shot into the main event is a blessing for a wrestler. It’s been a curse for Ryback. The timing of him becoming a main event guy was bad. It was already October and WWE wasn’t going to ruin their CM Punk/Rock matches and build to WrestleMania just to put Ryback over. Had this happened in say June or July maybe Ryback isn’t even on this list.

I personally like Ryback. I’m a fan of the big brute, talks a little, kicks ass a lot type of guy. I just don’t think this heel turn is going to work for him. He’s got a WWE Championship Match in a few weeks but is Cena really going to lose his title in his first defense? Especially when we’ve been seeing longer title reigns in WWE recently?

Even though I expect the heel turn to flop, Ryback is a guy that if he can stay out of trouble, will keep getting chance after chance because he is the type of guy Vince McMahon wants as his World Champion. Sooner or later, Ryback will feast on a World Title.

Antonio Cesaro

Stop laughing. I know you probably think this is a joke considering that they guy just did a clean job to R-Truth on RAW but the Swiss Sensation is a rare talent. Cesaro had been the United States Champion since SummerSlam and was being featured on WWE TV regularly. He was becoming someone you should take notice of. He even had a fun gimmick where he would come to the ring dressed in the colors of the USA and carried Old Glory to the ring. He hated Americans but loved America and was an arrogant ass all the way. The perfect type of heel because you wanted to see him get his ass kicked but he was the one doing the ass kicking.

Then Jack Swagger came back and WWE decided that they couldn’t have two characters boasting about their versions of America. So, Cesaro dropped him gimmick (even though it was better) and became a yodeling fool that was left off the WrestleMania card and treated like a damn jobber.

The reason I feel confident that someday Cesaro will be a World Champion is CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Those two had many starts and stops in their WWE careers before their talent just took over and there was no choice but to put gold on them. The two former Ring of Honor standouts give fans of Cesaro hope that WWE will see that he like the other two has what it takes to carry the company. Talent always rises to the top and Cesaro certainly has the talent.

Dean Ambrose

You could put any member of The Shield here and have a valid argument. I’m going with Ambrose because I actually said he’d be a World Champion in our TJR 2013 Staff Predictions column. The WWE announcers can push all they want that the members of The Shield are all for one and one for all. They have no egos and they are all equals in the group. I personally don’t see it that way. I see Ambrose as the leader of The Shield. He’s the one doing 95% of the talking. He’s the man standing in the center of this dangerous trio. He is their leader whether WWE admits it or not.

The great thing about The Shield is that they’ve been booked great. All they do is beat former World Champions. You know these guys are legit. Eventually the time of The Shield will end. With a faction this great, when they break up someone is getting the big push. With Evolution, Randy Orton and Batista both got World Title pushes. When The Shield dissolves, in my opinion, it’s going to be Dean Ambrose. He’s got a great look, great verbal skills and is great in the ring. His best trait may in fact be his facial expressions. The way he sells situations and moves with his face is world class and one day he’ll be World Champion.


I could keep going with guys like Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes and Big E Langston but I think going in depth on five guys is sufficient. WWE’s problem is the way they book guys that are not in the main event. The men I discussed need good booking along with some luck and they could all possibly be champions one day.

Be sure to let me know what you thought about the five guys (burgers and fries) I went in depth about. Is there someone I missed? If you’re a regular viewer of NXT is there someone down there that could be a future World Champion? Don’t be shy. Express your opinions. I’d love to hear from you.


(That’s what she said.)

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