WWE’s Most Disappointing Signing of the 2010s
October 4e, 2019, at the historic ’20 of Smackdowne First anniversary episode on Fox, Cain Velasquez made his WWE TV debut, facing off against a longtime rival Brock Lesnar. However, during his time with the company, he only had a singular two-minute match. What went wrong and why is it such a huge and missed opportunity and failure?
On paper, a feud with Brock Lesnar was money
Velasquez, similar to Brock, is a legitimate and certified fighter and former UFC heavyweight champion. This title alone is enough to carve out a place for itself in the world of professional wrestling, as so few people make the leap between platforms. Fighting background and experience are generally recognized and respected in wrestling. In many ways, being an established name has given it a head start.
In recent years, Lesnar has been touted as an unstoppable and unbeatable monster, but suddenly the WWE Universe received someone who had defeated Lesnar in mixed martial arts, scarred his face for life and ended. his first race in the UFC.
It was a rivalry that seemed real, blurred the lines between fiction and reality, and crossed the line between legitimate competition and sports entertainment. It was something unique in itself, and that made him special. It was something WWE couldn’t have been happier to have the power to book.
There was anticipation despite it being a Saudi spectacle
What made it less special, however, was a rushed feud, spanning a few weeks, with a minor brawl and showdown, and a match scheduled for one of WWE’s ever-disappointing and controversial shows in Saudi Arabia.
With these maps constantly filled with headliners, dream matches and ‘super show downs’, with these events giving us matchups like Goldberg vs. The Undertaker, D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction and Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman, it’s no surprise that a match with this pulling power was placed on the Crown Jewel 2019 event.
The contest was for the WWE Championship, but given that Velasquez hadn’t played a single game for the company, that weakened some of the integrity of the match. That being said, there was still a strong expectation for this game. For the most part, Velasquez’s ability in the ring was likely an unknown entity, but for those who followed, would have seen his stint in Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide.
Although he was trained in the Lucha Libre style, he mixed this with his MMA background to create a truly unique and attractive professional wrestling style. His size but surprisingly agility set him apart from a lot of WWE players – they really did have someone special on their hands.
The match with Lesnar was disappointing and lackluster
On paper, it seemed logical that WWE would devote time and effort to Velasquez, pushing him as a star and contender, giving us a hard-hitting clash with Lesnar that would solidify him as a mainstay and attraction. What followed, however, was a laborious two-minute affair that featured mostly melee-based grappling hooks and a quick submission victory for Lesnar. While it looked like a more realistic fight, it was a shame to see Velasquez not using his full arsenal in the ring.
To be fair, this was surely only the first chapter of the story, and there would be a lot more to come from Cain. Unfortunately, that was the end of the story. Velasquez never appeared on WWE TV again, despite rumors of abandoned plans for a Royal Rumble appearance, and he was released in April 2020 due to budget cuts.
Looking back, his race was a waste of time and resources. WWE has never really capitalized on the potentially lucrative feud between Lesnar and Velasquez. There was no continuation of his alliance with the Mysterios, no additional on-screen cameos, just nothing.
Velasquez’s run was a waste of time
WWE was given a name with mainstream appeal, someone with genuine passion and interest in the wrestling world, and they completely squandered it. Whether he ended up being the hero to topple Lesnar, or ultimately a Lesnar-style heel with destructive speed and danger for a face-to-face encounter in the making, the opportunities and options were endless, but those options collapsed in two. minutes.
WWE has been criticized for not using people correctly, especially with NXT calls and inbound names. While it can be difficult to turn someone into a household name, despite spending time on NXT, Velasquez was already a star, so much of the work was already done.
Injuries played their part in driving Velasquez away, but that doesn’t explain why he didn’t use him when he was finally healthy, and didn’t even use him as a manager for the Mysterios, or in some other role. . This signature was perhaps the biggest abuse of a long established name.
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