Monday, February 20, 2012

The Curious Case of Santino

The Cobra is ready (WWE)
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

After Randy Orton was taken out of the Elimination Chamber Pay Per View with a concussion, Santino Marella won a battle royale to take Orton’s spot in the Chamber match for a shot at the WWE World Title. After word got out about the Smackdown taping results, a lot of WWE fans were upset Santino was inserted into the match feeling Santino is nothing more than a comedy wrestler who doesn’t have the legitimacy required to be taken seriously as a title contender.

While that opinion has some weight, one fact that became obvious during the Elimination Chamber show was the fact Santino was one of the most, if not the most over wrestler on the show. Maybe it was because he was the odd man out in the match and the crowd was looking for anything to cheer on the otherwise mediocre show, but even looking at his time in the Royal Rumble and the reaction he gets during backstage segments on Raw, there is no denying Santino gets a better reaction than some top level talents.

When I heard Santino was going to be in the Elimination Chamber match, I wondered if WWE would have Santino slip into his Boris Alexiev persona from OVW.

While he didn’t go full on back into that identity, Santino did surprise most of the crowd by being the last man eliminated in the match and gave champion Daniel Bryan a scare by taking him to the limit. After watching that clip of Santino/Alexi, I would be more interested in a Daniel Bryan vs. serious Santino match at Wrestlemania instead of the Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus match we’ll get getting.

Bryan vs. Santino (WWE)
The interesting aspect going forward is what will WWE do with Santino after Elimination Chamber. Will they play into his popularity and give him a serious push? Or will they be upset he got himself over when he wasn’t meant to and cut his legs out from under him the way they seem to have done to Zach Ryder?

While they probably won’t do this because they didn’t know what to do with him while he was on the roster, I would suggest WWE get a Best of Colt Cabana DVD to see how a versatile wrestler can do both comedy and serious at the same time. Given how popular Santino is, I would suggest striking while the iron is hot and try to make money off of Santino. Could he be World Champion? Why not? Maybe not tomorrow, but in six months if used properly I honestly believe the WWE Universe would buy into a Milan Miracle title reign.

What do you think? Could you see Santino wearing the 10 pounds of gold? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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