This past Monday on WWE Raw, a seemingly throwaway match between Enzo & Big Cass versus two “local competitors”, ended in a squash, which resulted in a seemingly throwaway segment featuring a confrontation between the two realest guys in the room and the returning Social Outcasts, down to just the trio of Heath Slater (BABY!), Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. But with the WWE Universe’s favourite Certified G’s current adversaries, The Vaudevillains, temporarily sidelined following a minor injury to Simon Gotch over the past weekend, perhaps it wouldn’t be too bad of a thing if they had a short feud with the Social Outcasts (note: The Vaudevillains were back in action shortly after on Live Events, facing the New Day in Honolulu on June 29).
The Social Outcasts, even when they were one member bigger with Adam Rose, were four wrestlers who had huge internet fanbases, but were “held back” as enhancement talent for the mid-carders. Still humourous and fun to watch, many watched with painful awkwardness and a sense of pity – the only way they’d be mentioned in the same breath as the Four Horsemen would be if they’d been founded by Barry Horowitz, “Iron” Mike Sharpe, Barry O, and The Brooklyn Brawler instead of Flair, Tully and the Andersons.
But the Social Outcasts remain on the roster because they are indeed that talented. Much like Horowitz and Sharpe, these three know their place in the system right now – right or wrong – and the best way to stay with the company with a chance of moving up is to shine at the opportunities given to you. They’re talented in the ring, make anyone they face look better and stronger, and have enough ring smarts and mic skills to work with anyone from technical introverts or chatterboxes like Enzo Amore. And the modus operandi of Enzo and his partner Big Cass couldn’t be better suited than working a program with just such three “carpenters”.
Enzo and Big Cass are effective because they keep it simple. They don’t rely on big spots or chain wrestling to captive the crowd, they rely on a sense of familiar and a flair for the flamboyant to not only get over with the entire WWE Multiverse, from the indie purists to the casual moms and dads. Their opening monologue, while text book Road Dogg chant-a-long to begin, always turns into unique and scathing promos that have an entire arena laughing like friends at a party. Enzo’s enthusiasm and explosiveness in the ring is matched only by his uncanny ability to seemingly take a beating from usually superior opponents – he’s like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin‘s personality in Spike Dudley‘s body. He’s hard not love and cheer for. Enzo takes the brunt of the opponent’s offence – usually allowing both tag partners to get in a decent offensive display in before going for the best hot tag in the business since Bradshaw in APA, Billy Gunn in New Age Outlaws or Robert Gibson in the Rock N’ Roll Express (although Jason Jordan with American Alpha in NXT is closing in fast). Big Cass enters the ring, cleans house with some of the best big man moves since Kevin Nash‘s heyday, and finishes the opponent off with Cass slamming a flying Enzo onto a winded victim.
If the Social Outcasts were pitted against Enzo and Big Cass in that playbook, it would help the Social Outcasts immensely. Sure, some will complain that a team as hot as Enzo & Cass shouldn’t be wasted on such low card characters, especially being locked into a path leading to a showdown for the WWE World Tag Team titles. But it’s because of how over they are that they could work with them right now. Let’s face it. Right now, Enzo & Cass, the new E&C, can do no wrong. They’re closing in on New Day for the most over group on the roster, and they’re crowd interaction is second to none. They got the crowd to do the wave on command on Monday. In 2016.
Only the most elitist of wrestling fans would really believe that E&C working with Social Outcasts would be detrimental to their push. It would be a comedy one-off, with the potential to showcase just how good those three castaways really are. Remember, Bo Dallas was a showstopper, a main event, during his NXT days, bringing down the house in a feud with Neville over the NXT World title. His in-ring ability is superior to his brother Bray Wyatt‘s, he just lacks the size. But Bo can definitely go. And against someone of Enzo’s size, he could show more than just his usual limited skills against guys so much bigger than himself.
Bret Hart recently said on his podcast that he felt Curtis Axel is “every bit the athlete and the performer that his Dad was.” High praise from a normally fickle Hitman, and someone who knows a bit about Axel’s father, WWE Hall of Famer “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig – he was one of Hart’s favourite opponents. Axel could also get in a decent showcase against Enzo, showing off some of his power moves and technical athleticism, while also being able to work well with Big Cass and his strength.
And Heath Slater? He just needs to be Heath Slater. Whether he’s the mouthpiece at the side of the ring, or one of the performers in the ring, there are few who do the job they’re assigned in the ring than The One Man Rock Band. He sells better than most on the roster and his dorky sense of cool is infectiously entertaining (hence his dominance in Social Media campaigns the past year).
So rest up, Simon Gotch. And WWE, take a chance.
Let Enzo & Big Cass take a time out to have a little run with the Social Outcasts. Slater, Dallas and Axel deserve this. Chikara, PWG, the New Day, Joey Ryan, Chuck Taylor, Dalton Castle, even The Golden Truth, have proven that a little humour in your product never hurt. As long as it’s fun.
Social Outcasts versus the Realest Guys In The Room? Now that sounds like fun.
And you can’t.
(Main Photo: WWE.com)