Like last week's Spotlight subject, WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, there is another superstar on the rise by the name of Damien Sandow. The "intellectual savior" of the WWE is making a name for himself by picking up wins and getting heat with old school heel-styled tactics. Sandow draws comparisons to "The Genius" Lanny Poffo, but that may be unfair and I think Sandow is doing a great job so far. Yes, he is an intelluctual like Poffo, but he does so many little things that make him stand out more than other 'unique' stars.
I think the way he constantly rolls outside of the ring and gets the refs' attention is a great heel magnet, and he does it so much I find myself saying 'Get back in the f'n ring!' If you pay attention to my likes and dislikes enough, you should remember I enjoy seeing wrestlers who go that extra mile to suspend my dibelief that really isn't there in this so-called 'reality' era. Look at the way he grasps the microphone like a goblet while he's cutting a well-spoken promo; it's the little things like this that make me more of a fan because he's putting in the extra effort.
Sandow was on the way to a steady rise as a singles star in WWE, and then he got teamed with Cody Rhodes until Rhodes' unfortunate injury. Now I get the pairing because WWE wanted to boost their tag team division, but I'm glad it looks to be over. I wrote the following regarding Sandow in an old 'Spotlight' column featuring stars on the rise:
I still stand by my comments; being in a tag team didn't hurt Sandow, but being away from Cody really shows you how good Sandow can be in any arena. I think we have seen the end of Rhodes Scholars, and Sandow looks to be on his way up, and when Cody comes back they need to build him up again too. Cody had a fantastic character when he was 'Dashing' and also disfigured, and it seems like WWE lost a good character, and was floundering after he lost the Intercontinental Championship. I thought Sandow would be a fix and it worked for a short time, but now the focus is back on Sandow.
I wasn't sure how exactly they would introduce back into the singles picture, but I have to say the search for his apprentice has been fun to watch, and he's only done it a handful of times. Segments like this speak to me because they are a good way to get heat, but they also bring back a bit of nostalgia. I remember wrestling for my 'heroes' like Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior, but I also remember loathing guys like Ted DiBiase and Tiger Ali Singh. Both of these guys would humiliate fans for money, just because they could. It worked, and Sandow is getting it to work. Take this past Monday night for instance: he asked two simple questions then stumped the guy with a poetry question that only scholars should know. (A few Twitter followers knew it too, but I digress.)
Sandow is getting heat and embarrassing fans because he thinks he is better than them. Simple concept, excellent execution. (No, not a Bret Hart reference, carry on...) CM Punk thinks he is the best wrestler in the world, and Sandow thinks he is simply above everyone else. Same idea, different claim. I enjoy Damien Sandow because like I said, he's a good old school heel and he does the little things that make his screen time count. He, like Cesaro, is another unique Superstar that gives you a reason to tune into WWE programming. Like I have said about other heels like Bobby Roode, you just want to see a smug prick like Sandow get his ass handed to him. Sandow isn't really doing anything wrong, he's just arrogant and maybe goes about it the wrong way. Sandow keeps finding ways to win, and he is slowly annoying, or saving, the masses, depending on who you ask. He's a great addition to the WWE roster and I look forward to seeing him every week.