It’s no secret that the WWE envisions big things for the man appropriately known as Big Cass. Just look at how he’s been presented in singles competition for evidence of that.
First, there was Enzo Amore’s concussion-related absence. Most other tag team wrestlers would flounder without their other half. Jimmy Uso, for instance, became a depth player last year when his partner Jey suffered a shoulder injury. But, without Enzo, Cass remained a central part of WWE programming.
Most recently, and most notably, was his inclusion in the WWE Universal Championship match. With talented workers like Chris Jericho, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Sheamus available, most were surprised to see Cass get the nod. But the seven-footer held his own.
Sure, he was the first eliminated. But it took a bevy of high impact moves to get rid of him. More important was the fact that Cass looked competent in a big-match setting and formidable against some of the WWE’s best. With the WWE’s comfort level in him apparently growing, he could be set to ascend sooner than later.
But the WWE shouldn’t accelerate Cass’ rise too quickly. Of course, there are the obvious reasons. Like what happened with Roman Reigns, pushing Cass too quickly would expose his flaws. He’s wildly popular in the role he’s in, but wrestling fans now are as vocal as they’ve ever been. If they get the feel that Cass is being forced on them, they’ll be quick to rebel.
But beyond that, there’s so much potential in the duo of Amore and Cass that to pull the plug on them now seems downright criminal. The wildly popular tandem, along with The Club and (for as long as they’re together) the New Day, could continue to revitalize a long-stagnant tag team division.
Not to mention that an extended stint as a singles competitor would expose all of Cass’ flaws. Not to say that he’s an abomination in the ring or on the microphone, but the 30-year-old does have room to grow. And with how young 30 is in the realm of professional wrestling, he’s got plenty of time to do it.
But, expecting him to improve on the fly is a risky proposition. Cass played his role well in Monday’s Fatal 4-Way match, but his flaws were apparent. The big man has a limited move-set, something that even the least critical fans probably picked up after his third or fourth big boot in that matchup. He also works as the “hot tag” in a tag team that wrestles a very traditional style.
Putting on four- and five-star matches may never be Cass’ forte, and that’s OK. But the WWE is predicated on great in-ring work now more than ever. Cass will need to improve in the ring to win over the WWE audience. So, whenever it is that he’s thrust into the role of a regular singles wrestler, he should cut his teeth in the mid-card a bit before reaching the mountaintop.
Cass’ promo skills could also use some fine-tuning before he becomes a main-event player. He’s fine on the stick in his current role, essentially working as Enzo’s hype man. However, his delivery comes off as sort of wooden or monotone when he’s asked to talk for longer than 60 seconds. Not to mention that he’s yet to cut many, if any, serious promos.
It’s understandable that WWE might want to elevate Cass. With the brand extension, neither Raw nor SmackDown Live is overflowing with top options. This “new era,” is as good a time as any to create new stars, but Cass’ ascent should be one that spans several months or even years.
Otherwise, the talented performer could wind up another cautionary tale of why WWE shouldn’t push anyone too hard and too fast.