Is Curt Hawkins good enough to ever be a singles champion? Nope. Not now, not in his prime, and most certainly not in the future. But what the WWE Superstar, who is returning to SmackDown Live in the near future, can be is a vital member of the rebuilding Tuesday night brand.
You see, not everyone gets to be a main event level player or young star closing in on a push. The WWE, like Saturday Night Live’s utility players, needs talent who don’t mind being more sideshow attraction than serious draw. This is where Hawkins can come in.
Hawkins has a not-so-storied WWE past. He was introduced on the scene with Zack Ryder to be part of Edge’s then three-man group. The duo won tag team gold, but due to a lack of character development, the crowd really never took to the two Edgeheads.
Time would go by, the duo would split up, and before anyone even realized it, Hawkins was gone from the WWE. What he would do next, though, is of vital importance.
A solid in-ring talent, Hawkins hit the indy-circuit with great intensity. During this period of time he improved rather dramatically in the ring. As importantly as that, he stayed in shape to the point that when the WWE needed to bring back some name-ish brand stars in a post-brand split world, he was a person worth reaching out to.
Now that he’s back, in a weird combination of Chuck Norris facts and Matt Hardy Version 1.0 gimmick fashion, the question remains — what can he bring to the table as a now older, but not really all that accomplished talent?
The simple answer happens to be a lot.
Whether that’s simply trotting about the WWE Universe as a somewhat comedy act as the “Curt Hawkins facts” video packages would suggest, or as a combination of that and a solid in-ring worker, is anyone’s guess. Thing is, while he’s not exactly the most remembered former WWE talent to ever return to the company, he has enough history in it that the creative team can play around if needed.
If this entire “facts” angle doesn’t work, the company can just insert him into a feud or re-teaming with Ryder. There’s a fail safe rarely afforded to other talents already built in with Hawkins. Furthermore, with the tag team division on SmackDown being lackluster, having a somewhat revisionist history on Hawkins as a tag team specialist can most certainly help add some credibility to the weak tag team ranks.
Endless possibilities, really, and that’s the entire point here. Hawkins’ character, persona and abilities are flexible enough that he can fit in any role the WWE needs him to help get over. Whether that’s glorified jobber, fun comedy act, tag team guy, or whatever, he brings a utility player’s feel to the table that can not only address several issues at once, but do so in a way that won’t take away from other talent.
Whatever good he brings to the company won’t outshine other talent in a way it would if this were a bigger former WWE talent returning. So, part of Hawkins’ appeal during this return is that he’s not a huge name.
But, again, that’s the point. Hawkins isn’t coming back to the WWE to change the game. The company isn’t pinning its hopes on him to be some major draw, either. But with the company still learning on the fly and SmackDown needing help in several areas, there are few former still capable WWE stars the company could have brought back that could fill as many potential voids as the former WWE Tag Team Champion.
So, we leave you with this Curt Hawkins fact: Fact — Curt Hawkins is a name most of the WWE Universe already forgot existed, but it won’t take too long for him to remind us of his usefulness.