Two Superstars were made during Raw’s main event Monday.
The first was Kevin Owens, who reached a new level of stardom by winning the Universal Championship. The other was Big Cass, who took the exact opposite approach.
The 7-footer wasn’t the final Superstar eliminated or even the second. He was first, which in most cases would mean he was booked to look weak.
But that’s not how Cass was booked in Monday’s title match. Instead, the match served as a litmus test for whether he can work as a main event Superstar.
Cass held his own in his first main event match and looked strong right up until his elimination. He managed to get several big spots in and wasn’t overshadowed facing Owens, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. He even managed to hold his own in the promo at the beginning of Raw, building himself as the darkhorse choice, while making it seem like he had a legitimate chance to be the surprise winner.
It’s long been assumed that Cass will have a bright future as a singles competitor in the future. While he and Enzo Amore are currently one of WWE’s most popular tag teams, the Queens native has the makings of a potential WWE champion – at least in the eyes of WWE management.
Cass stands at (a kayfabe) 7-feet and is a solid worker and talker. Sure, he’s not Enzo, but anyone would look weak on the mic by comparison. Still, Cass manages to hold his own while having the ideal “WWE look.”
So knowing he can shine in a main event championship match is a huge deal. Cass’ performance Monday provided credibility to his potential main event stock. Now there’s more of a chance that the company will invest in him as a future champion.
And sure, he was the first to be eliminated, but it’s not yet his time to be thrust into the main event scene. But that’s actually the company’s way of protecting him long-term.
WWE must handle everything perfectly. Let’s be honest, he’s the second most over person in his tag team. If Enzo and Cass ever do split up, chances are the crowd will side with the “Smacktalker Skywalker” over the big man.
Yet we all know Cass’ ceiling as a singles competitor is higher than Enzo’s based on size alone, so that might force fans to turn against him. It’s sort of like when The Shield split up and many thought Reigns was being pushed too hard at the expense of the others.
Fast forward to present day and all three members have been WWE champions, so perhaps the reaction was was a bit much. But Reigns still hasn’t recovered popularity wise. That could be the only obstacle preventing Cass from a main event push.
Still, it seems like WWE is going to eventually cash in on the Queens native as a main event superstar and Monday’s match was the foreshadowing of that plan. Cass proved he could hang with the big boys in the main event and put on the best performance of his career thus far.
If WWE is keen on making him a champion in the future, Monday’s match provided babysteps toward that direction.