You may have heard this week from places like the Wrestling Observer that Triple H is pushing hard for a new Hispanic superstar in WWE. He’s reportedly trying to fill a template of someone bilingual who is around six feet tall with a traditional WWE look, i.e. a muscular non-cruiserweight. Now, say what you will about people succeeding regardless of adherence to WWE templates (lookin’ at you, Daniel Bryan), but it’s no surprise that they need someone like this. In a perfect world, Rey Mysterio has the knees of someone half his age, Eddie Guerrero is still alive and holding a position of authority at NXT, and WWE didn’t screw up the tap-in putt of making Mistico a huge deal internationally. There’s a void to fill here, and representation is important to every race/creed/sexuality, especially amongst young people. So, in the interest of helping out, here are some suggestions for WWE’s latest unclaimed brass ring. None of them are quite a perfect fit for various reasons, but you could do a heck of a lot worse than these.
The Traveler: La Sombra
As far as the physical blueprint goes, La Sombra is probably along the lines Triple H is looking for. He stands 5-foot-11, he’s well-built, but he moves like a lot of his smaller fellow luchadores. He’s also got the legacy factor on his side, since he’s the son of a well-known wrestler in Mexico, Brillante. It’s also probably safe to say that he’d be comfortable with WWE’s heavy travel schedule, because the man has been to a lot of countries and won a lot of titles. He had a back-and-forth series with Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, so we know he can hang with the greats. Sounds like a complete package, but I have no idea whether or not his English is up to snuff, and that’s pretty important to WWE.
The Gaijin: Máscara Dorada
What were you doing when you were sixteen years old? I can pretty much guarantee you weren’t making your lucha libre debut like Dorada was. This is probably one of the youngest wrestlers you’ll find with a decade of service to their name, so the man definitely knows his wrestling. Like La Sombra, he’s very well-traveled… and that’s probably why he’s off the table for WWE, at least for now. He very recently signed a 1-year deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and he has his sights set on Kenny Omega’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight title. I think we can leave him be and let him take his best shot at Bullet Club right now, they’ve got way too many titles as it stands.
The Wild Card: Rocky Romero
At 5-foot-7 and 32 years of age, Rocky Romero is probably not the likeliest candidate for this spot. And you know what? I don’t care. More than anyone else on this list, I want to see Rocky in NXT tomorrow. He’s wildly entertaining, whether he’s in a tag team or flying solo. If you’ve seen his repeating RAGE LARIATS to a cornered opponent, you know what I’m talking about. His Forever Hooligans tag team partner Alex Koslov has recently taken an indefinite leave of absence from wrestling, so he’s pretty much free to do his own thing now. WWE could definitely use this Cuban-American, since their last one was… well, he was Scott Hall.
The Impossibility: Cain Velasquez
Okay, just bear with me here.
This is about as likely as Chris Benoit going into the WWE Hall of Fame, but I think it would work wonders. He is to mixed martial arts what Eddie Guerrero was to wrestling: THE Mexican-American heavyweight champion for a new generation. He was an outstanding collegiate wrestler at Arizona State before becoming a megastar in UFC. He has huge crossover appeal, he’s got exactly the build WWE wants, and he’s bilingual. He’s still got years ahead of him in MMA, but dang, if things had gone differently, think of Cain making a run at the WWE title. I absolutely want to see him tangle with Brock Lesnar one more time, because if there’s anything Cain (UFC 121) and Eddie Guerrero (No Way Out 2004) taught us, it’s that Brock’s kryptonite is La Raza.
The Sure Thing: El Patrón Alberto
The charisma, the look, the legacy… This seems like a perfect fit, I’m not sure why he’s not in the WWE already.