WWE News: The Curious Case Of Damien Sandow And The Money In The Bank Contract
Damien Sandow makes his entrance. (Photo: WWE Facebook)
On the Monday Night Raw after WWE's Hell In A Cell pay per view, Damien Sandow cashed in his Money In The Bank contract on John Cena after Cena's win over Alberto Del Rio at Hell In a Cell. Much like when John Cena tried to cash in his Money In The Bank contract last year, Damien Sandow failed. He failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship and so is left without his briefcase and a chance at becoming a champion.
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I think its good to hit 'reset' on Damien Sandow. For whatever reason after he won the Money In The Bank Ladder Match he lost. He lost a lot, and before MITB he was one of the only characters who had momentum and won. He is a perfect example of why wins and losses actually matter in wrestling. He was being build up really well before he won the briefcase, Sandow had a great character, could get reactions from the crowd, sound natural in his promos and had a vicious and hard hitting in ring style which added depth to his character. Plus he got a ton of heat by turning on Cody Rhodes and of course they had to have Rhodes beat him to give Sandow some comeuppance which I think is where Sandow's problems started.
Is losing to John Cena a burial? I don't think it is. I think it was more of a test. I'm sure the fact the John Cena winning and being the so called 'Superman' of WWE will be discussed elsewhere but I am going to focus on Sandow and what it does for him. First of all, I've always argued that more than anyone else, Damien Sandow is a heel who can always get heat, he can always get the crowd to hate him, you can see he revels in it and he excels at it. As 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin says a lot in his podcast that some heels are afraid to be hated and get heat, well I don't think Damien Sandow is one of those guys. The crowd might be indifferent to half the heels on the roster, but they are never indifferent to Sandow. His character is brilliant, his promos are entertaining and he can really perform when in the ring. I don't think many people realise just how many good matches he has had so far in his relatively short career. He's had great matches with Sheamus, Randy Orton and vs Team Hell No as part of the Rhodes Scholars and now a great match with John Cena. Lets not forgot how many great promos he has done, whether it was searching for his apprentice or getting to interact with D-Generation X, he is always amazing on the microphone.
There is an absolute killer number of people claiming it buries Sandow, even on our site here Chris Motola's headline for the Raw report is 'John Cena buries Damien Sandow' and I read in the Bleacher Report article that 'Damien Sandow's momentum had its tires slashed as he failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship' but he didn't have any momentum at all after his Money In The Bank win. I completely disagree with the burial comments. Mick Foley also said on Twitter "Come on all you #DebbieDowners out there - what happened to @TheDamienSandow was FAR from a burial! It was the dawning of the age of Sandow!" and I completely agree. Jim Ross said on him blog "Sandow's perception raised in my eyes via his performance. A string of those types of bouts will generally get a talent where he wants to be". Just look at the situation surrounding him. He kept losing match after match and they didn't develop Sandow at all. He got a nice looking briefcase, but that was it.
My colleague on isporttimes Michael Gordon made a great point when we were discussing this, he pointed out something I wasnt aware of but on a recent Main Event episode Damien Sandow lost to Santino Marella in less than 3 minutes. Where were the people claiming he was buried then? Fair enough, not everyone watches Main Event but there was no one complaining. There was no vocal audience when he was losing all these matches after Money In The Bank. Could it be an irrational hatred for a certain superstar is causing all this burial talk. For some people maybe it isnt even about Damien Sandow, its about John Cena.
At Night of Champions Rob Van Dam beat the hell out of Alberto Del Rio and left him lying after a Van-Terminator and there was no Sandow tease at all. All he did was tease on Twitter. They didn't give him any momentum or give fans a reason to care for him cashing in. Sandow shouldn't be presented on the same level as John Cena. Not yet anyway, and nobody is on the level of John Cena, he is the guy and people just have to accept that. Even if Sandow was a main event talent being a heel means he isn't on the level of John Cena, it just means he'll find a way to cheat and outsmart Cena. The story is that Sandow tried and failed, he underestimated just how good John Cena is.
It is a test for Damien Sandow. The Miz had a very similar test in 2009 and he too faced John Cena when he was in the mid card being positioned for things bigger and brighter after transitioning away from his tag team with John Morrison. He lost and people said he got buried. He then went on to become WWE Champion and main event Wrestlemania. His stock from there might have dropped but its better that way than win Money In The Bank like say, Jack Swagger then become Champion and then drop off the face of the earth. I think it is a good thing for Sandow, his character has even more depth now. Just look at when Christian won the World Heavyweight Championship and lost it in days, his heel turn was brilliant. A loss made him so much more interesting and he sustained the 'one more match' line and momentum for ages. Losses aren't always burials, yes sometimes they are but John Cena is the face of the company and a win for Sandow on Raw could have done something for him, but where would it go? Heels dont need 'big wins', baby faces need big wins.
I would also add that it adds a bit more depth to the Money In The Bank concept. Its good to see people finally losing and it creates a ton more drama for the gimmick. It needed to evolve and it has, its going from a guaranteed championship win for a superstar, to now you have to pick the absolute right moment or else you'll fail. The champions are becoming more wary of and smarter to potential cash ins. I think its best for business for the concept of Money In The Bank to evolve and grow or else it is going to become stale, dull and boring.
If Sandow did win the World Heavyweight Championship who is to say he wouldn't end up being where Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are now. Sure they can say they've been a Champion but Ziggler is stuck nowhere, doing nothing and Jack Swagger is still looked upon as one of the worst World Heavyweight Champions of all time. Do wrestling fans really want Sandow to end up like these guys? We see so much potential in the guy, we want him to do well, but this just wasn't his time, you could say that after losing to John Cena, his time is now...
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