First things first, as I sat down and opened up my laptop to start writing this piece, I let out a huge sigh. Not the type of sigh you make when you first have a nice sit down and relax. But a sigh because I am exhausted - exhausted by the way that Baron Corbin is being used and booked by WWE.
Let it be known that I am a huge admirer of Corbin and have been his biggest proponent for the longest time. He has all of the tools necessary to be a big time player in WWE if they could just figure out how to utilize him properly.
It can be argued, and I would likely agree, that he stepped up from NXT too soon. He simply wasn't ready to take that shot but WWE needed another 'big guy' on the main roster and thus Corbin was called upon. A look back over the first couple years of his WWE tenure are largely forgettable with a lot of that attributed to his uninspiring Lone Wolf character never really hitting home. Sure, he won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale at WrestleMania 32 but all this led to was a 3 month long feud with Dolph Ziggler - something that would be a theme for Corbin moving forward...
Following his feud with DZ, Corbin entered into a really strange and seemingly out of the blue rivalry with Kalisto which dragged on for a whopping 4 months. What was this rivalry based upon? Another trope of Corbins WWE tenure... him being taller than his opponent, something that was revisited in another never ending feud with Chad Gable a couple of years later. 2017-18 was a much more successful period for Corbin, which saw him win the coveted Money In The Bank Ladder Match. However, he then became one of only 4 men to ever cash in tbe briefcase unsuccessfully, losing to Jinder Mahal of all people!
A brief United States Championship reign would follow but was pretty uninspired and forgettable, leaving me having to google large parts of it to even remember who he defeated and eventually lost to. Shortly after, Constable Corbin was born. Arguably the most well booked period of his WWE tenure, this period saw him improve exponentially both in ring and with a microphone in his hands. Cocky, brash, arrogant, demanding, insulting and power mad, I truly believe there is noone else who could have pulled this off as well as Corbin did. Unfortunately as time went on, the Constable gimmick seemingly disappeared without any rhyme or reason and Corbin was back to mid card obscurity.
Last year, Corbin was the latest superstar to be crowned King Of The Ring and damn, he just did wonders with it. The King gimmick is always best performed by a heel, and after his stellar work as The Constable there was only ever one logical choice for the next KOTR winner. But, as with all things, WWE love to tarnish and over extend every good thing that they come across. Next up was a four month rivalry with Roman Reigns that honest to God felt like it lasted twice as long, followed by a currently 2 month long feud with Elias which appears to be far from over.
I just... I just can't anymore. WWE have a truly despised heel in their hands and they can't decide how to use him. Outside of him being taller than most of the roster, there is no story whatsoever behind any of his feuds. Oh wait sorry no, his feud with Reigns was centred around dog food. My bad.
So what's next for Corbin? Honestly, it's a tough one. Firstly, I would have him move on from the King gimmick. Sure it was a lot of fun at first, but it also feels like he has been King for 7 years and it either needs freshening up a bit, or to be dropped entirely. Another thing that needs to be eradicated is this need to give him lackies who do the work on his behalf. First it was Roode and Ziggler (despite their storied rivalry) and now it seems to be Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Why? I don't know. No one knows. WWE don't even know. They clearly value Corbin or else they wouldn't devote so much TV time to him, so how about we give him something meaningful to do?
Now that Cesaro and Nakamura seem to have aligned themselves to King Corbin, why not have him take on their former leader Sami Zayn? The Artist Collective can disband, with Sami furious that Corbin has taken his sidekicks away from him. Turn Sami back into the red hot babyface that he naturally is. Now that Zayn has been stripped of the Championship, Corbin should be a shoe-in to win the tournament. Sami has the motivation of wanting to win back the title which he never lost while also regaining his lost followers. It writes itself. And hell, why not throw a couple of short jokes in there while we're at it? Wouldn't want to break the habit of a life time now would we?
WWE missed out a massive opportunity recently by not making Corbin a 2x winner of Money In The Bank. Sure, it's the easy way out of having to book someone creatively, but it also opens up so much potential in terms of future storylines and rivalries. Corbins ascent up the ladder was cut off by Elias, meaning we likely won't be seeing the end of that feud for a while. However, quite bizarrely, Corbin has now been booked for a match against WWE Champion Drew McIntyre on RAW next week. I understand that the Brand Invitation is there to help out each show during these uncertain times, but surely there was somebody else than Corbin who could've been used in the same role? Daniel Bryan perhaps?
Whatever happens, WWE need to make a decision. As mentioned above, Corbin has absolutely everything required by WWE to be a top star. He is tall, well built, strong, athletic, has a great move-set and has come on leaps and bounds in terms of character. The wealth of TV time that he is being given simply HAS to start meaning something before it's too late and he fades even further away into mid-card obscurity.
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