After his main event appearance on last night’s Raw alongside Roman Reigns, it might be time for WWE to start investing time into pushing Cedric Alexander.
In case you missed it, last night’s Raw served as the go-home show for WWE Extreme Rules, a PPV that will be airing this Sunday on the Network. The event is scheduled to feature a No Holds Barred tag team match between Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker.
In preparation, the self-proclaimed Best in the World decided to book himself in the main event with The Scottish Psychopath to take on The Big Dog and a partner of his choosing. Not Roman’s choosing, but of The Chairman’s son. And boy, did Shane-O-Mac have plenty of worthy partners to choose from!
By worthy, I’m not talking about the deep, vast well of talent seeping through the WWE roster. I’m talking about the garbage man, the guy who serves beer to the crowd, and a janitor. Have you ever tried to mop a floor? That takes skill and some real talent to commit to. Which is why Shane McMahon decided on appointing the janitor – a fifth grade spelling bee champion named Gary “The GOAT” Garbutt – as Roman Reigns’ tag team partner for the night.
Later in the night, Shane and the rest of us soon discovered that Mr. Garbutt was much more talented than we ever would’ve expected.
Out of nowhere, Gary was throwing out lucha moves, kicks and plancha suicidas that were befitting of the lucha mask he wore. Once the dust settled and the crowd’s erupting “Gary! Gary!” chant dispersed, Gary ate the pin and shortly after removed his mask to reveal that Gary was actually Cedric Alexander.
Somehow, the young WWE Superstar was elevated in one night better than he has been since joining the red brand earlier this year.
Prior to last night, after spending the past couple years wrestling exclusively for 205 Live (with some minor Raw appearances here and there), the former Cruiserweight Champion was officially added to the Raw roster following this year’s Superstar Shake-Up. In his official debut, he had an impressive match against Cesaro, but suddenly disappeared soon after.
He ended up spending the bulk of his time wrestling on Main Event. The only time we’d ever see him on Raw was in blink-and-you-miss-it run-ins for the 24/7 Title. Which he actually briefly won a couple weeks ago for a few seconds.
Anyone who’s seen his work prior to his Raw jump knows that Cedric has the talent to be much more than just a background extra in comedy championship segments. Hell, WWE may even know that, but clearly, they drafted him to Raw without a clear plan for him and thus, his direction (or lack there of) has been stagnant.
Last night, Cedric Alexander had more eyes and intrigue on him perhaps since his WrestleMania Pre-Show match against Ali from a few years ago. Maybe even ever, since – let’s be honest – it’s rare people tune in for the pre-show.
He entered his first Raw main event in a tag team match alongside Roman Reigns, the proverbial top star of the company. Right now, that main event has a collective YouTube viewership of 1,514,760. Cedric wasn’t scoring those kind of numbers when he was on 205 Live.
Not a lot of people knew who he was when he took off that mask, but now that he’s left an impression, you can bet people are wondering “Who’s Cedric Alexander?”
After not having a clue what to do with the young lad for so many months, now WWE have caught lightning in a bottle on this one. Fans who saw Cedric wrestle for the first time undoubtedly want to see more. WWE would be foolish not to capitalize on that intrigue in some way. Especially when the story writes itself; Shane wanting some sort of revenge on Cedric for pulling the wool over his eyes.
It doesn’t have to put Cedric in some long term feud with The Authority, but there’s enough there that WWE has an excuse to put Cedric in some matches and some segments for the next few weeks at least and give the man something that he hasn’t had in a long time: something to do.
Cedric Alexander may not have been made into a main eventer so easily overnight, but he’s had the biggest spotlight shined on him on Raw yet. If WWE play their cards right, this could be enough to catapult the former Cruiserweight Champion as a consistent staple of the midcard scene.