by Benjamin DeCoste
Up until the popularity of NXT, wrestling fans often saw new and upcoming talent when they debuted on RAW or Smackdown. Speaking from personal experience, I remember when I first came across John Cena. It was during a typical episode of Smackdown, and Kurt Angle issued an open challenge to the locker room. Out came the future franchise player to accept his challenge. Despite coming out on the losing end, the crowd was behind him. Why? Cena energized the crowd with his raw but energetic moveset, and the engaging storytelling both he and Angle provided. Cena provided quite the positive first impression. However, many wrestlers do not have the opportunity to make this good first impression for the fans.
Introducing The Stacked Card’s Weekly Scouting Reports. Every week, I will be providing scouting reports for two or three random wrestlers in WWE, TNA, or ROH. I will be using a 1-7 scale for the scouting reports, with a 7 being the highest and a 1 being being the lowest.
7: Face of the Company. A wrestler who transcends and revolutionizes sports entertainment,and can carry the company for several years. This grade is rarely given out .(Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena)
6: Main Eventer. Self explanatory, a wrestler who consistently performs at the top of the card, and is involved in many of the top story lines. These performers are usually strong or at the very least above average in all of the scouting categories (Mic Ability, Technical Ability, Storytelling, Character, Dependability).However, they do not quite have the “name recognition” as a “7” may have .(Triple H, Randy Orton, Roddy Piper, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho)
5: Upper Mid Carder: Typically, this wrestler is a workhorse; he or she often will have the technical ability as those above them. They are often involved in many of the top storylines in the company that they work for. However, they are average or below average in one of the scouting categories. This weakness often prevents them from staying consistently at the top of the card (Big Show, Mark Henry, Dean Ambrose, Chris Benoit, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler)
4: Mid Carder: This performer can be distinguished in two ways. Either they are simply average in all of the scouting categories, or they excel at one category while struggle in the rest. These faults often prevent these wrestlers from connecting with the fans and/or moving up the card. In addition, this category can also be used to describe individuals in the tag team division. Often, being put in a tag team may mask some the wrestler’s deficiencies. (Sheamus, Billy Gunn, Kane, The Miz, Ryback, Usos, Marty Jannety, Shelton Benjamin, Val Venis)
3: Lower Mid Carder: This wrestler is typically found in the lower rungs of their current companies. This performer struggles with many of the scouting categories, but shows potential in improving their weaknesses. (Titus O’Neal, Funaki, Virgil, Adam Rose)
2: Enhancement Talent: This wrestler is doomed to job to other talent. They make other talents “look good” (Zack Ryder, Brooklyn Brawler)
1: Non-Wrestler: This talent does not have the technical ability to wrestle and would be better off in an announcing role (Brad Maddox, Bryon Saxton)