WWE and SEC: More alike than you know
The SEC and the WWE have more in common than you think. Both have huge, sometimes out-of-control fan bases. Both have faces and heels. Here is a 2016 comparison of the two juggernauts.
Just a warning, if you don’t like or watch wrestling, you’re likely going to be either confused or angry by the end of this.
THE CHAMP IS HERE: Alabama
How do you compare Alabama to anyone except John Cena? Like Cena, who returns to Raw on Memorial Day refreshed after major rotator cuff surgery, Alabama returns refreshed from another national title with a new quarterback. Cena has won 15 WWE World Heavyweight Championships against the likes of The Rock, JBL, Edge, Rey Mysterio and Triple H. For its 16 championships, Alabama has beaten Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU for the last three. Whether its Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell, Blake Barnett or Jalen Hurts running the show at quarterback, the champ is usually right there at the end.
IT’S A NEW KOFI: Arkansas
Remember when The New Day’s Kofi Kingston was Jamaican? He eventually gave up the jig and is part of the tag team champions, holding the belts for nearly 300 days. That’s a far cry from where he began. Arkansas started 1-3 last season, then went 7-2. With new quarterback Austin Allen under center, there are still questions at running back and offensive line, but the Hogs are looking to build on last season’s finish.
THE PHENOMENAL GATORS?: Florida
Like A.J. Styles coming into the WWE and having a pair of title shots within his first year, Jim McElwain led Florida to a 10-4 season in his first year. Like most, the Gators have to solidify quarterback play and like Styles, who is becoming half-and-half face and heel, opposing fans were fine with Florida losing and not so fine with the Gators restaking some SEC claim.
THE BULGARIAN BULLDOGS: Georgia
Rusev won his second United States Championship at Extreme Rules, but it felt like centuries between his reigns. The whole League of Nations gimmick was thankfully dismantled, and Rusev can get back in the WWE title conversation. Like Georgia, which has double-digit wins in six of the last nine seasons, Rusev wins a lot. But Georgia hasn’t won the SEC in 10 years and Rusev’s stint with Lana (born in Gainesville, Fla., by the way) felt like a decade.
NOT SUCH A BREEZE: Kentucky
Tyler Breeze has a bad gimmick but a lot of talent. Kentucky has some hope in 2016 with offensive potential in running back “Boom” Williams, QB Drew Barker and a ton of talented pass-catchers. However, the Wildcats also have six straight losing seasons. Breeze recently went through a 20-match televised losing streak. Does Breeze need a new character to unearth his title potential? How much more of Mark Stoops’ gimmick does Kentucky have time for?
LOTS OF PIECES, NO TITLES: Mississippi State
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen loves to talk, and he backs a lot of it up, but he’s yet to win the championships he says the Bulldogs will win. Like Bray Wyatt and his family, there has been a lot of beatdowns of prominent people but not any title winning. That has to start changing soon or the big wins won’t matter.
Who knows what to expect from the Tigers? The same can be said about Dolph Ziggler as no one knows what the WWE is doing with him. You never know if Dolph is going to beat Sheamus or lose to Baron Corbin, again. Dolph may leave the WWE, and while Missouri isn’t leaving the SEC, neither are going to be on top of either any time soon.
KO AND OM: Ole Miss
Kevin Owens has beaten up a lot of people, including John Cena. Owens has won Intercontinental gold but hasn’t quite gotten to WWE World Heavyweight gold. Ole Miss has had some success with two straight wins over Alabama and a Sugar Bowl win but has always been held back by either Laquon Treadwell’s broken leg or a fourth-and-25 against Arkansas.
RETURNING LIKE ROLLINS: Tennessee
Tennessee’s last SEC title appearance was in 2007. The offense is expected to divide and conquer with running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, and the defense should be almost equally ruthless. Tennessee’s knee eventually buckled from carrying the league. So did Seth Rollins’ for carrying the WWE “for so freaking long.” Both are back to reclaim championships. Rollins has a title match against Roman Reigns at Money in the Bank. Tennessee will have to wait a few months but both have a shot.
SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Vanderbilt
The Commodores are the Dean Ambrose of the SEC. Not that Vandy has provided itself a shot at the league title or anything but like Ambrose, who has yet to hoist the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, his build up has been slow. He had and lost the Intercontinental title and has had to win brutal matches to get another shot at the heavyweight belt. Vandy won two SEC games in Derek Mason’s second season and only enjoyed a one-win improvement overall. That’s a patient step in the right direction, but he may have to fall on a few more tacks yet. With that said, if you think Vandy wins a title before Ambrose, you are Asylum-bound.