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Friday, July 29, 2016

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The Underrated: Brian Kendrick

By @MeenHendrix

If you haven't noticed by now, I reallly appreciate a good gimmick and good wrestling from the midcard. The Brian Kendrick is a prime example of this. I feel like he doesn't get enough appreciation. People remember his gimmick, but I feel like they are just saying something nice about him just because they can actually remember his name. Not sure if that makes sense, but he's underrated in my eyes.

Now when Kendrick first broke into WWE, he was essentially nothing more than a jobber. He went by Spanky in his early run and didn't get much done besides a short feud with John Cena over their hip hop gimmicks (It sucked). But interestingly enough he started teaming up with Paul London before he returned to the independent circuit.

He returned to WWE in 2005 and by September, he began teaming up with Paul London again. In December, they began wearing their signature masks, shorts and vests. WWE was lacking in tag teams with LOD 2005 breaking up before 2006, Matt Hardy and Tatanka were never going anywhere, Regal and Burchill broke up in February of 2006, and Batista's injury forced the break up of his tag team with Rey Mysterio, leaving Smackdown with basically MNM and the Mexicools. London and Kendrick were essentially a shot of steroids into the tag team bloodline. They came out the gate fast and won the crowd over with their high-flying styles. Before I knew it, they had beaten MNM five times in a row before winning the WWE Tag Team Championships from them at Judgment Day, extending the streak to 6 in a row. They went on to hold the titles for 331 days (a record at the time that has since been broken by The New Day, who rocks TBH), before dropping the titles to Deuce N' Domino (Hated those douchebags). The rest of their time as a team was mostly uneventful. They did move to Raw and win the World Tag Team Championships at a House Show. They then dropped the titles back to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch 3 days later.

Kendrick was brought back to the Smackdown brand through the 2008 Supplemental Draft and this is when I became a huge fan of the guy. He became a heel with cool new ring gear, a nice leather jacket, a huge black guy as his bodyguard (Ezekiel Jackson) who wore only white as if he had just come back from a Yacht Party and new life and energy on the microphone as a braggadocious pain in the ass. Who the hell is this guy to come in and act like he owns the place? He was a tag team wrestler, 5'8 Cruiserweight. Who is he supposed to be better than? The answer to that is everyone. That cockiness made The Brian Kendrick an instant favorite of mine.

The Brian Kendrick steps in with Ezekiel destroying everyone who gets in his way. They drew comparisons to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Kendrick starts off undefeated from July to August. He wins a 10 Man Battle Royal for a chance to be in the WWE Championship Scramble at Unforgiven 2008. He defeated Jeff Hardy on Smackdown. He held his own in the Championship Scramble. He came out looking like a future star. Certainly WWE couldn't mess this up, right? Wrong. He instantly fell down the card and didn't appear on another PPV for the rest of the year. He was moved to Raw and lost every match on the brand.

Almost overnight, the talk of the town had been discarded like the Light Heavyweight Championship. I mean luckily he was able to at least win the X Division Championship in TNA, but it was kinda too late. WWE had ruined a potential mega star. Maybe it was his 5'8, 175 pound frame, but Kendrick had the tools in the ring to adapt to any kind of match style if needed, which very few wrestlers are able to do, and he could talk his ass off. He could make you love him. He could make you hate him with his goofy dancing before and after the match. He spends his days as a trainer now (and as a participant in the CWC), and it sucks because he could have been a valuable part of the main event scene. Who wouldn't want to see The Brian Kendrick clash with Jeff Hardy and CM Punk or how he uses Ezekiel to weasel his way into an upset over the Undertaker. Sadly, none of that would come to fruition for The Man with a Plan. Hell he didn't have to be a main eventer. He could have had some good matches with Ziggler and Mysterio in the midcard for the Intercontinental Championship. The longest reigning WWE Champion of the Championship Scramble will forever have my respect and admiration. It's just a shame and ironic the WWE didn't have big plans for the Man With A Plan. Still, he remains underrated.



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