We have been seeing a lot of brand new or returning WWE Superstars on Friday Night Smackdown! over the past couple of months, and this coming Friday’s episode will be no different. Although an opponent is yet to be named, the newest addition to the “blue brand”, Damien Sandow will make his much-anticipated debut on that Smackdown.
For the past few weeks, we’ve seen Sandow in a series of vignettes, discussing the things he sees wrong with the world today, especially in WWE, and how he plans to save us from ourselves. Each week, Sandow has discussed society’s problems, while at the same time giving the fans back-handed compliments, telling us how he truly wants to help and bring in a new “Era of Enlightenment” to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Although some current fans may not realize it, this will actually be Sandow’s second run with WWE. Sandow (real name: Aaron Haddad) debuted with WWE in late 2006 as Idol Stevens, along with Kacey James. Together, they were known as “The Teacher’s Pets”, being managed by former WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool, who was playing the role of a teacher at the time (playing off her real-life career prior to wrestling). The Teacher’s Pets were on TV for a little over 2 months, even earning a WWE Tag Team title match at that year’s No Mercy PPV, coming up short against then-champions Brian Kendrick and Paul London. James and Stevens were taken off TV shortly thereafter when McCool was injured, staying in the former developmental territory OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) until August 2007, when he was released from his contract.
Stevens bounced around the independent circuit for the next two years, including several stints in OVW, until he was re-signed to a developmental contract in 2010, where he reported to current developmental territory FCW, developing the Sandow gimmick he now uses today.
Sandow’s character, as seen by the recent vignettes, is something of a cocky heel who feels he is vastly superior to most. While this gimmick has been done many times before, Sandow makes it unique, adding an almost Shakespearean actor feel to the gimmick. He also combines this new character with a unique look, somewhat of a cross between Lou Thesz and Bob Backlund. Even his speeches have a Backlund feel to them, not only with the air of superiority they bring, but by his frequent use of “ten-dollar” words. Difference is, he’s more articulate and doesn’t sound like a complete psychopath. As far as his in-ring skills go, he has a nice mixture of aerial moves and technical, ground-based wrestling, the latter of which will most likely be his focus in actual competition.
Sandow has been one of WWE’s top developmental picks the last year or so, and this coming Friday, he will finally get to show most of us why.