Wednesday, November 04, 2009
William Regal: WWE's Most Misused and Underappreciated Heel
William Regal deserves better.
That phrase may be a tough pill to swallow when you consider he has held more than 60 championships worldwide. An impressive 19 of those title wins took place in either WCW or WWE.
Additionally, the brawling Brit is one of a select few to win the coveted King of the Ring tournament, generally an honor only given to up-and-coming superstars that the WWE has handpicked for greatness.
Despite all that, William Regal deserves better.
You may be asking why he deserves better, and the answer is a simple one: Regal is currently plying his trade in the depths of ECW.
In ECW—a veritable dead-end in the WWE—Regal is surrounded by a cast of wet-behind-the-ears rookies, going-nowhere veterans, and—well—Christian.
Plenty of talented superstars have gotten their start in the WWE’s reincarnation of ECW. Names like John Morrison, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, and Jack Swagger come to mind.
The difference is that all of these superstars were young and still in the infant stages of their careers when they toiled on the C-show.
William Regal, at 41 years old, is entering the twilight of his career.
Regal has been wrestling since he was 15 and made his professional debut 26 years ago. In that time, he’s battled many of the biggest names in the business and put on stellar match after stellar match all around the world.
Despite all that, he is still forced to reside in ECW, where he is currently the top heel on the show and the unequivocal leader the best stable most fans have never heard of, the “Ruthless Roundtable.”
Throughout his entire career, Regal has managed to be one of the most despised men in the business simply by opening his mouth or—at the drop of a hat—he could flip the script and be part of the funniest segments on the show as a fan favorite.
He is money on the microphone and golden in the ring with his unique chain wrestling style. In the past few months, he has stepped up his game for a main event-caliber feud with current ECW Champion, Christian.
In that time we’ve seen Regal play all of the typical heel roles. He’s been the cowardly heel, he’s been the conniving, cheating heel, and he’s played the intense, violent heel who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.
It is the latter that has me thinking Regal deserves better.
After years in the WWE—and the business as a whole—Regal shouldn’t be in the midst of a main-event feud on the C-show. Regal has the chops to be in a major angle on either RAW or Smackdown, and he’s proven this fact time and time again, only to get pushed down every time.
After being used to rebuild the luster behind the Intercontinental Title a year ago, Regal picked up the ball and ran with it. He won match after match and put up great promos with his new sidekick, the lovely Layla.
In that time Regal brought prestige and respect back to a title that had otherwise become a joke thanks—in large part—to Santino Marella’s ridiculous title run. He made the title matter again and made it seem like a real honor to wear the gold.
When it was all said and done, how did the WWE repay him?
They had him drop the title to CM Punk on RAW—despite the potential for a big match at Royal Rumble—then let him flounder before sending him packing to ECW, sans his lovely valet.
For a man who has been hired and fired several times by major organizations, suffered through drug addiction and rehab, watched many close friends in the industry die around him, and battled numerous health conditions, you simply have to wonder why the WWE is wasting his time in ECW when he clearly has limited time left as an in-ring competitor.
Sure, it appears as though Regal may finally be in line to win a “World Title” next week, as he is going one-on-one with Christian for the ECW gold in his native England.
All of the signs point toward Regal getting the win, as he’s got both the home-field advantage and the numbers advantage in his favor.
Even if Regal does win the ECW Championship next week, it still isn’t the same as holding the WWE Title or the World Heavyweight Championship—no matter how hard the WWE announcers try to claim otherwise.
The ECW Championship is largely on par with the Intercontinental and United States Championships, and everyone, including those who have held the title, are well-aware of that stigma.
Regal has been there and done that a dozen times before.
He’s held his share of mid-card titles and has more than proven that he is a great heel who deserves a legitimate shot at one of the big gold belts, not the awkward silver one.
Without a doubt, William Regal deserves better.