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[WNS Column] Baron Corbin: A Storm on the Horizon

Posted By: Caylon Knox on Dec 29, 2015

[WNS Column] Baron Corbin: A Storm on the Horizon

Baron Corbin is one of the most intriguing Superstars that WWE NXT has ever seen. Known as "The Lone Wolf", the resident monster of WWE's developmental territory has been wreaking havoc in NXT for over a year now and has gained impressive victories over NXT talents such as Bull Dempsey, C.J. Parker, Solomon Crowe, Tye Dillinger, Apollo Crews, and former ECW World Heavyweight Champion "The Man-Beast" Rhyno.

Baron Corbin stands at 6'8" and weighs in at 275 pounds. He was an offensive lineman in the NFL and also has extensive training in fighting, having been a former Golden Gloves boxer and a Jiu-Jitsu grappling champion in NAGA: The North American Grappling Association.

From a physical standpoint, Corbin has all the tools needed to become a major player on WWE's main roster. He's a big man who possesses considerable strength, speed, and agility. His physical appearance also makes him stand out from most of his peers in NXT. If you just take one look at Baron Corbin, even if you don't know who he is, you instantly know that he's a force to be reckoned with.

Most importantly, Corbin seems to be a solid worker both in the ring and on the microphone. His in-ring style can be summed up with two words: ruthless aggression. His microphone skills are nothing spectacular, but his promos are fairly believable and don't feel too forced or unnatural. He appears to be getting better and better in the ring and on the microphone with each passing week.

As of this writing, Baron Corbin is currently the Number One Contender to Finn Bálor's NXT Championship. Bálor has been the NXT Champion for over six months now since defeating Kevin Owens for the Title in Tokyo, Japan back in July. Bálor has been a fighting Champion and is very popular with the NXT fans. But Bálor has yet to cross paths with Baron Corbin in a one-on-one match. If "The Lone Wolf" can defeat "The Irish Demon" to become the new NXT Champion, one would think that Corbin's stock would rise considerably within the WWE Universe. More so than any other developmental territory in the past, NXT's overall level of brand awareness is surprisingly high considering that it's exclusive to the WWE Network (at least here in the United States). Many WWE fans who don't regularly follow NXT are at least somewhat familiar with NXT's biggest stars such as Finn Bálor, Samoa Joe, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn, The Vaudevillains, Asuka, and indeed Baron Corbin.

Regardless of whether or not Baron Corbin ever becomes the NXT Champion, one has to wonder if WWE officials have given any thought to how they could utilize Corbin on the main roster. WWE's main roster is already a land of monsters and giants with established Superstars such as Kane, The Big Show, Mark Henry, Rusev, The Wyatt Family, and "The Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar. But that's not to say that Baron Corbin couldn't fit into the equation if WWE can come up with the right scenario for him.

The most obvious answer might be to put Corbin in either the Intercontinental or United States Title picture. Former NXT Champion Kevin Owens recently came off of a three-month reign with the Intercontinental Championship before losing the belt to Dean Ambrose at the TLC pay-per-view. Before winning the I.C. Title, Owens became an instant star when he competed with John Cena at three straight pay-per-view events and proved to the entire world that he was more than capable of becoming a major player on WWE's main roster. There's no reason why Baron Corbin couldn't make the same kind of impact that Kevin Owens did upon debuting on the main roster.

But what if WWE were to take it a step further and have Corbin debut as a main eventer right from the start? What if they were to put him in matches against the likes of Roman Reigns, John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, or even Brock Lesnar, and build him up right away as a major threat to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Would Corbin be able to handle the pressure? How well would Corbin perform in those types of matches? How would the fans receive him?

It doesn't seem likely that Baron Corbin will be debuting on the main roster any time soon, but his impending NXT Title feud against Finn Bálor should be a good indication of how WWE officials feel about Corbin as a potential star of the future. Imagine if Corbin were to end Bálor's six-month NXT Title reign and go on to become a dominant NXT Champion in his own right. Imagine "The Lone Wolf" as a fearsome and unbeatable NXT Champion, taking on all comers such as Samoa Joe, Rhyno, Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami, and whoever else steps up to the plate and tries to dethrone Corbin as the NXT Champion.

If Baron Corbin becomes the new NXT Champion and goes on to have a memorable title reign, it would make his eventual debut on the main roster that much more impactful. The vignettes they could produce for Corbin to air on Raw and SmackDown before his debut would create a buzz amongst the fans, whether they regularly follow Corbin on NXT or not.

It's not hard to imagine seeing Baron Corbin squaring off against some of WWE's biggest Superstars. In fact, Baron Corbin might already be considered a "fantasy match-up" for many of the Superstars on the main roster right now. Baron Corbin vs. Brock Lesnar... John Cena... Roman Reigns... Dean Ambrose... Kevin Owens... The Big Show... Kane... Bray Wyatt... Ryback... Rusev... Sheamus... Randy Orton... even The Undertaker. The possibilities are nearly endless.

It's no secret that WWE has an affinity for big men, and Baron Corbin appears to be the next "big man" in line to make waves in the WWE landscape. If Corbin can continue to make a name for himself in NXT and continuously improve on a weekly and monthly basis, there's no reason why he couldn't become a main eventer and possibly a World Heavyweight Champion in WWE in the coming years. Corbin has a certain charisma and an aura about him that makes him different from most of the other NXT talents. Perhaps not unlike Brock Lesnar on the main roster, Corbin is the proverbial X factor of the NXT roster. He's the difference-maker. He's the threat that's been brewing for a long time and is now truly on the verge of taking NXT by storm.

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Tags: #wwe #nxt #baron corbin #columns
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