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Neville's impending return is a chance for WWE to hit reset

The Man That Gravity Forgot is on his way back to the roster soon, and when he gets there, WWE has an opportunity to make a new star. Will they take it?

When The Miz took the WWE Intercontinental (IC) Championship with him as he left to film The Marine 5, some people questioned why Vince McMahon wouldn't take the gold off him beforehand, thus keeping it alive for the rest of the roster. Since winning the title from Zack Ryder in Dallas the night after Wrestlemania, he's done fairly well, though he's been paired with some of the best overall workers in the company. In its top form, the IC Title is a tremendous prop to aid a performer who is still on the ascent, or in some cases for certain guys who haven't entirely realized their potential. Other than the WWE Championship (where fans already care), a strap should mean, "Pay attention to this man/woman."

If you ask Wade Barrett, he'd tell you the previous sentence is criminally erroneous, and he wouldn't be wrong, but what we're talking about is a time when the company is fully behind its top secondary title and is treating the champion respectfully. Kevin Owens would be a better example of the right way to use it, and it's more recent than the old "Worker's Title" idea that doesn't generally apply anymore, though it still could with a few tweaks.

While we don't know exactly when Neville will be back in action, I want you to contemplate the following scenario, because it seems like a total win for everyone involved. The Miz as IC Champ, while it's fine, is always going to be what it's going to be. He's a much better character with his wife by his side, but there's no strong reason why he would have a long-term reign, especially with the quality of the midcard at the present time. The brand split may change all of this, and may make this idea irrelevant, but WWE is in control of who goes where, and thus it's entirely doable.

Upon his return, Neville will have a brief window in which he's relevant and a potential attraction to the audience. Though many will remember the cape and his involvement in comic book feuds, those people might also recall his athleticism and ability to entertain in the ring. Ditch the hokey part of the character and just let him be a great wrestler. Daniel Bryan didn't exactly have a gimmick, and Neville has also proven he can grow a beard, so his skill could carry him a long way. Slot him in the ring with Miz, and after a cheap loss on television - where he's clearly screwed - put him over Miz on the first PPV he's available to work. Miz and Maryse will be the same level of over without the title as they are with it, because no one really cares that he's the Champion.

Give Neville a little bit of a run, let him thwart Miz in a rematch, and then WWE can pair him with several guys where the chemistry would be undeniable. He's already had excellent matches in the past with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Chris Jericho, and he's even had a great television bout with Seth Rollins. The biggest mistake the company could make in the Draft, outside of breaking up Enzo and Big Cass, is to send Zayn and Owens to opposite shows, because there always needs to be the possibility that the two of them might run into each other in a hallway and begin a brawl. Plus, we haven't seen the inevitable tag team, which will be a huge success when it happens.

Owens, Zayn, and Neville seem like a trio that should all remain on the same brand, because they're familiar with one another, get along well with each other, and have a track record of outstanding work as a group. A Neville title reign gives him the needed limelight he's never really had on the main roster. We know he can carry a Championship effectively, because we saw him as the standard bearer in NXT. The IC Title could again become a worker's title, which has been an off-and-on thing throughout much of this century.

The big result, however, is you actually have a chance for a substantial return on your Neville investment. If WWE allows him to come back and Vince does nothing with him, he fades into obscurity rather quickly, which seems counterproductive and foolish. Before his injury, he was working with Owens, and was to be included in the Wrestlemania ladder match, where he undoubtedly would have shined. True, Stardust was in the match, and shortly thereafter he left the company, but Neville hasn't been there long enough to be jaded or dejected. He's talented, but he could use the prop to get the base audience intrigued in his story.

Here's a guy we know can perform with just about anybody and pull at least a good match out of them. That's ideally what you want from a Champion, and in no way am I suggesting he keeps the gold for a long period of time. If WWE lets him sink or swim for four months, and with the right guys on the opposite side of the squared circle, this idea can work. If Vince doesn't really care about the IC Title, then there's no reason at all why you wouldn't try it, just in case it could yield bonus benefits. Don't tell me his title defenses wouldn't dramatically improve the quality of television or PPV cards.

What we've seen from Neville has been good, but it's also been hampered by the knowledge that it's all been meaningless. He hasn't been in title matches, he's been relegated to pre-shows, and what he's done on main cards has been irrelevant and forgettable. He's done the best with what he's been given, but knowing how talented he is, and seeing how the fans took to characters like Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio or Rob Van Dam in the past, there's a chance to turn a guy on the roster, into a player.

Or, WWE can have another Apollo Crews, who is asked to eat creative kibble on a regular basis. He may not have been ready for the call-up, and there was no plan for him once he arrived. Neville was and is prepared, and he dealt with virtually the same problem last year that we're seeing with Crews right now. None of it makes any sense. The same goes with Kalisto's run as United States Champion. There's no logic behind doing nothing with talent, except the arrogance to believe no one in his or her right mind would leave and attempt to apply the craft of professional wrestling elsewhere. Cody Rhodes might have changed that mindset somewhat, but it's highly possible the internal response to his exit was middling at best.

Miz is a phenomenal heel, whether you like him or not, and he could definitely help Neville get over in a program. His charisma and ability to speak could sell the feud, even with very little mic work from the challenger. The matches would be decent at worst, bur likely would be good 8-10 minute waltzes. At the end of the program, it all depends on who else is with Neville on his side of the roster, but a brief title reign, carefully orchestrated, could maybe, just MAYBE, turn The Man That Gravity Forgot...

Into the man the WWE Universe will not forget.

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