Last night on WWE’s Monday Night RAW program, Damien Sandow became the first individual in WWE history to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and lose cleanly to the champion. Sandow, who has held the briefcase since July 14th of this year, battled new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in an excellent contest to open RAW, but in the end Sandow, who has only recently shown any signs of momentum, was defeated by a one-armed man.
The question now is this: Can Damien Sandow recover any sort of momentum after having fallen short of gaining the belt?
The answer is yes. Given the correct booking decisions, this massive negative which seems to undermine Damien Sandow’s credibility as a competitor and character overall can, in fact, benefit Sandow in the long run, if and only if an actual feud with John Cena comes from the result of last night’s match on RAW.
While Damien Sandow could clearly have benefited from a great deal more buildup to last nights cash-in, the fact remains that Sandow was able to hang with John Cena in an incredibly memorable bout. Sandow, who has done more jobbing than not since his Money in the Bank win, came across as a legitimate threat while in the ring with Cena, which in and of itself is a massive change for Sandow’s character. From start to finish Damien Sandow unleashed a level of ruthlessness on John Cena that had been unseen before and was a refreshing change from his usual bumbling antics. That right there is already an elevation of Sandow’s character, as WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler noted on Twitter.
If Damien Sandow were to maintain or even escalate this level of aggression in an actual feud with World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, there is no question that Sandow could make a move from the lower card to at least the upper midcard, becoming a legit perennial contender for at the very least the World Heavyweight Championship and quite possible the WWE Championship down the line.
The WWE unquestionably needs fresh faces in the uppercard title scene. If they play this situation right, there is no doubt that Sandow could certainly fit the bill of a contender, if not quite a champion.