Arn Anderson says WWE failed to capitalise on the momentum generated by Baron Corbin winning the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal in 2016.
WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas saw Corbin make his main roster WWE debut on ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’. Corbin managed to outlast giants such as Shaquille O’Neal and The Big Show before last eliminating recent WWE Hall Of Fame inductee Kane to win.
Arn Anderson, who worked as a producer for WWE at the time, has given his take on Corbin’s big victory not being built on. Anderson was speaking on his ARN podcast alongside co-host Conrad Thompson. The topic for discussion was Payback 2016, the pay-per-view after WrestleMania 32. At that event, Corbin could only make the pre-show where he was defeated by Dolph Ziggler.
According to Anderson, not much of the booking made sense:
“That’s pretty much the story of the company. You would never hear me fuss about Dolph Ziggler getting a win, but you don’t get one against Baron Corbin after ‘Mania in which he won a big, big match. You’ve got to build on that, that’s your launching pad. The next time you see him in a singles match, that’s where you find out. And with a guy like Dolph, Dolph wouldn’t have had a problem putting the guy over. It was just the right thing to do, and it really was. And to beat him with a roll-up, here’s the big ass-kicking, pro football player monster. Big guy, moves good, athletic, his offense is really solid. To beat him with a schoolboy. Pffewwww.”
“Example after example after example of what I’m talking about Conrad. You gotta put a rocket on a guy’s ass. If you can’t have a guy look good for the first 12 weeks he’s on television, if you really had plans for him to be a star then something’s the matter with your thinking. I mean we’ve got three hours on a Monday, two hours on SmackDown, you can’t figure out who your five or six guys you’re going to build on those two shows and give them good positive TV for at least three months? Come on.”
In 2017 Corbin did win the Money In The Bank briefcase at the eponymous event. However, his cash-in attempt on then WWE Champion Jinder Mahal went to waste following a distraction from John Cena. Corbin also held the United States Title for two months at the end of 2017, his only WWE gold to date.
Arn Anderson also discussed another missed opportunity coming out of WrestleMania 32, Zack Ryder’s Intercontinental Championship win. Ryder won the belt in a seven-man ladder match, only to lose it the next night on Raw.