WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.02/22/2017 - 13:30
John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Kalisto, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley battle for the right to headline WrestleMania against WWE Champion Bray Wyatt.02/22/2017 - 00:15
Fearless Nikki gets checked out after battling The Queen of Black Harts and suffering a pipe assault courtesy of Maryse.02/21/2017 - 23:45
After Naomi was forced to relinquish the SmackDown Women's Championship, The Wicked Witch of WWE battles her longstanding adversary to become the new titleholder.02/21/2017 - 22:00
Fearless Nikki looks to rid her life of The Queen of Black Harts in a brutal Falls Count Anywhere Match.02/21/2017 - 22:00
Just nine days after realizing her lifelong dream, an injured Naomi must surrender the SmackDown Women's Title to General Manager Daniel Bryan.02/21/2017 - 21:00
See incredible slow-motion footage from the explosive SmackDown LIVE WWE Title Triple Threat Match between Bray Wyatt, John Cena and AJ Styles.02/17/2017 - 15:45
Three of SmackDown LIVE's best square off for the WWE Championship in a main event free-for-all.02/14/2017 - 22:45
The Counselor vs. The Cobra: Who has the edge?
No one needs to know everything to come out a winner. They just need to be right.
Theodore Long and John Laurinaitis hope to be proved right in their choices of United States Champion Santino Marella and David Otunga as the respective team captains of Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny – a 12-Man Tag Team Match at WrestleMania XXVIII. Long’s faithful assistant and Laurinaitis’ trusted legal counsel now must inspire their Superstar charges in the clash that will crown an undisputed General Manager of both Raw and SmackDown.
So which captain will lead his side to victory on The Grandest Stage of Them All and save the career of the GM who put them in charge? WWE.com examines the unique skill sets possessed by Marella and Otunga to see which frontman has the edge in the battle between Team Teddy and Team Johnny at WrestleMania:
When leading a six-man tag team into The Showcase of the Immortals, it never hurts to have evidence of working well with others. Before becoming Laurinaitis’ legal eagle, Otunga secured tag team championship gold alongside both a friend – Michael McGillicutty – and a foe – John Cena. Though Marella also attained the tag titles once, he failed to retain them as long as Otunga did with McGillicutty.
Santino Marella secured more singles titles
Success on your own merit speaks volumes in the WWE locker room, which means the reigning United States Champion should have plenty to say regarding his triumphs as a solo Superstar. In addition to his US Title and tag title runs, Marella also captured the prestigious Intercontinental Championship on two different occasions. Meanwhile, Otunga’s next singles title will be his first.
Head-to-head competition has been kind to Otunga
Save one upset victory on the July 21, 2011 edition of “WWE Superstars” for Marella & Zack Ryder ( WATCH), Otunga seized triumph in every clash of recent memory against his Italian rival. His run of success culminated with a SmackDown showdown on Jan. 13 where the brawling barrister prevailed. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)
Despite often taking the longest of long shots, Santino usually persevered. He earned the “Miracle” moniker by claiming the Intercontinental Title in his WWE debut ( WATCH | PHOTOS) and, more recently, shocked the WWE Universe by qualifying for the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match in February ( WATCH | PHOTOS). The latter feat came about as Santino eliminated Otunga himself to leave a SmackDown Battle Royal victorious.
Team Johnny’s captain earned an Ivy League pedigree
Only one Superstar ever came to WWE with a Harvard Law School degree on his resume. Otunga’s Crimson credentials has helped him approach every challenger with logic and reason and should bolster his side’s ability to execute a sound tactical strategy.
Marella made his reputation on savvy and charisma
Santino already won over the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe with his eccentric approach to every match and should have no trouble mustering that spirit to make his teammates believe anything is possible at WrestleMania. Just ask his sister, “Santina.” ( WATCH | PHOTOS)
Large numbers never left Otunga overwhelmed
While the callous collective known as The Nexus eventually imploded, it did provide the litigious combatant with exposure to a sustained effort at teamwork and common goals. If Otunga could collaborate with the likes of Wade Barrett and CM Punk and succeed, he should fare well when paired with an imposing figure like Mark Henry.
The Show of Shows previously featured only one of the team captains
Otunga has never competed at WrestleMania, meaning he’ll make his in-ring debut on The Grandest Stage of Them All when the bell rings at SunLife Stadium for this Raw vs. SmackDown showdown. The same can’t be said for Santino, who prospered in two of three occasions including an Eight-Man Tag Team Match at WrestleMania XXVII. ( PHOTOS)