Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Each Current Champion in WWE
To be a champion of any kind in WWE is an accomplishment worth boasting about.
It means the company believes in a wrestler's strengths enough to promote them to that spot, and is not dissuaded by their weaknesses. The WWE Championship remains vacant for the moment, while six other champions hold fast to their titles.
What qualities got these superstars to their current spots as titleholders? What is holding each of them back from reaching their full potential?
From Del Rio to Rollins, here is every current champ's biggest strengths and weaknesses.
Alberto Del Rio-World Heavyweight Champion
Strengths: Kicks, Technical Wrestling, Showmanship
Alberto Del Rio uses aggression, agility and his MMA background to create great match after great match.
His toolbox includes a breathtaking enzuigiri, flying moves like the moonsault, and a constant sneer on his face as he battles on. It's clear why WWE keeps Del Rio champion; he turns his matches into art.
Weaknesses: Connection with Fans
Del Rio's accent gets in his way during his promos, but his promos are generally solid. It's a more difficult-to-pinpoint trait that has held him back so far.
Despite his ability and production, fans haven't taken to him. He fails to get the kind of reaction other top stars garner. Compare the crowd's noise level when John Cena or CM Punk enters to when Del Rio saunters in.
Even if Cena gets mixed reactions, he's still evoking more emotion than Del Rio.
Curtis Axel-Intercontinental Champion
Strengths: Technical Wrestling, Brawling
He's a fun brawler to watch, who can also hang with the top guys in terms of mat wrestling. There's little to nitpick when watching one of his matches; he's equal parts strong, agile and skilled.
This is how Axel earned his current spot as Intercontinental champ. He will continue to earn other opportunities as well because he is a reliable source of quality in-ring action.
It's the intangibles and non-wrestling skills that Axel struggles with.
Weaknesses: Charisma, Mic Work
When he delivered a speech about being a Paul Heyman guy on SmackDown, for example, Axel was smooth and timed his lines well, but there was nothing compelling about it. For all his ability in the ring, Axel struggles with making us care about him outside of it.
WWE wisely paired him with Heyman to counteract that, but even armed with a mouthpiece, Axel isn't magnetic enough to capture fans' attention.
Dean Ambrose-United States Champion
Strengths: Mic Work, Charisma, Vicious In-Ring Style
In battle, Dean Ambrose looks every bit like William Regal's successor.
His ring work benefits from his brutality, when he's grinding his forearms in an opponent's face, for example. He's not as athletic as his partner Seth Rollins, but moves well in the ring. His years of experience on the independent circuit have him serving as a ring general early in his WWE career.
Ambrose hasn't been afforded as many opportunities on the mic as his fans would like, but each time out, he impresses.
His delivery is powerful and natural, and his speeches are the kind of unsettling poetry that will make him a huge star. In a stirring promo on a Raw in April, Ambrose forced us to pay attention, growling, "The Shield is the law!"
Ambrose's approach to showmanship is an acquired taste.
Looking at the face he made when Ryback suplexed him on a ladder at TLC 2012, or his expression after defeating Kofi Kingston on Raw in May, one fan could call it overly dramatic, while another might think it only adds to the drama of a match.
Subtlety is not Ambrose's style. His reactions to moves and his crazed mannerisms are highly animated, to the point of excess at times.
AJ Lee-Divas Champion
Strengths: Mic Work, Charisma, Speed
AJ Lee can be vicious on the mic, as she showcased while tearing into Kaitlyn, en route to their match at Payback. She is confident, compelling and miles ahead of her competition in the division in terms of mic work.
She remains the most interesting Diva, possessing the most star power of her peers.
In the ring, AJ is a blur. Her Shining Wizard shows off her quickness and agility. AJ's mat wrestling skills are good as well, but it's her blistering pace that is the most enthralling element of her ring work.
The kind of acting that WWE requires isn't nuanced, but AJ often overdoes it.
Flip through the photo gallery of her facial expression repertoire and you're sure to find some that are too exaggerated. Her mannerisms are certainly fun to watch, but she can lay on her crazy or girlish act too thick at times.
She also tends to go out of her way to bend her butt in matches. Someone as sexy as her doesn't need to try so hard to be sexy, but instead to just let it happen.
Roman Reigns-Tag Team Champion
Strengths: Power, Explosiveness, Intensity
The Shield's powerhouse is an engrossing figure.
He evokes images of a bear roaring in the woods, swatting at his prey. Roman Reigns is the most raw of his team, but is fun to watch because of how passionate and aggressive he is.
There are few things more beautiful in wrestling right now than Reigns' spear.
Reigns has made full use of his size and power and is plenty athletic beyond that. Don't bet on the tag title being the last championship he carries on his massive shoulders.
Weaknesses: Mic Work, Rawness in Ring
Reigns' mic work will get better once he learns to harness all of his intensity. As of now, his promos, like this one from February, have a single gear—full force.
As a member of a trio, though, Reigns only needs that one gear at the moment. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins can lead while Rollins provides an emphatic element to their speeches.
WWE has put him in less singles matches than his partners because he's less experienced. For someone who has only been wrestling for about three years, though, he looks fantastic.
Expect him to pick up more of wrestling's nuances and elevate his game in the process.
Seth Rollins-Tag Team Champion
Strengths: Selling, Athleticism, Speed
Seth Rollins has been making the case as of late that he is WWE's best seller, gaining ground on Dolph Ziggler with every performance.
When opponents attack him, he makes their moves look devastating without overreacting. A Randy Orton RKO leaves him looking lifeless and a Daniel Bryan flying knee seems to have the impact of a tropical storm.
This trait makes Rollins' in-ring work dramatic and exciting. The same is true for his dizzying, high-flying offense.
Rollins is a thrill to watch whether he's leaping to land a kick to the head or just darting around the ring. It's hard not to notice speed like that and it's been a big part of why The Shield's matches have been so good.
Weaknesses: Size, Mic Work
When standing next to Sheamus, Roman Reigns or Titus O'Neil, Rollins has a tough time looking intimidating due to his wiry frame. Visually, he's often the underdog.
Rollins' crazed energy and high-risk offense help him to seem more dangerous than he looks, though.
His mic work is solid, but not spectacular yet. Rollins is certain to grow in the department, but for now his performances don't sound as natural as the elite talkers in the business.
In a promo on SmackDown in April, Rollins showed that he's a crisper, more emotive speaker than Reigns, but has some catching up to do to match Dean Ambrose.