It’s tough to trust an Intercontinental Champion with a crooked smile.
It just comes naturally for Christian, who, when relishing a moment or getting caught up in a spirited discussion with an adversary, grows a half-grin. The left side of his mouth curls to a smile while the right side rests somewhat taut and emotionless. It’s part of his charm, part of being Captain Charisma. But it is also reminiscent of the times when Christian’s grin accompanied his ill-willed acts inside the squared circle.
Every time Christian shows off his pearly whites while holding that prestigious Intercontinental Title in his hand, there may be a hint of doubt nestled in some corner of the WWE Universe’s collective psyche about what might be his true intentions. Does the grin just mean that the guileful Captain Charisma is simply happy to be back on top, proud to possess championship gold once again? Or is it that other side, the matter-of-fact facial expression on the other half of his face that the Peeps should be mindful of going forward?
There’s something about the combination of Christian and the Intercontinental Championship that has brought the selfish side out of the Canadian-born Superstar in the past. That volatile mix once sent Christian down a sinister road to seize the spotlight for himself, at the expense of his longtime tag team partner and best friend, WWE Hall of Famer Edge, more than a decade ago.
The tag team of Edge & Christian once achieved a level of success so great that the editors of WWE.com recently declared them the greatest tag team in WWE history. Then Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring Tournament and followed it up by becoming the Intercontinental Champion at SummerSlam 2001, just one year after he and Christian won the first-ever TLC Match.
Discontent with his partner’s moment in the spotlight, Christian challenged his brother-in-arms for the title one month later at Unforgiven and justified it as an opportunity to realize his own personal hopes and dreams. Christian won the same title he now holds again, and showed no remorse for stepping over his former tag team partner to do it.
More than 10 years later, it would seem that the Canadian-born Superstar has put his past behind him. He even inducted his once greatest enemy, Edge, into the WWE Hall of Fame just months ago. Their friendship withstood their struggles in the past and so has Captain Charisma’s connection with the WWE fans.
The Intercontinental Champion knows that if he keeps smiling, the WWE Universe will keep smiling with him. Despite his reputation, it’s hard not to, especially after the Captain took down a cunning, blackhearted Superstar in Cody Rhodes … someone who actually shares a lot in common with the Christian of the past.
Yes, the keeper of the Peeps certainly bears the qualifications to bring prestige back to the Intercontinental Title and WWE fans have quickly embraced their new champion – but at what cost? Considering a history of jealousy and other nefarious traits, what might Captain Charisma do to stay on top after injuries and setbacks kept him from it for so long?
For now, the WWE Universe can merely trust that this Christian really is for the Peeps. And, if the signature smile proves to be a signal of another con job during his current title run, all we can do is simply grin and bear it.