If you’ve been a WWE fan long enough, you can tell when an episode of Raw feels like something from a decade ago. That’s exactly what happened last night when Raw to me felt like an episode that came out of the Attitude Era…minus the TV14 insanity. Was it because of Kane? Was it because of Zack Ryder? Was it because of R-Truth? I’d say it was thanks to all of them, but the icing on the cake was none other than the Funkasaurus, Brodus Clay. It was one of the most bizarre debuts I’ve seen in a while, but what really got to me was how similar it felt to certain characters on WWE’s roster nearly a decade ago. Does this mean WWE are reinventing their roster to bring back the crazy, the wacky, the strange, and the larger than life characters?
Right off the bat I’ll admit that I loved Brodus’ re-debut 2minutes into his dance routine. It was classic. It was genius. But more than that, it was interesting. It wasn’t particularly unique or new because there have been others who have used the gimmick to their advantage before. But it has everyone talking, even the ones who wouldn’t normally talk to me about wrestling. Brodus’ reinvention was ballsy and because of the chances of failure, also very risky. I first thought this was one of Vince’s occasional ribs that he likes to pull on the superstars, but then I realized how creative this was; to turn the supposed “Fall of Humanity” into this colorful, energetic, fun-loving character who seemed to have the Godfather’s sense of humor and Vader’s body…and Ernest “The Cat” Miller’s WWE theme song.
This got me to thinking…
Is WWE opening-up their mindset to accommodate these slightly loony characters once again? The 80′s and 90′s had rosters lined-up with larger than life superstars; some of whom went on to become the biggest WWE legends of all time. The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, and Ric Flair comes to mind. So if WWE are indeed filling their rosters with more colorful superstars, I say way to go and it’s about time! I mean seriously, if we wanted “real” we’d watch mixed martial arts or Muai Thai or something. Vince and co. tried to ground their product for the last 10 years by having generic smiley-faced characters smacked across their posters to sell shows, while the bad guys were limited to being sneaky and pathetic; essentially using the same dirty tactics over and over until you began to wonder if the referees are blind or just incredibly f**king stupid. Or both. The whole initiative didn’t serve them well, and today WWE is stuck in a sh*tpile of low ratings and the inability to even launch their own channel on the promised date.
With guys like Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Kane, Hornswoggle, Santino, and Brodus Clay on board, I’m guessing WWE have learned the err of their ways and are trying to bring the “entertainment” back to “World Wrestling Entertainment”…yeah ‘WWE’ still stands for that, I don’t care what anyone says. If you’re thinking Kane shouldn’t be on that list, just stop, drop, and think again. Kane’s the most larger than life character on the roster right now, and if The Undertaker comes back to play Lightning-Bolt-Tag with his little brother again, it’ll just go right back to 1998′s “mythological insanity era”. Pulling Zack Ryder down to Hell? As in the real Hell aka fiery underworld? That’s just insane. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome as well. Remember, it’s actually part of WWE’s canon arc that Hornswoggle was given a voice by Santa Claus, and that there’s an entire labyrinth under the ring…with a courtroom and all. Just think about that for a second and then try to decide if it’s awesome, creative, strange, or just stupid. I say it’s all of them, which means it’s a mindf**k!
Back to story. I’m glad WWE decided to go this route with Brodus. We haven’t seen it play out yet, so lets patiently wait for WWE to flesh this out over the next several weeks. If done right, this character could be what Brodus needs to become a staple WWE player instead of a generic monster heel who talks about ending humanity and whatnot, then squashes some midcarder who isn’t even on an active roster, then gets drafted to SmackDown! in July…and then gets abruptly fired. No, this is so much better than that. If they’re really up to getting wackier characters on the show, I can’t wait to see who they’ll come up with next. There are a LOT of talented superstars on the roster who’d be willing to do way, way more than what Brodus Clay…which is both assuring and frightening at the same time.
Take note, I don’t want all superstars to get too crazy, just some of them. A good balance of serious people on the roster plus some over-the-top ones could bring back the edge that pro-wrestling has been missing for the last decade or so. Think about it, WWE. Or if you’re already thinking about it, great job!