“…athletically impressive young wrestler
with a big league pedigree…”
“As far as his performance goes, he hasn’t shown too much of it, or with his
opponents, there hasn’t been room to show it.”
“…is treading water at the moment…”
“The guy stinks. Make him job. Make him job soon.”
“All he did the whole match was no-sell all the 3-counts….[the moves he did as follows]: Several punches, a hiptoss, two of the SORRIEST dropkicks I have ever seen… a sleeperhold and a small package.”
Then there’s Bo Dallas: Son of the legendary Mike “IRS” Rotunda, brother of the amazingly talented and charismatic Bray Wyatt. However, Bo Dallas seemingly has the wrestling talent of a cardboard box and he’s around 1 Kelvin on the charisma thermometer. In fiction, a recent focus group held on Twitter shows that everyone except @NXTGIRL on Twitter despises the current WWE NXT* Champion. Before you kill me, I hate him, too.
(*NXT is an alternate universe in the C32-Hulu Plus Cluster where William Regal acknowledges that Sami Zayn isn’t a rookie. It was created through Archibald Peck’s inter-dimensional travel into the WWE Universe a few weeks back.)
One should actually applaud that the creative scientists in the NXT dimension realized that they’re saying “boo” and not “Bo” right around when fans started literally turning their back on Bo Dallas matches. (By the way – kudos to the WWE for doing things to please the Full Sail crowd like keeping Big E. Langston a babyface down there, etc. It’s nice to see an organization seemingly so stubborn about change listening to an audience, even if it is 250-500 people who didn’t pay a dime to see four wrestling tapings that five people watch.)
So, yeah, they’ve turned Bo Dallas into an overzealous heel that has let the fame get to his head. It’s ingenious really, mostly because they didn’t have to do much to his character to make him even more dislikable. He was never sympathetic and being cute only goes so far.
Did you see all of those quotes at the beginning of this diatribe, though? Discussion about his lush and rampant hair and used car salesman smile aside, those are the kinds of things we all read about Bo Dallas all the time. The trouble with those quotes is that all of them came from February and March. Of 1997. From the rec.sport.pro-wrestling UseNet newsgroup.
And the quotes are about a young, cute blue-chipper smiling and waving and trying to carry on the legacy of his legendary wrestling family. He was called Rocky Maivia back then but you know him as the wrestling PPV & cinema box office king, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
All it took was for the creative team to allow The Rock to use that communications degree he got at the U and to come up with some creative sayings and predictable (in a good way) move sets. The next thing you knew, by 1998, the crowd was eating out of The Rock’s (and Vince’s) hand. Look at those quotes from `97 and then watch The Rock vs. Mankind vs. Ken Shamrock in a cage from Break Down. The Rock was still technically a heel and got the pop of the night.
I’m not saying you can apply the same formula to Bo Dallas because, you probably can’t. Phenomena like the Rock are not only rare; they’re not as easy to do in the PG Era. Lots of wrestlers have “the move” that they set up now (Sheamus, Orton, Kofi, CM Punk) and no one really chanted “Si, Si” when Alberto Del Rio did his little character-on-Breaking Bad arm tap before the cross armbreaker. Sometimes it’s a comedy of errors that lead to someone’s superstardom. One can argue that if we didn’t all cry on the Internet about Daniel Bryan getting beat in 18 seconds at WrestleMania, we might not have the delicious storyline we have right now.
While I have the same sketching skills as WNYX’s Jimmy James trying to explain idioms about bees in bonnets, I believe I can paraphrase a formula that will make Bo Dallas work. Keep up with the fact that he wants to emulate John Cena, be the next John Cena and have the same fan base as John Cena. Keep making him a parody of a parody of professional wrestling. He will be one of the greatest heels ever and, eventually cheered. By the same people who make hilarious memes and “Die Rocky Bo Die!” signs. Since they’re never going to turn Cena heel (wherein they could have used his “Never Give Up” crap as an antagonistic taunt), do it with Bo Dallas and take my money.
All of this well-deserved and mostly accurate smack talk about Bo Dallas just means he’s going to be the next big thing in 3-5 years.
Or maybe it will be Roman Reigns, whatevs.
Last summer, Dan Aleksander hired a contractor out of the free newspaper to remodel his bathroom. The contractor took three weeks to redo a bathroom the size of a shoebox. Then the contractor called Dan at work to ask if Dan could claim his kids as dependents. Dan whines about this and more on Twitter @HaveTilFive.
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