Mojo Rawley gets it. That was made abundantly clear recently when he cut Twitter promos against his former tag team partner Zack Ryder. Rawley was intense, he was focused and more importantly, he was serious.
There was no laughing, no wild-eyed hype or catchphrases. There was just Mojo and the camera. He stared into it as if he was staring into the eyes of Ryder himself and he did it like he believed every word he said. Any fan that had fallen asleep on Mojo surely began to wake up and recognize just how impressive he was.
But it’s the match with him and Ryder at WWE Clash of Champions that has opened the eyes of many that were just not paying attention to this feud before. Rawley and Ryder had a good match and it’s likely that no one expected that to happen.
The fact that the live crowd popped was perhaps even more unexpected. It’s not that fans don’t know that both guys to be competent in the ring. Anyone on this level must be on his game or he won’t last long. But Rawley and Ryder typically fall under the lower-card category and it’s difficult to come back from that.
So while Mojo in particular has flown under the radar, he’s done nothing but improve. He’s shown flashes of brilliance many times in the past and those flashes have added up to a light that is growing brighter. Mojo, for all of his goofy bravado and outspokenness, is emerging as a relevant Superstar.
This has not been easy, especially considering how WWE has booked him in the past. Fans had a difficult time connecting with him and with good reason. Rawley was an uncontrollable maniac, running to the ring and bouncing all over the place. He reminded fans of The Ultimate Warrior but there was no real effort made to do anything with him.
Of course all of that changed when he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. For the first time, fans began to see Mojo as something other than a curtain jerk star. But when WWE left him in that spot and did not move him forward, it was obvious that there was perhaps no plan for him after all.
Momentum was lost and Mojo went back to doing nothing. Fans took him seriously for five minutes but then it ended. Now that he’s a heel and has embarked on a revenge tour against Ryder, Mojo is once again gaining some steam.
Rawley is a man that just understands what he’s doing and he understands the business he’s in. He had to strip away the nonsense to connect to fans and he’s done that. He had to find a way to get back to basics and make the fans care about what he’s saying and he’s done that as well.
He’s found the key to making a pro wrestling angle work and he did that thanks to Twitter. A good rivalry is the result of a fundamental disagreement that’s lost all perspective. Instead of reconciling their differences and coming together on common ground, two guys decide to settle their differences in the ring.
Common sense and trust gives way to ego and anger; that’s exactly what’s happened between Rawley and Ryder. Mojo is a man that means business and he’s brought it down to a level that fans can understand and relate to. He’s not the character he was before; he’s a man that’s tired of being held down. Mojo is indeed doing his part to get over.
However the way he’s booked from now on is up to WWE and that must be on point if he is to continue on an upward trend. WWE needs strong mid to upper-card stars and Mojo can be one of those stars. It’s still early in the process but if given enough time, Mojo could perhaps make it work.
He’s proved that he has the heart for this and he’s shown that he can get the job done when his number is called. Sometimes all a Superstar needs is the right opportunity at the right time and that’s exactly what Rawley has been given.
But he can only do so much on his own. No one can build and maintain his own push without the company supporting him along the way. Ryder is living proof of that. Whether or not WWE will continue to cultivate Mojo as a future top star is unknown. But Mojo should be commended for his work to this point and one look into his eyes is all that fans need to understand that he definitely gets it. Hopefully WWE sees that as well.