The latest in all-powerful factions has arrived. Move over Wyatt Family. Take a hike League of Nations. Because The Social Outcasts are on the scene. Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, and Bo Dallas are here to terrorise the Superstars of the WWE, depending of course on your definition of “terrorise”. In theory, this 2016 version of the JOB Squad is a solid idea, meshing together under-utilised talent who share malcontent for their situation. However, if recent history is anything to go by, after a small initial push, these poor lads will be right back where they started, only they’ll have to share what precious limelight they have with 3 other men. See 3MB. What is interesting about this team however, is how many Superstars could actually have been a part of it. If Creative give them just a little bit to work with, an undercard faction who recruit forgotten stars isn’t a terrible idea, just as long as it doesn’t become an over-inflated mess like the latter days of the nWo. Let’s take a look at who could’ve joined, or who still could join, this band of unlikely cads.
Surely Ryder should be the leader of this faction? He is the original Social Outcast. A Superstar brimming with talent, a former Tag Team champion, relegated to no-where, who re-invented himself online and cultivated a niche following. THAT’S WHAT SOCIAL OUTCASTS DO. His innovative and optimistic penchant for keeping himself relevant without being on the card helped him receive huge pops when he was sporadically allowed to appear on our screens. The Broski managed a short US Title run, in what initially looked like a return to prominence, but was promptly shoved back down the slide. It seems to have become a game for the powers that be to play The Woo Woo Kid like a yo-yo, and this feeds perfectly into the gripes of the Social Outcasts. Did you see his match with Cena during the US Title Open Challenge? It was awesome, and they still sent him back to NXT to tag with perennial imbecile Mojo Rawley. And then even the crowd turned on him at NXT Takeover: London, although that might have something to do with how annoying Rawley is. Let’s face it, even Ryder looks pissed off standing next to him.This all adds up. How Ryder wasn’t the first name on this list is beyond me.
Where the hell has Fandango gone? After a victory over Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania, his future looked bright. However, aside from being lucky enough to have had roughly 2 billion sexy valets during his tenure, Johnny Curtis has tangoed himself rapidly downhill. For a while he maintained a decent level of popularity (just ask Everton FC) and then disappeared into obscurity, thus lending credible reasoning for his inclusion into the Social Outcasts. He’s also still technically owed a Tag Team Title shot, which, if WWE choose to ignore their usual revisionist take on their own history, would be an excellent issue to bring up and score a championship match for his team.
The faction desperately need a talker who doesn’t scream “BABAY” at the end of every sentence. Enter the Intellectual Saviour of The Masses. Having entertained the hell out of the WWE Universe as The Miz’s stunt double post Team Rhodes Scholars, Sandow’s stock has plummeted like Wall Street, circa 1929. Lest we forget that the Enlightened One held the Money In The Bank briefcase and had a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship and so has enough grievances to earn a featured role in the Social Outcasts. He’s also the self-titled Lord of Literacy and Duke of Decency. Sandow’s character is an educated academic who can’t abide the idiots who work around him, thus making him a Social Outcast. Seriously, how do Creative miss stuff like this?
One of the issues I have with the current Superstars of this team is that they’re just not very interesting. Storyline wise, I like the concept of the Social Outcasts, but they are all pretty boring competitors. Bo Dallas had some great matches in NXT but hasn’t been allowed to replicate that sort of form, so a talent like Gabriel could help get the Universe on board in a very different way. The South African was released because there was nothing for him, despite having been inside the bunny costume during the weirdest feud of 2014 that had zero payoff. He’s a bright and creative character, which is essentially the polar opposite of Curtis Axel, and could lend something this team is currently missing. Moreover, a Superstar who was let go by the company has far more reason to be irritated than those who still work there, and he could easily be recruited by ex tag team partner and “best friend”, Heath Slater. Instead, we have to put up with Adam Rose.
It’s almost as if the Prime Time Players never existed. A forgettable title run, and now Titus O’Neil seems to be a singles competitor engaged in a pointless feud with Stardust, with Young relegated into nothingness. This has happened before, when he was exiled from The Nexus. And what else do we know about Young that could possibly make him a Social Outcast…? He’s a gay man in a historically homophobic locker room. Risky storytelling, maybe, but potential compelling viewing, most definitely.
Another Superstar no longer with the company, McIntyre, now Galloway, would give the Social Outcasts the big man they currently lack. As the former “Chosen One”, he could happily complain he never got the opportunity to live up to that billing, having languished alongside Heath Slater in 3MB before his departure. Hell, this would make the third person on this list to have been in a team with Heath Slater, and could lead to a surprise beat down, as Gabriel, Young and McIntyre could conclude that being associated with Slater is what lead to their downfall. Just a thought.
Look at the guy. A man who ritually paints his face and refuses to acknowledge his own name? He thinks he’s the Prince of Dark Matter for Christ’s sake. I’m beginning to think WWE named this team either because they don’t know what a social outcast is, or because they couldn’t feasibly call them “The Superstars We Fucked Up With Creatively”.
Now I’ve no idea what the plans are for Joe. An invaluable wealth of experience for the young generation down at NXT, it might be that he’ll never step up to the main roster. However, the story is there should they choose to pull the trigger. This is the man WWE ignored for 15 years, then, when they finally hired him, they put him in developmental. At the moment, the Social Outcasts are almost jokingly annoyed at their lack of opportunity. Joe would bring a sense of genuine anger to the role, as well as an actual fan base who can invest in the stable. The current line-up will inevitably fade back into obscurity without a Superstar who can generate heat, and the Samoan Submission Machine could very well be their guy.