Creative Control: Not Another One Hit Wonder (Adam Rose, Jack Swagger, Fandango, 3MB, The Shield)

Ever get the feeling that sometimes the gods try to protect you?  At the behest of countless people, my wife and I finally decided to give Game of Thrones a chance.  I put the first season on our Netflix queue and shot it to the top of the list.  We received the first disc on Thursday and tried to watch the first episode.  After about ten minutes in, it started doing some pixelization and momentary skipping.  At the point where the platinum blonde albino dethroned prince is telling his sister he’d let the entire tribe of Bedouins and their horses have their way with her (putting it politely), it was skipping and breaking up so bad I took it out and sent it back and ordered a replacement.  We got in on Saturday and sat down to try again, only it started doing the same thing at the exact same spot.  Now I know it wasn’t the same disc as I had only just dropped that one in the mail that morning.  Common sense says the discs are just in bad shape due to the show’s popularity and the large number of people handling them.  However, maybe we are being protected for our own good.  I will say from the first thirty minutes I have seen, I prefer History Channel’s Vikings for my fix of swords, blood, and betrayal.

This week’s column was inspired by CB’s post and the resulting comments discussing the pending premieres of apparent motivational speaker and oblivious heel good guy Bo Dallas and rock star/party animal Adam Rose.  The comments were a mixed bag for both, although the universal consensus is that Dallas, love or hate the gimmick, cannot go in the ring.  Therefore, I am not going to waste my time hashing out any ideas regarding his premiere or opening feuds.  Instead, we will look at what to do with the young Mr. Rose.

On first glance, Adam Rose does seem destined to be a flash in the pan gimmick that will pop the crowd for a couple of months before it is done to death, creative cannot go beyond the first dimension of his character, and he degenerates into comedic enhancement talent.  This has been the case of far too many wrestlers over the last few years.  Either they are controlled by the gimmick and never allowed to be taken as serious threats in the ring, and/or creative/management feels they have gotten the most they can out of the bits and relegate them to occasional moments.  The best examples most recently have been 3MB and Fandango.  When they first premiered, 3MB gave the impression they were a cross between the Freebirds and 3-Count.  Their video packages where they riffed on classic Beatles interviews had some level of entertainment.  After that initial moment however, they were never given a chance to look like a threat.  They were demolished by anyone and everyone who stepped in the ring with them, even at times when 3MB held the advantage in handicapped matches.  Fandango had his moment a year ago when the post-Wrestlemania Raw crowd started singing his entrance music.  That was killed off when WWE attempted to control the meme nature of the moment.  Despite holding a victory over Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania last year, the egotistical ballroom dancer has gone absolutely nowhere and is currently locked in a never-ending feud with Santino Marella.  He has changed dance partners going from Summer Rae to Layla, but so far there has been no real dividend.  Again, there is the debate of whether or not these four men can actually perform in the ring.  Reviews of their talent are mixed at best.  However, it seems like their gimmicks inhibit them from having a chance to show improvement or even have an opportunity to go in the ring.

If not careful, Adam Rose is destined for similar treatment.  The fans will go nuts for his rave entrance and post-match celebrations.  They’ll sing along with his music.  They will laugh at his endless party at weird moments backstage and maybe buy his first tee shirt.  However, it seems like after about five to six weeks of this, it will have run its course and he will be reduced to enhancement talent.  I feel that provided Mr. Rose has the talent, he could make the most out of this gimmick and be more than a flash in the pan.

For his premiere, I see one of two options.  The first is do a parody of the old Goldberg entrance where a production person bangs on the door of the Exotic Experience bus and the party goes all the way from the parking lot to the entrance ramp to hype his debut.  In the alternative (if that would be too long), have the bus pull into the arena and have the party pour out to the ring for the first match.  Let this bit go on for a few weeks as Rose does his bits and goes over the bottom of the food chain on the heel side of things.

Then one night on Raw, book Rose in a match with Jack Swagger.  When Rose gets to the ring, Zeb Coulter can belittle Rose and complain of another foreigner bringing down the United States.  That his attitude of endless partying and lack for hard work, dedication, and decency is exactly what is wrong with the country.  That Rose embodies everything the Real Americans are against.  During the match, Rose shows surprising focus and the ability to counter Swagger.  The commentary crew actually sells Rose’s talents and marvel that he is able to hang in the ring with a former World Champion and amateur wrestling superstar.  Rose picks up the victory and leaves with his entourage, much to the chagrin of Swagger and Coulter.

The next time Swagger and Coulter are seen, they are interrupted by Rose, who notes that he found someone just as American as the two of them, but who loves to party just as hard as Rose: Swagger’s Soaring Eagle.  The Real Americans fume in outrage as the eagle mascot dances with the bunny and the rest of the mob of the Exotic Experience.

A week later, Rose is making his entrance for a match, after he falls back for the crowd surf, one of the partier’s in a bodysuit grabs him and slams him to the ground before committing a further assault on him outside the ring and throws him in to suffer his first defeat at the hands of his opponent.  The body suit is ripped off to obviously reveal Swagger.

On the next show, Swagger is set for a match.  Before the bell is rung, Rose’s music starts up and the Exotic Experience crew dances their way down the ramp and around the ring as Swagger yells at them and the opponent just sort of stares.  After they circle the ring, they go back up the ramp and backstage, to let the match go.  Swagger initially has a little trouble with his opponent and slides outside the ring to get advice from Coulter.  Except, Coulter is nowhere to be seen.  Swagger starts calling for him and looking befuddled before having to get back in the ring to take on his opponent.  He overcomes the distraction of being alone and secures victory.  Only instead of his music playing, it’s Rose’s and the Experience is out again, with Coulter front and center and embarrassed as he is done up to look like a member of the Experience.

From this action, the last straw is broken and Swagger challenges Rose to a match at the next pay-per-view.  It is a back and forth affair, where again the commentary crew sell Rose’s abilities and that he appears more than just a pretty face who spends his time in a party haze.  Rose picks up the victory and dances off into the night with the Exotic Experience.

The next night on Raw, Rose is being interviewed in the back by Renee Young, who is into the whole atmosphere.  The interview is broken up by Damien Sandow.  Sandow goes on to disparage Rose’s party lifestyle and that Swagger and Coulter were right about him.  Except where they couldn’t bring down his Bacchanalian stupidity, he will.  Sandow goes to sucker punch Rose, only he ducks and instead lays out Sandow.  The party is dead silent as Rose stands over Sandow and actually gets dead serious.  He notes that he is a WWE Superstar, which means he knows how to find, so don’t ever forget it.  He goes on to state that in life, you can choose to go through it being miserable worrying about all the wrongs there are, or you can do your best to enjoy the gift of life and celebrate it however you choose.  And Rose chooses his party.  He then shifts gears and the party starts up again and shuffles off, leaving Sandow to clutch his chin, fuming, and plotting his next move in this burgeoning feud.

There are a couple of key elements that need to occur to get Rose over as more than a flash in the pan gimmick. The first is the announce crew needs to sell him as talented in the ring.  I pick Swagger as his first opponent, because it is easy to sell his amateur background and overall gimmick as an athlete.  Having the announce crew speak up Rose’s athleticism, move set, and ability to go in the ring, it reminds people he is a wrestler and a threat.  All the trappings of his entourage aside, he is a wrestler.  I also feel he needs the serious moment, the soliloquy that sums up his philosophy which is a take on The Shawshank Redemption‘s “get busy living, or get busy dying.”  To have everyone see the serious side of Rose, even if it is just a moment, helps to add depth to the personality, and again, gives something the announcer’s something to talk about other than just laughing at the gimmick.  As I noted above, too often with gimmicks like Rose, they focus just on the superficial and never let the wrestler go beyond the character.  By giving him that one little moment, it could give legs to the character and be something he can potentially build on in the future.

I did enjoy David Spain’s ideas thrown out in CB’s comments section for Rose.  The idea of him doing an APA-style gimmick as a party planner is great.  Someone could hire him either for their own celebration, or to interrupt others.  Imagine if Batista defeats Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship and there is an Authority Victory Party in the ring all formal and professional.  Then Daniel Bryan comes out and say he felt such an event needed a little something more, and out comes the Exotic Experience to hijack it.  This could help propel Rose up the card as it gives Bryan an automatic tag partner in a match against Evolution, and could be drawn out with the right writing.

I will also say I do want to see the Experience flash mob a Shield backstage promo.  I see the Hounds of Justice doing their hand-held camera bit and then the Experience goes rumbling behind them.  A girl with leash slinks up to Ambrose, puts it around his neck and starts leading him away.  Rollins and Reigns protest, but Ambrose shrugs his shoulders and goes “duty calls, boys” and dances off.  Rollins and Reigns stand there alone for a moment watching.  They react to something coming from the direction of the party look at each other, then the camera.  Rollins quickly mutters “blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, believe in the Shield” and they drop the camera and race off to follow their comrade.  After all, why can’t they be given a little depth and show their lighter side in a brief moment?


Until next time, I relinquish creative control.

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