Wednesday 11 January 2012


If, like me, you had been doubting whether WWE still had the ability to create new stars then Monday night's edition of RAW should have cast any doubt from your mind. After weeks upon weeks of hype Brodus Clay, the runner up of the long forgotten NXT season four, returned to television. But not as we'd expected.
We'd expected Clay to return under the gimmick he'd used previously: a softly spoken suplex expert with a mean streak. Instead he was the recipient of a special introduction from ring announcer Justin Roberts in which he was billed from "Planet Funk" and had his new moniker revealed.
'The Funkasaurus'. 

'The Funkasaurus' Brodus Clay: WWE's next big sensation? Could be...

Flanked by two dancers (Naomi and Cameron Lynn of FCW) Clay strutted to ringside clad in a red tracksuit with matching fedora, and performed an entertaining dance routine in the ring. That was topped off by a pyro, a sure sign WWE is getting behind an act.
Clay exhibited more charisma during his entrance and the brief squash victory over Curt Hawkins than dead weight performers Drew McIntyre, Alex Riley and Mason Ryan combined. The audience initially seemed unsure what to make of the new character but Clay quickly won them over with his infectious personality, spirited performance and crisp ring skills. It was refreshing to see a wrestler not taking themselves too seriously and having what looked like a good time. Clay's comment to a ringside fan "Oh you didn't see that comin'!" said it all.
It's reassuring to know that WWE can still give a newcomer the star treatment. They cleverly turned their continual postponement of Clay's RAW debut into a storyline (he was originally going to return in early November) and then spent time preparing a new character for him and ensuring he was perceived as a star from the off. New ring gear, a stylish, well-planned entrance, and a dance routine that suggested a choreographer had been brought in. The aim was for 'The Funkasaurus' to make an impact and that's precisely what he did.
This was WWE doing everything in their power to create a new star. And it worked! I imagine Clay will continue to enjoy fan backing on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future. This is exactly what WWE needs to be doing to find new stars: giving guys a chance to make a connection with the audience and seeing who gets over.
Playing two very different characters on WWE television confirms that he has the versatility required to succeed as a WWE superstar. He's solid in the ring, a standout on the mic, has a unique look, and main event level charisma.
2012 could be the Year of the Funkasaurus.

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