Sunday 21 December 2014

Death by Bunny

When Adam Rose first rocked up in NXT he seemed destined to be a mid-carder for life. A fun-lovin' party animal with a love of lollipops and wackily-attired entourages is not the sort of man who wins world championships in a promotion like WWE (or, really, anywhere outside of CHIKARA, and even there it would be a stretch). Even a gig main eventing NXT seemed unlikely.

Note Simon Gotch wearing a fez.
As it turned out Rose didn't get much time in NXT to get to the top. He debuted on the March 6 episode, recorded five weeks earlier on January 30. A month later a vignette aired on the April 7 RAW trumpeting Rose’s impending main roster debut. For the record that was the night after WrestleMania XXX.

Despite being called up at such an integral time of year Rose still seemed destined for the mid-card. It was the same man doing the same gimmick in the same promotion. But that was okay. Not everyone can be in the main event. Nor can everyone be presented as having the potential to main event. If they were everyone would seem the same, and wrestling operates by making people seem extraordinary and out of this world.

I liked the idea of Rose being a mid-card guy who lost more often than not. He had the sort of character that could pull the role off long-term, and that's actually pretty rare. Logically, why would somebody stay a happy, smiley good guy if they lost all the time? Most wouldn't. But the Rose character would.

Rose could have gone out every week on Main Event or Superstars and lost without his gimmick being harmed. Of course the character would want to win, wrestlers should always want to win, but he'd have the Exotic Express to buoy him up and take him out for a night on the tiles after every loss he suffered. It wouldn't have been the best thing ever but it would have been reasonable enough for what's basically a featured jobber.

That was the theory anyway. His heel turn kind of ruined it. Turning Rose into a jealous egotist was a deft bit of character development that fit with what had gone before. But WWE is already full of mid-card heels who are going nowhere. It’s a short sighted move that’s seen WWE deprive themselves of someone who could have been a featured undercard guy for years.

WWE's policy of equal opportunities for rabbits is where it went wrong for Rose.
What makes it seem that bit worse is that Rose was turned heel for such a pointless reason. The Bunny (a man in a bunny suit, obviously) from his entourage had become a surprise hit with fans and someone in WWE decided they should start booking the Bunny in matches to capitalise on that. It was overkill and it was obvious it would be overkill. Left a member of the entourage the Bunny could have stayed popular before the inevitable wane (which has already been and gone) and Rose could have bolstered his babyface cred by being accepting of someone more popular than himself.

The changes made to Rose can be undone. People will probably be as accepting of him as they were before. But the heel turn thing has been a pointless diversion. One of the company’s many.

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