In the weeks leading up to “Survivor Series 2014”, it became clear that WWE was actually serious about putting some effort into a few superstars for a change. Guys like Ryback, Luke Harper and Dolph Ziggler were all starting to get more attention and Ziggler got the biggest spotlight of anyone in the actual match. However, this trend continued in a completely different direction this past week on “Monday Night Raw” with an unexpected change that has me intrigued. Let’s get to it.
Starting on the “Monday Night Raw” before “Survivor Series 2014”, Erick Rowan joined the forces of good by siding with Team Cena, eventually helping them to win the showdown at the pay per view. This has led to a singles feud with Big Show where Rowan has shown off his power and size by throwing the much bigger man around. This really isn’t anything new though as guys like John Cena and Mark Henry have been able to overpower Big Show before.
However, there was something new this past Monday. Before Rowan came out for his showdown with Big Show, he was interviewed by Tom Phillips. During their chat, Phillips mentioned that Rowan had a 143 IQ, liked making wine and was a guitar enthusiast. As he said this, Rowan solved a Rubik’s Cube and only said a few words while still wearing the coveralls he wore as part of the Wyatt Family.
These details are the kind of thing that wrestling really needs more of today. Before the interview, Rowan was just another odd guy whose appearance was going to dominate any discussion of him. Yeah he looks big and intimidating, but there really wasn’t any depth to him. He’s big, strong and scary, but there are always going to be people who are bigger, stronger or scarier.
Now though, there’s something that sets Rowan apart. I’m not at all saying that these changes are going to make Rowan the next Andre the Giant or anything like that, but they’re something that make him different. That right there is more important than his look, his strength, or almost anything else about him.
Wrestling is full of people with similar traits or characteristics. There are a bunch of guys who are tall and strong and look interesting with Rowan on that list. However, how many of them are geniuses who have hobbies that you don’t often associate with wrestling? Again, it’s those little things like that which could give Rowan more staying power than he already has.
It can be even better when the details/gimmick have roots in real life. In the last few years, how many wrestlers can you think of who are stuck up, whiny and cowardly heels with nothing special to their look who get by on sarcasm and being a jerk? You could use that general description for guys like Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes before he was Stardust and probably more. There really wasn’t much to them that made them stand out from each other.
Then Miz started acting in some movies and turned it into a whole different character. You could put almost anyone into that character, but how many people can you have appearing on talk shows or DVD covers to back it up? The new character has breathed new life into Miz and given him so many more things to do. Again, it hasn’t launched him to the moon or anything, but it’s far better than Miz floundering while doing the exact same thing over and over again.
I’ve never understood why wrestling companies are so afraid to add just a few details to a character to give them some extra legs. Just something as simple as making Rowan a guitar enthusiast and wine maker, which you don’t even have to show on screen, gives him an entirely new dimension. It opens up a bunch of new stories and directions for his character, which might actually make people want to see him instead of getting less and less interested every time he comes out doing the same things every week. It’s worked for Miz and Mizdow, so why wouldn’t it work for more people?
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