Monday, June 16, 2014

It's All Connected: The Argument for a Tournament to Introduce NXT Guys to the Main Roster

Graphics Credit: Wrestling on Earth

We all know about the recent releases that have swept through WWE. Some of them make sense. Some make you scratch your head, and some never really had a chance. Whose fault is it: the performer, Creative, all of the above, or none of them? It’s a hard call, because you could make an argument for every single one of them. The usual answer is “getting over;” either you do or you don’t. Getting over will make a lesser wrestler, and failing to do so will break a fantastic in-ring performer. It’s nothing new, you the educated reader understand this well. It’s also been in the news recently.

Two of the newest WWE “stars” have been getting criticized for their gimmicks not getting over, or rather let’s say, not getting over enough. Bo Dallas and Adam Rose both premiered on the main roster a couple of months ago and a few weeks ago respectively, with differing success. Neither really took off like I’m sure the WWE was hoping. It’s only been a short time, but the WWE audience is a fickle beast. I present Fandango as prosecution’s exhibit A. He was wildly over and then, just like David Copperfield, poof. He’s gone, well gone from the heights of beating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania to having Summer Rae and Layla fight over him. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for two beautiful women fight over me too, but this storyline is more about them than him.

Therein lies the problem and my solution, at least my idea for a solution. Not everyone in the world has the WWE Network yet, including my household. So far, it's only an American release anyway; the rest of the globe won't get it until early next year. Anyways, NXT isn’t seen on the same scale as RAW and Smackdown. Having Adam Rose and Bo Dallas over in NXT is great. Being over anywhere is an achievement in pro wrestling, especially now. The problem I see is whenever a wrestler makes the jump to the main roster, he/she still comes in cold as ice. For most of the people, the average viewer, they have no clue who these people are, except for some vignettes that could hurt their chances if they suck.

So, what’s the answer?  I think it's an annual tournament to promote the next wrestler to the main roster. Tournaments work to push workers in nearly every promotion worldwide. New Japan just finished their Best of the Super Juniors event, now their fan base has been introduced to the next challenger for the Junior Heavyweight Championship, Ricochet. PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles is a good indicator of who is in the plans to challenge the World Champ. ECWA’s Super 8 has helped many careers over the years go from independent to major wrestling success.

These are just a couple of examples and there are many more we could talk about. WWE should promote a tournament of NXT stars on its main programs. The tourney should be between four and eight wrestlers large, and WWE should put its full promotion machine behind it. Let them run the final as the opener on a special event. This way the winner and maybe even the loser could both be given main roster contracts. The winner comes onto RAW/Smackdown with momentum, having already been introduced previously to the audience. Sounds like a solution to me.