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WWE Roundtable: Rebuilding floundering stars

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Week 2 of WWE’s attempt to revive Bo Dallas. Is it working?

Joseph Nardone: I think so. From an overall sense, I’ve agreed with the company’s use of jobbers since the brand-split. Because of that, I am OK with him only whooping on some random dude on a weekly basis.

A big part of this new Bo Dallas is that it is somewhat the same as the old, but just jacked-up with intensity and seriousness. He’s also come back more in-shape. I’ve dug this revival. As a guy who has long, uh, Bo-lieved in him, this has been great.

Daniel DeMarco: Well of course it’s not. We are talking about a guy who was embedded in the wood at the bottom of WWE’s barrel. I don’t see any saving of Bo Dallas’ character. Most certainly not as a singles competitor. Absolutely not. I’m not even one to knock wrestlers for their look, or create a ceiling for them based on it, but Bo Dallas is a serious exception. Because not only has WWE completely destroyed any semblance of credibility for Bo Dallas, but he flat-out looks like the jobbers WWE has paired him against. The long, stringy hair, the generic one-piece wrestler get-up, the bland body type; it’s just bad. The only thing I could possibly think of to make him more than a jobber is to pair him with his brother, Bray Wyatt, and make him a Wyatt family member. Make him a creepy minion of Bray’s or something along those lines.

RK:  I think it’s too early to tell. I have never really been a fan of Bo Dallas, so for me, this whole revival of his character is irrelevant. I think they are doing the right thing by not having him be a complete goof, as a darker, more sinister Dallas is more interesting. However, I am sure there are a ton of people watching that just can’t take him seriously, given how the WWE main roster bookers have portrayed him in the past.

How much longer can WWE continue using Chris Jericho in the role he’s in?

JN: Forever. Well, that or until he dies. While I’m not a huge fan of his work, most fans seem to still like him. If that’s the case, then why not continue to use him to make others look all fine.

Plus, he’s not that far removed from beating AJ Styles before the Phenomenal One went on his incredible streak of matches against John Cena and then beating Ambrose of the title. So, while it used to be more than accurate to say all he did was put people over, that isn’t as much the case as of late.

Anyway, the roster is thin. If we are going to continue to whine about “not making new stars,” we can’t also moan whenever Jericho is used in a role to try to help make new stars.

DD: As long as Jericho is willing to do it, I’d say. Jericho will always have name-credibility, and his promo abilities continue to keep him an entertaining aspect of WWE each week. And his wrestling talents were so top-notch back in the day, even an older, slower Jericho is better than most on the WWE roster. Jericho is a keeper for this sort of role. He’s a prized commodity on WWE’s roster, for the sports entertainment focus WWE goes for.

RK:  To be fair, I am thoroughly entertained by Chris Jericho right now as the smug, condescending heel that is the best friend of Kevin Owens. Whether it’s he and Owens calling Tom Phillips by the wrong name, making facial expressions during interviews about “it” or making up wrestlers names to cover for himself, Jericho is what comedy in the WWE should be. It shouldn’t be “The Old Day” or Santino’s Three Stooges gimmick, but unforced hilarity by talented performers.

Who needs the feud more at this point: Rusev or Roman Reigns?

JN: I hate this question because the answer is obviously both. Almost all “or” questions are both. But the person who created this question has likely been seduced by Roman’s musk and is hoping for all the hot-takes.

Eh, I digress.

I am actually going with Rusev. Reigns is — despite the polarizing reactions — rather established. Rusev is too, but to a much smaller degree. He needs to continue to be a heel-beast-world-beater type. Hopefully that is the route the WWE goes with this.

DD: Roman Reigns needs it just a tad more, but they both need it. Rusev needs a serious feud to be involved in to build up his credibility again, but Reigns needs good feuds away from the title picture. It is the only way to save Reigns. Anywhere near the Raw title is death. Because the main issue with Reigns has been the audience knowing WWE wants to push him as a top guy. That’s the gripe. So you can’t position him as a top guy. You have to bring it back to something more mid-card level, and keep him there for an extended period of time. So Reigns truly needs this. It is just the right way to get him away from the title again, and back into a feud that ended abruptly a few weeks back.

RK:  Roman Reigns. Clearly, he’s now positioned as the upper-main card guy, not the main event stalwart he was before the failed drug test. Rusev needs as much TV time as he can get, as he’s a very talented guy and uber-entertaining. However, there are bigger and better feuds for Rusev, while Reigns is barely keeping his head above the water. I am just happy he’s not wrestling for the Universal Championship.

WWE Roundtable: Rebuilding floundering stars

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