On the latest edition of Monday Night Raw, Bo Dallas not only returned with brute force, as he squashed a local jobber, but an assumed push.
Dallas has always been far too talented a performer to waste away as he has ever since his original push — post NXT call-up — failed in a few ways.
It is worth noting, because it highlights how solid of a talent he is, that Dallas’ initial push wasn’t an entire bust. He did begin to garner fan reaction and was doing good overall work, but for whatever reason the WWE pulled the plug on pushing him further before things had a chance to really get going.
The good news is that it appears the WWE has realized that Dallas needs to be treated better. That his abilities in the ring and with his words are too impressive to be lumped in with many other name-brand jobbers on the main roster. Or, well, the company has no choice but to try to repackage him as a credible in-ring worker again, as the brand-split has left the Raw roster slightly.
Either way, it is good for us as fans.
There needs to be some caution here, however. While many wrestling fans are going to be quick to get excited over this new version of Bo Dallas, it might not take long for the WWE to revert back to its old ways.
Case in point: Heath Slater.
Slater’s free agency run had “serious tone” written all over it. Then on last Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown, the creative team took a figurative dump all over using what could have been a way to make Slater into a mega-star and turned it into a slew of ill-fitting, stereotyped jokes about people who live in trailers.
The reason for that is unclear, but it is the same type of pitfall Dallas can quickly find himself into if the WWE doesn’t feel as though the WWE Universe is connecting with him in haste.
Many other talents who have either recently debuted or been repackaged have had similar fates. Despite the buildup for The Shining Stars, Vaudevillains, Darren Young, Neville, Tyler Breeze’s original push, etc., if we know anything about the WWE, it is that it isn’t patient in allowing talent to organically get over.
If there’s even the tiniest bump in the road, Jobberville, USA is the destination for otherwise gifted wrestlers.
That’s the fear with Dallas. The WWE likely already believes it gave him a sincere chance — or maybe even two — after coming up from NXT. Because of that, coupled with Dallas’ rather benign airport incident, his push can be on a short leash.
Hopefully, that is not the case. Maybe it is naivety or wishful thinking, but Dallas is the type of overall talent who can be a fixture in mid-card title feuds, and he even has the talent to one day elevate himself into the main event picture. Sure, he’s not his brother Bray — who performs fantastically in a perfectly constructed character — but he’s as good a raw talent that Monday Night Raw has.
The WWE just needs to let him tap into that talent.
It is still too early to tell how this version of Bo Dallas will be portrayed on WWE programming over the next several weeks. He trots about the ring with a silly Bo-lieve sign, but his match on Raw seemed like an indicator that he is moving forward as less a court jester and more a dangerous threat — most importantly, a man serious in tone — to other wrestlers.
Let’s hope the WWE remains patient with him. It might take a minute for the fans to embrace this version of Dallas, as the company spent the better portion of two years making him one of the least credible wrestlers on the main roster.
Regardless, I sincerely Bo-lieve Bo Dallas needs and deserves this push. Let’s just hope the WWE not only realizes that, but remains patient if things don’t immediately take with the WWE Universe.