This week on Raw, Brodus Clay debuted under the "Funkasaurus" gimmick. The gimmick is truly ridiculous. It has certainly sparked lots of debate among the IWC which has been waiting very patiently for the return of the monster Brodus Clay. To these IWC faithful "The Funkasaurus" gimmick is a slap to the face. This is due to the fact that to these fans, the gimmick is a crystal clear punishment for Clay letting on he was going to take out Morrison. "Screw up our plans, and we'll do something like this to you" was the message WWE was sending.
I'll be honest with you. When Brodus Clay debuted this past week on Raw, some watched in shock, some watched in awe, I was laughing so hard I was crying and trying not to piss myself. Not one of my finer moments.
The reason I was doing so is very simple. I never saw the magic behind Clay. I didn't see the hype. To me the vignettes advertising Clay's return did nothing. I was totally indifferent, and furthermore I didn’t much care. However I had read about much praise and I knew he was putting himself in the gutter when he spoiled his original return plan.
Now, before I am berated for this. It is due to most of Clay's work being on Smackdown, which sadly I don’t get much chance to watch anymore due to going out almost every Friday rather consistently. Since my family is too cheap to upgrade to a higher cable plan I do not possess that fancy innovation referred to as DVR and the only chance I’d get to see Smackdown otherwise is hope to death the old piece of crap VCR works. That doesn't happen very often so the opportunity to recognize Brodus Clay's talent flew right over my head.
So to me when Clay debuted it was nothing more than a wrestler receiving his just desserts. My opinion on that matter is now changed, so moving on.
Now many people may question why the "Funkasaurus" gimmick can be considered a punishment. To that my answer is, without a doubt, its stupid. To those that defend the gimmick, it is entertaining. Yes, this is true. I was very entertained as I'm sure the audience and most people watching at home were. However, just because something is entertaining doesn't make it less stupid.
A classic example is the movie, Napoleon Dynamite. To a lot of people this movie was very entertaining and funny (I wasn't one of those people and just hearing about this movie made me want to ram my head into the wall as hard as I could) however most people, including fans, will still agree The movie is stupid.
Delving deeper into this, there are very few circumstances where a dancing gimmick has gotten a superstar over. Now many of you will likely attempt to name circumstances where it has, and I applaud you for doing so as I encourage debate, however it has as many failures. Many people will recall Flash Funk, who had a similar gimmick to the "Funkasaurus", however it didn't last long. Flash Funk quickly returned to being the always entertaining 2 cold Scorpio.
Some other names that come to find are Scotty 2 Hotty, Rikishi and Grand Master Sexay aka Brian Lawler. They did have a dancing gimmick and yes they got over, however on the flip of this, Scotty 2 Hotty spent most of his career a jobber despite his popularity. Brian Lawler never got to be much of a major star and Rikishi achieved some mid-card success, however he achieved it more through the popularity of the Stinkface.
Disco inferno. I feel as if I don’t even have to explain this.
The last name that comes to mind is D.J. Gabriel. I can hear some people questioning who this is and my response is: exactly. To those of you who don’t know, D.J. Gabriel was a member of the ECW initiative. He debuted sometime in 2008 using the dancing gimmick. He had minor success on the brand going undefeated several months and feuding with Paul Burchill. Despite being fairly decent in the ring he never really got over and fell into obscurity.
Well now that I have explained why being branded with this gimmick can be considered a punishment. I have to address a common complaint the IWC has. The gimmick is not the one Brodus Clay was advertised with and it doesn’t work on him. My response is: no duh. It is meant to be a punishment; therefore it isn’t meant to work. It is supposed to be so no one takes him seriously and he is made to be a laughing stock.
In the interest of fairness, I am also going to address a common defense that fans of the gimmick often propose. The gimmick was the original plan all along and it isn't a punishment at all. I congratulate these people for having that much faith in the writing staff, I however do not. Based on the past, WWE would have advertised the gimmick for a new debut or re-branding, not just run vignettes of the wrestler in question based on their old gimmick.
Much of the IWC seemed to be looking forward to Brodus returning as a no-nonsense monster heel and destroying everyone. Many defenders of "Funkasaurus" argue that this would be very cliché. I have to agree that a monster heel is cliché and is attached to many big men who come into the WWE. Where I have to disagree is when the monster heel gimmick is referred to as being boring based solely on the fact it is cliché. Just because something is cliché doesn't mean it’s boring, even something cliché is entertaining when it is done well.
Now at this point many of you are probably wondering why giving Brodus Clay the dancing gimmick will fail as a punishment. The answer is simple. Most of the IWC have referred to Brodus Clay as a great talent who has skills in the ring and charisma as well as a unique look. Many people seem to forget that it is not just the gimmick that has to get over, it’s the person.
A truly great superstar can get over with just about any gimmick. After reading countless articles arguing both sides I decided to take a look at Brodus' debut once again, this time not laughing. What I saw instead of a superstar being punished was a charismatic skillful big man with an entertaining gimmick that he has a chance to make his own and be different. Something that most members of the IWC haven’t realized, is that if we reject Brodus based soley on the gimmick, we are allowing WWE to win, and in turn we are failing Brodus as his fans.
WWE has not realized that in giving Brodus a gimmick they thought would make him a laughing stock, has actually given him a gimmick that he is going to have a lot of fun with, and given his skills, and his personality if he is given the chance he will get over and turn an already perceived failure into a great success along with providing us wrestling fans with both good matches and entertainment. I have officially become a Brodus Clay fan.
For those of you who enjoy this writer’s work you may check out his non wrestling related work at the following links
mmgts.blogspot.com <---------serous reviews of recent horror films
macabremarkreviews.blogspot.com <--------satirical riffs of low budget horror films