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Brodus Clay Is a Great Throwback Gimmick: Why Today's Audience Wants the Funk

picture courtesy of wrestlingtruth.com
picture courtesy of wrestlingtruth.com
Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2016

At the beginning of the year, Brodus Clay was supposed to debut as a monster and make us all take notice. When they kept pushing him back to build anticipation, I predicted that after so many weeks of playing it up, the debut wasn't going to live up to expectations.

I was very wrong.

When Clay walked out as the "Funkasaurus" he dispelled many jaded wrestling fans opinions of what was going to happen and gave everyone a much-needed moment of shock.

Some feel that Clay is being used incorrectly or that the gimmick is embarrassing and impossible to take seriously. It's true that Clay can't be taken seriously, but with a finisher called "Awww Funk it," it shouldn't be.

Brodus Clay is a great example of the WWE doing something different that can only happen in pro wrestling: The fusion of a great athlete, with the idea of a dominant fighter, all mixed in with an over-the-top comedian and entertainer.

There is nowhere else in the world where people can find that mixture.

Clay is a reminder to all wrestling fans that while pro wrestling can be theatre, there are dangers in taking thing to seriously.

On a main story level, there should always be a degree of levity, but that doesn't mean that every character needs to be serious. The show should run the gamut between both spectrums.

As people, we aren't always serious. We don't always curse and measure how mature we are by the amount of R-rated movies we watch.

 

Clay is perfect as a character because he brings back just enough of the 1980s aspect of a circus character while still retaining the belief that it might just be Clay's personality amplified tenfold.

No one should be dismissed for disliking Clay's gimmick. There are favorite characters for different fans and some may just not take a shine to him.

To dismiss the character because it "ruined" Clay's serious monster persona is a different matter.  Between Kane and Mark Henry, there are enough monster heels in the WWE. They didn't need a third one.  

At the same time, having another kid-friendly giant like the Big Show didn't make sense either. There needed to be something different and Clay being a wrestler from the planet Funk fits that well.

Some may want wrestling to always be serious and have characters like Steve Austin and CM Punk, but both men have endorsed Zack Ryder by wearing his headband.  

How is that any different than watching a large man boogie down?

Clay was able to get fans to think one thing and then hit them with another. Shocking wrestling fans is almost always a good thing and leads to better programs.

As for Clay's longevity with the character?  That depends on how he does when he gets in his first real feud and cuts his first promo.

He already did well in a WWE exclusive.  If he can continue that kind of mixture of seriousness and humor, he should be fine.

And you do know that.

MatthewMatthew Hemphill writes for the boxing, MMA, and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report.  He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom. He writes for the boxing, MMA, and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report.  He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.

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