The début of Brodus Clay on WWE Raw two weeks ago was one that received a mixed reaction from wrestling fans. There were some that thoroughly enjoyed his upbeat antics and jovial demeanour. But a large majority of fans hated his new and improved character.
For months, Brodus Clay was being packaged as the next big monster heel that was intent on destroying everyone in his path in the WWE. Obviously, when he debuted on RAW, that package had changed dramatically.
In retrospect, this new take on his character is not the worst thing that the WWE has ever done. The professional wrestling business of today needs more “campy” characters. In the 1980’s the WWE’s foundation was built on “campiness’” with several wrestlers getting a massive push due to their popularity with the fans. Today’s WWE needs personas that bring an air of levity to the ring.
A lot of wrestling fans have said that Brodus Clay's new character is a combination of many past personas that have graced the squared circle: Dusty Rhodes, Rikishi, Ernest “The Cat” Miller and so on. Although this is true to a certain extent, again, this is far from being a bad thing.
Out of those three examples, Brodus Clay’s new character would be the closest to mimicking Dusty Rhodes. His actions inside the ring are almost a reflection of “The American Dream.”
When Dusty was at the height of his career in the NWA and the WWE, wrestling fans were certainly not concerned with how he was packaged, nor on how he looked. They were captivated by what he did in the ring and were enthralled by what he said on the microphone. Dusty was a large individual and had a physique that was far from “Statuesque.” That still did not hinder his career, and he went on to become a multiple time world champion in spite of that fact.
Bear in mind that Brodus Clay is not in the same league as Dusty Rhodes, and in today's WWE, will not be a world champion, even if he were still packaged as a “monster.” With the mentality of WWE writers, the best he would do is sit atop the mid-card and have one or two title runs as WWE United States Champion or WWE Intercontinental Champion. With this new repackaged gimmick, he will be an instant fan favourite, and from a business perspective, the merchandising options will be much more lucrative in the long term.
This new persona might only last a few weeks or a few months, and after that, wrestling fans might never see Brodus Clay on WWE TV again. Or, this repackage could last for a very long time and could make Brodus Clay a star in the WWE.
The biggest flaw that the Internet wrestling community has without a doubt is closed-mindedness. Instead of writing on the blogs and the dirt-sheets on how much they absolutely hate this gimmick, they should instead just give it some time. Again, in the long, rich history of the WWE, this is far from the catastrophe that fans are making it out to be.
Wrestling fans a whole should just relax, take in the antics of the “Funkasaurus” and enjoy the ride while it lasts.