Has R-Truth Reached the Highest Point He Will Go in WWE?

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2012

photo by watchmojo.com
photo by watchmojo.com

The April 16th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to us from London, England, and among the many Superstars featured was R-Truth.  

Truth appeared in backstage segments, wearing a checkered hat and glasses, with a pipe hanging out of his mouth.  Speaking to “Little Jimmy Watson,” Truth was playing detective, attempting to find Teddy Long a new job.

Okay.  Man.  Where do I start with this one?

Truth is a character, there is no denying that.  He’s bright, he’s funny, and he is very entertaining.  Since his initial heel turn in 2011, Truth has been in the WWE mix on a fairly consistent basis.

His 14-year career had finally reached a point where he was being used, given opportunities and allowed to explore his character to the fullest.

An even playing field—that’s all R-Truth needed, and he has more than proven he belongs where he is in WWE.

But, I have to say, after all of the comedy, all of the funny spots, the many times he’s spoken to that kid that only he can see, I have begun asking the question that many other fans are undoubtedly asking.

Has R-Truth hit his ceiling?

Don’t misunderstand me here,  I happen to like Truth.  I remember seeing him, years ago, working a dark match before a Monday Night RAW in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He was announced as being from Charlotte, which earned him a good pop, of course.  But the pop that followed was all due to his efforts in the ring.

He brought the house down.  He was athletic, dynamic, and very slick in his move-set.  Though the majority of fans in the building likely did not know who he was, the fact is his charisma and energy were undeniable.  As a fan who appreciates good, exciting wrestling, it was a pleasure to watch him perform.

Since then, he has always been on my radar, and I have watched him in every role that he has had since getting his break in WWE.

The same goes for TNA, where Truth was really allowed to flex his muscles and flesh out his personality.  Winning the NWA World Championship was the accomplishment that put Truth on the map in the eyes of many fans and brought him the respect that deserved.

I have to say, when he first came back to WWE, I was a bit apprehensive.

After all, he was a World Champion, an honor that he never got even remotely close to the first time he worked for Vince McMahon.  In TNA, he became a big fish in a little pond.

In WWE, he was just another Superstar, working hard and fighting for his spot in a locker room full of talent who were all doing the same.

Now, finally, after all this time, Truth has reached what I consider to be a fairly comfortable position in his career.  Perhaps it’s the way WWE intends it, or perhaps it’s just the familiarity of seeing him so much in the past couple of years, but it does seem that R-Truth finally looks as though he belongs in the WWE machine.

But what happens now?

How much longer will Truth do the comedy routine, and how much success is attached to the type of character that he is currently running?

It’s all relative, to be honest.  

A guy like Roddy Piper, for example, was always portrayed as being off-kilter, a little twisted in his thought process.  No matter whether he was heel or face, Hot Rod always maintained that same, entertaining, humorous personality, and he had a Hall of Fame career.

On the flip side of that coin, Eugene was over during his time in WWE with the same sort of entertaining gimmick.  Though he was not brutally honest and sarcastic, like Roddy was, he did have that humor to his character that set him apart from everyone else.  But, a Hall of Fame career?  Not even close.

Now, I am not suggesting that Piper and Eugene are very comparable when it comes to their ring ability, obviously.  Piper was a very talented wrestler who had some great matches in his legendary career.   The same could not be said for Eugene.

The point is that comedy, especially in WWE, is a must.  The best Superstars have it and use it whenever the moment calls for it.  A good sense of humor helps fans relate to their favorite wrestlers and keeps the mood light, which is good, as the business can be so intense and over-the-top at times.

Still, there’s being humorous, and then there’s being ludicrous.

Dare you to say that word without sounding like Mike Tyson?

Piper was humorous, Eugene was ludicrous.  Big difference.

Where is R-Truth in this equation?  At times, he is so ridiculous that fans are left shaking their heads, no doubt mumbling something to the effect of “Can this get any sillier?”

But then Truth has his moments, especially when he was heel, when fans watch him cut a promo and think “He’s pretty good at this. He’s totally into it.”

The comedy is great.  It has its place, and I personally have no problem with it, as long as it’s done right.  A guy like Santino Marella has finally found his place by being the goofiest character in the locker room.  He’s over, and fans love him.

He’s making a whole career out of being the comedian.

But, for me, Truth has more of an edge than that.  He has the ability to be relevant without having to play the fool all the time.

However, it just feels like he has peaked.  There does not seem to be a destination ahead for him, a goal for him to set his sights on.  Every week, he just continues to sort of be there, doing the comedy bit, and doing it well, as always.

But, eventually, it has to go somewhere else.  Otherwise, I believe he will grow stale and lose the place that he has worked so hard to get.

Nothing funny about that.