Fans that tuned into Raw this week hoping for their weekly dose of funk were severely let down when Brodus Clay was nowhere to be seen on the program.
However, fans of Clay’s imposing bully persona may have been looking for him for the past year. And it may be just about time for that guy to make a bold and triumphant return.
If you forgot Clay’s run as Alberto Del Rio’s enforcer in March 2011, you are not the only one. The company itself seemed to forget that Clay had the potential to be a huge (both literally and figuratively) force in the company for years to come.
And let’s give credit where it is due. The Funkasaurus gimmick was one of the greatest swerves in recent wrestling history. For what seemed like forever, interim Raw general manager John Laurinaitis teased Clay’s impending debut, promising huge things.
Fans thought they were getting a dominant monster.
Instead, they were treated to a 375-pound man-child with dance fever.
Even the harshest of wrestling cynics had to see the humor in the situation. It was like promising fans Kane and giving them Doink instead.
And for several weeks, we all cheered for the idea.
But soon, Clay began to go the way of Santino Marella and Zack Ryder before him—talented performers with big potential relegated to comedy gimmicks. These days Clay serves as little more than a jobber to stars such as Big Show and Antonio Cesaro.
He even appears in one of the opening shots of Show's entrance video getting knocked out with the WMD.
With size on his side and above-average agility for a superstar of his size, Clay could be an absolutely unstoppable upper midcard heel. He may never get to the World Championship level, but a long run as United States or Intercontinental Champion could be exactly the thing that makes Clay a household name.
And he would not even need to gun for the top level faces like John Cena or Sheamus to make his heel persona instantly believable.
Imagine, if you will, a tag team match featuring Clay and Ryder. Or Clay and Marella. Just as the faces are about to get a big win, Clay strikes quickly and savagely, laying out his comedic partner. The crowd would erupt in disarray, their heroic Funkasaurus having betrayed them.
A quick feud where Clay destroys his overmatched opponent would follow, and then a run at the aforementioned lesser title.
In addition to the surprise attack, the character change is pretty simple: lose the mohawk and end the dancing.
Then mention and exploit his past as a bodyguard for Snoop Dogg. Play up a thug persona, though not one as obvious as Cryme Tyme.
Or simply make him a human wrecking machine, destroying everything in his path, then going back and destroying it again.
And yes, you do absolutely destroy any momentum that the character has generated. Yes, you hurt the feelings of all of the young fans that love to dance along as Clay breaks it down with the Funkadactyls.
But you also create something huge. Well, even larger than Clay already is.
Because at this rate, it can’t possibly be much longer before the Funkasaurus becomes extinct anyway.