When Brodus Clay returned way back in January, no one expected things to play out the way that they did.
Instead of coming back as a dominant heel big man, Clay returned as “The Funkasaurus,” a fun-loving dancer who is sort of like a Rikishi/Flash Funk hybrid.
It actually turned out to be pretty fun for a while, too.
As “The Funksaurus,” Clay quickly became pretty popular, especially with the younger children, and he developed a lengthy winning streak that seemed to bode well for his future.
Unfortunately for Clay, the buzz surrounding his return quickly fizzled away, and what were once high hopes for his character transformed into extremely low expectations.
Aside from brief “rivalries” with Big Show and Damien Sandow, Clay never really found himself embroiled in a bitter rivalry, and he had his winning streak snapped by Big Show on an episode of Raw.
It was all downhill from there.
Clay went from someone who seemed to be one of the creative team’s biggest priorities to a full-fledged comedy character and, eventually, a jobber himself. In the latter half of 2012, Clay’s “push” has been scaled back significantly, and there are no real signs of it coming back.
In fact, “The Funkasaurus” is no longer even relevant in the WWE. He’s become a forgotten and overlooked star without any direction or character development.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and there’s a chance that Clay could return to relevance one day. He just won’t do it under “The Funkasaurus” character.
If Clay is ever going to matter again, he’s going to need a complete and drastic gimmick overhaul.
“The Funkasaurus” gimmick had run its course months ago, and quite simply, it’s time for a major change. Not just a minor tweak or two.
Clay is going to have completely distance himself from his comedic babyface character and either find a way to become a better good guy or go back to his roots as a bad one.
When Clay first appeared on WWE programming on NXT, he was a dominant heel and an awfully impressive one at that. He looked very mobile and agile for a big man, and the fans seemed to be buying into him as an unstoppable superstar.
Yet, Clay didn’t win his season of NXT and had only a brief stint on the main roster as Alberto Del Rio’s bodyguard. Then, poof—just like that, he was gone.
He never really got a fair shake to make an impact on SmackDown, and when he returned to Raw back in January, he was saddled with “The Funkasaurus” character. The dancing dinosaur gimmick was always going to have a short shelf life, and apparently, that life is over and done with.
In early October, PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com) reported that Vince McMahon had “soured” on “The Funkasaurus” and was looking to have Clay revert back to his old gimmick.
At this point, that’s the best possible move for Clay.
While he has certainly had his successes under his current comedic character, he has—like Randy Orton—gone as far as he possibly could as a good guy.
He needs a change, and he needs one now. If he doesn’t get one, he’ll either risk falling even further into obscurity or wind up getting released at some point next year.
Neither should happen because Clay is actually a very talented big man who could bring some value to the main roster if used correctly. That’s the key, though: He has to be used correctly.
Clay is never going to advance above the bottom of the midcard if he’s stuck with a comedic gimmick in which he has absolutely zero advancement of his character.
The guy must do something different, something that doesn’t involve dancing, disco balls or “Funkadactyls.”
The WWE has to find a way to dump “The Funkasaurus” character, whether that’s by writing Clay off of TV for a while or having him slowly turn heel.
In either scenario, the outcome should be the same, though: The end of “The Funkasaurus.”
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!