Adam Rose's career is already on life support, as WWE is too impatient to find out if his character can catch on.
After thrusting him onto the main roster, WWE Creative has refused to fully invest in the party-loving Rose. The result, unsurprisingly, is that fans haven't invested in him.
Stop-and-start booking, low-level opportunities and a reported lack of support for Rose backstage have The Exotic Express in danger of wheezing out by the side of the road.
Building up a wrestler takes time. Fans have to get to know a newcomer and find a spot for him or her on their list of favorites. That involves character development and beneficial rivalries, something that hasn't been offered to Rose.
There is already talk of him being a flop way too soon after his debut on May 5.
Citing the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, PWMania.com wrote in June:
It's said that Vince McMahon, who still makes all the key choices in WWE, is still not completely sold on Bo Dallas, Paige and Adam Rose. Vince is reportedly not the easiest person to get to accept new people as top stars.
Rose being off RAW this week is a sign that they're starting to cool off on his character. Apparently WWE producer Kevin Dunn recently buried Rose backstage.
The news didn't get any better for Rose in July.
Citing F4WOnline.com, PWMania.com wrote, "Rose's match with Damien Sandow at WWE Money In the Bank was considered his 'PPV chance' and the crowd not getting behind the match has made things worse for Rose with Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn."
One match with no buildup and no story against a guy dressed as Paul Revere is a "chance"?
Why should the fans have cared about that match against Sandow anyway? Rose had already beaten Sandow with little trouble in his in-ring debut.
There had been no escalation of tension between then and Money in the Bank. That made it feel as if fans were getting a SmackDown-level bout on a pay-per-view. Don't blame the performers for the audience not caring about that.
There was no overt reason to cheer for Rose, especially considering how ineffective WWE has made Sandow, now a bumbling fool with the keys to the costume trunk.
That's true for Rose in general. His gimmick is fun in a silly way, but too little work has been done beyond that.
Rose hasn't saved a beloved fan favorite from a villain's attack. He hasn't shown grit in battle. All he's displayed so far is a handful of catchphrases, a love of lollipops and some goofy antics in the ring.
He began his run on the main roster by confronting Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. It seemed like a good fit thematically, with Rose being portrayed as ambiguously foreign and those men being proud xenophobes. Officials didn't seem to make any real effort in building on that, though.
Rose earned a fluke win over Swagger on the May 30 SmackDown. He followed that up with another win over him on the June 2 Raw. From there, the story evaporated.
Had Swagger attacked and injured one of the Rosebuds, or had he interrupted some of Rose's bouts by ambushing him before it all led to a grudge match at Money in the Bank, where Rose would look to avenge his friend, then interest likely would have been much higher.
WWE didn't give him that chance. It has seemingly pulled him out of the race before he could make it once around the track.
Rose has recently appeared infrequently on WWE TV. He didn't make it onto last Friday's SmackDown and only found his way on screen for last week's Raw to sell an alcoholic beverage alongside Santino Marella.
A one-minute match against Fandango and an even shorter bout against Titus O'Neil in the weeks before is not how you endear Rose or any wrestler to the audience. Treating him like he's only worthy of the bottom of the card tells fans to think of him that way. Tell folks he's just filler, and that's what they'll believe.
It seems that because Rose didn't catch fire right away, the plan is now to pull him further from the spotlight.
There hasn't been enough time for his relationship with the audience to develop. Perhaps it would flop in time, but how many newbies are going to have fans going nuts for them after just a few weeks, especially if they aren't given but spotty time on air?
Bo Dallas and The Great Khali are both official entrants in the Battleground Battle Royal. Rose hasn't been named as a competitor in it yet.
Rusev has been colliding with Swagger. WWE has focused on Dallas' winning streak and let him interrupt Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank. Meanwhile, Rose's momentum has already slowed, and his chances to impress are coming only sporadically.
Rose's story sounds much like that of Xavier Woods. Woods seemed to be destined for a feud with Brodus Clay, but that fizzled out early. He then spent time losing with little resistance to a variety of foes.
He's now engaged in a feud at NXT with CJ Parker, the WWE equivalent of getting designated to the minors. That's likely Rose's fate before long.
WWE hasn't shown that it has the patience to explore Rose's potential, to see if he's a valuable addition to the roster or another wrestler who couldn't connect. The company is beginning to give up on him already.
Rose has a struggle ahead of him. The people behind the curtains have already lost interest in showcasing him.
He's the tap dancer frantically slapping his heels on the stage while the producers have their eyes pointed elsewhere, busy thinking of ways to replace him with another act.
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