The first wrestling event I ever attended live was Takeover: Brooklyn 2 in 2016. The card featured solid matches such as Samoa Joe defending the NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka defending against Bayley. The standout match to me was the tag title match between DIY and The Revival. There were many great moments that I bore witness to. The roars of the crowd, the constant chants. Seeing my favorite wrestlers live. It was an exhilarating experience for me as I’ve always wanted to be a part of an electric Brooklyn crowd. However, the moment that I have remembered the most was the crowd singing in Unison with Bobby Roode’s theme song. He came out in a bright robe, and the chorus of thousands of wrestling fans singing along with a catchy theme was amazing. Of course, I sucked at singing, but we are there for the experience.
Roode became popular in NXT through his “Glorious” gimmick and how he was able to seamlessly play a heel well. He had all of the tools and it translated into him eventually winning the NXT Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura from Takeover: San Antonio. His reign wasn’t particularly memorable, but he’s an accomplished superstar that has accolades to his name. Before Roode came along to WWE, he enjoyed a fruitful 12 year run with TNA wrestling, winning the TNA World Championship twice and the Tag Team Championship 6 times with the likes of James Storm and Austin Aries. Roode was brought along to WWE in particular to his work as a heel. He has a particular characteristic about him where he’s able to easily draw heat and get himself hated on.
Unfortunately for Bobby, I quickly soured on him late in his NXT Title run. I don’t know what it was. I still loved his theme song, and I still loved his heel persona, but something just didn’t click with me. An NXT Championship title match at a Takeover is a pretty hard thing to screw up. That being said, Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre’s NXT Title match in Brooklyn was extremely underwhelming. The match was fine, but it didn’t reach the level that main events of NXT are normally accustomed to. He was called up not too long after his loss, and while he did get quite a reaction on his Smackdown debut, he quickly became more and more ordinary upon working with the main roster crew. I was looking for reasons as to why the excitement behind Bobby seemed to die down. My biggest explanation is that WWE inexplicably brought him up as a face. I don’t know for sure if WWE connects the NXT persona to the main roster and pitches them as two different characters, but there was no viable explanation as to why Roode should have been brought up as a good guy.
Roode’s selling point was his heel attitude, and instead, he was making everyone smile. To be honest, I got extremely disgusted watching him as a face. I hated seeing his big white teeht smiling on my television screen when his facial render would pop up. It just didn’t fit him. It’s like he is a heel on a face’s body just trying to get out. I noticed that the intensity of his matches died down to the most average degree. It wasn’t anything horrible, but there was nothing that was standing out. All he looked like was a competent performer when he should be one of the top bad guys on the roster. This leads me to ask one question. Is WWE to blame for how Bobby got to his point, or this is merely who Bobby is?
His lackluster run on the main roster has made me take a look at his NXT run a little deeper, and I’ms tarting to begin if I overestimated his abilities. There’s no doubt that Roode’s current character is a matter of WWE pulling the strings, and since he’s on the main roster, his peak may be being involved in a mid-card feud. Personally, I think a feud with Seth Rollins over the Intercontinental Championship may be what he needs. Instead, he’s been relegated to feuds with some of the curtain jerkers of RAW such as Mojo Rawley. Now, not only can he not be featured on Summerslam, but he doesn’t consistent time on RAW every Monday. It’s a shame that we he through NXT, holding their top title, but now he goes weeks on end without being seen on television. I can only hope that this means that a heel turn for him is in the works. I don’t think there’s anything resurrecting his career otherwise.
Whatever the cause for Roode’s rapid decension, it is something that has to be addressed, because I do believe he has somethint to offer for the RAW lineup. That being said, do you believe that Roode’s current place on the card is as a result of WWE’s decision to turn him force or is Roode just not a next-level talent? What are your thoughts?