Welcome to another edition of Save a Superstar, where we talk about the changes needed to improve someone’s career path and some fantasy booking scenarios we can pitch for how to get the most out of them and best utilize their talents.
In this instance, I can’t help but feel like The Revival are in desperate need of some help, as Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder have been struggling longer than they’ve been succeeding and nothing looks to be changing.
I had thought that the Superstar Shake-up would present an opportunity for them to turn things around and in the weeks following the trades, absolutely nothing has improved.
Instead of doing what they did in NXT, dominating the tag team division and tearing the house down with amazing matches, they’ve spent the majority of their time on the main roster sitting out of action with injuries and not doing anything of value when healthy.
To WWE’s credit, it’s hard to do something with people who can’t wrestle for stretches of months, but to The Revival’s credit, they weren’t given a decent head start when moving up to Raw to begin with.
At this point, they’ve been on the main roster for over a year and have yet to have a single legitimate feud, with no signs pointing in the direction that they will be prioritized any time soon.
What needs to be done to turn things around? How can we revive The Revival?
Change #1: Give Them the Spotlight
The simplest first step to all of this is also the most obvious: just commit to making them better.
More often than not, in WWE, if the company starts to show the audience that someone is being invested in, the crowd will start to care more about them and things will gradually improve over time.
Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule and there are plenty of examples of WWE trying to convince the audience of something, only to have that be rejected, but for the better majority, this philosophy works.
The opposite is also true. The less someone is put on television and the less likely they are booked as a focal point when they actually do show up, the harder it is to get anything out of them other than people’s disinterest.
I like the guy, but Tye Dillinger is a great illustration of this. The most over he’s been with the crowd have been the moments where he was treated like someone with actual value, rather than when he spends weeks M.I.A. and then pops up with a jobber entrance to lose to someone like a Baron Corbin or whoever WWE actually wants to put over in that segment.
For The Revival to start to regain their former glory, they have to actually start to regain their former glory. Amazing, right?
Instead of having them as two background people in the midst of a food fight who have no featured moment in that segment, say nothing, do nothing, and come out looking like fools, have them actually win some matches.
Their recent track record has consisted of two losses to the tag champions on Raw, a six-man tag team win that I’m sure nobody remembers vividly as it was treated as nothing special, some appearances on Main Event that nobody watches and being lost in the shuffle of two battle royals.
That isn’t impressive, and it paints them as being on par with any other tag team like Titus Worldwide as a unit that could get a three week push sporadically, but fail to gain any traction and then move to the back of the line once more.
Rather than this cyclical nature of treading water, The Revival would need to be treated with the same reverence as what happened in NXT, where they were heels who would back up their tough talk with wins in matches that were competitive.
And here’s the other trick: those matches were competitive not because Dash and Dawson were bumbling and incapable and struggled to come out on top, but because their opponents were just as good as they were, and The Authors of Pain or #DIY or American Alpha simply weren’t the better teams on those nights.
Change #2: Establish Their Differentiating Identity
History has shown that there are plenty of ways to get over in WWE as there are a multitude of different characters who serve different functions.
An uber-babyface underdog like Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30 doesn’t hit the same targets as a monster heel like 1993 Yokozuna and neither of those are remotely close to Santino Marella, but all three did their jobs.
Sometimes, the goal is for someone to be a complete joke and not some credible champion, while other times, you have a Brock Lesnar character that rests entirely on the premise that he’s the most dominant person the company has ever seen.
When it comes to The Revival, they’ve stayed pretty straight on the same course that their characters are rough wrestlers who have a knack for tradition, don’t do anything fancy, and just want to wrestle and fight. After all, their slogan is “no flips, just fists.”
Well, prove it.
If you’re going to be a character that can beat people up, then beat people up. If you’re going to be someone who thinks they can beat people up, but can’t, then be Curt Hawkins and turn into the skid and become the joke that you’re supposed to be. If you’re going to be a heel who can only win matches by cheating, make that the focal point of your gimmick.
Braun Strowman works because he has been established as a wrecking ball of a human being who enjoys dishing out punishment and, for the most part, does that every single time he’s on the card.
In that regard, why is The Revival the tag team specialists duo that doesn’t seem to wrestle all that often and can’t particularly win on a regular basis, but we’re still supposed to believe in them as being something that isn’t a total delusion?
WWE needs to pair The Revival up with teams that showcase the idea of this team, which means they need to be paired with people they can not only beat, but also clash with on an ideological plane.
It would have main tons of sense for The Revival to take issue with The New Day for their antics, or The Hardy Boyz for their wrestling style, or Heath Slater and Rhyno for being a disgrace of a team, or anything of that sort, but all they seem to do is say “we’re great” and then fade into obscurity until the next month.