Yes, Bo Dallas. This isn’t going to be the article some of you think it’s going to be. It isn’t even the article I thought it was going to be, so lets get this started with a confession…
First off I think I’d better come clean about something: It’s all an act, I’ve never really truly hated Bo Dallas, he was merely a victim of circumstance. A little background if I may, on the very first episode of 4 Corners Radio, during a review of the Raw episode immediately prior to the Royal Rumble I declared my fandom for Wade Barrett, even going so far as to proclaim “I love Wade more than oxygen” on the show so of course when Wade was eliminated from the Royal Rumble match by Bo and pinned the next night on Raw by him again, in podcast kayfabe I had to rail against Bo’s humiliation of “my guy”. So eloquent was I that the gimmick of me detesting the smiley super rookie stuck for months. I thought I was playing the heel, it turns out I was ahead of the curve amongst wrestling fans, there’s a first time for everything I suppose.
Bo’s smiley, earnest babyface act found little favour amongst crowds who saw Dallas as too goody two shoes, even going so far as to turn their backs on Bo, literally, this also interspersed with chants of “No more Bo” gave a clear indication that the white bread hero Dallas was not only not to the crowds’ taste, it downright offended them.
To it’s credit WWE does know when a performer isn’t getting the desired reaction from the fans, especially when babyface prospects are concerned and does take steps to avoid the performer in question becoming beyond help. Usually this involves a heel turn of some description, the poster child of this practice is Rocky Maivia who abandoned his smiley, earnest babyface persona in favour of becoming “The Rock” and joining the Nation of Domination en route to becoming one of the biggest stars in the business. Bo Dallas has also turned heel, although it’s difficult to see where babyface Bo ends and heel Bo begins.
Dallas’ current character is a great throwback to villainous characters of old, in his mind he is right, just & the perfect representative of NXT, despite ducking competitors, weaselling around & sometimes just fluking his way out of tricky situations to keep possession of the NXT championship. I find this so much more enjoyable than the “cool heels” that were prevalent in recent times. Even Bo’s lame catchphrases & promo delivery and even his singing are a riot, it rubs the viewer the wrong way in such a fashion that at this point I am willing to PAY to see Dallas receive the beating he’s long overdue for.
The problem with that is when that beating does occur, that’s really the end of Dallas on NXT and that would be the best time to move Bo up to the main roster full time. The beauty of this is WWE could just repeat the Bo story arc over only with the benefit of hindsight to ensure everything runs smoothly. There are some potential pitfalls with this approach, chief of which being that WWE would have to try and manufacture an organic response from the fans, which is certainly possible, but very difficult as crowds may just end up not caring, nixing any real forward momentum for Dallas. WWE has also been quick to pounce on organic movements within it’s fanbase, often ruining them in the process. Earlier in the year WWE successfully managed to scupper the popular practice of “Fandangoing” by overexposing it to such a degree that fans were turned off as it became apparent that WWE was attempting to claim something that “we” had started for it’s own creation, this was also the case when WWE attempted to wrest “Yes!” away from Daniel Bryan and turn it into a general chant.
I think this would actually benefit Bo Dallas on the main roster, the exact overexposure that kills potential angles could be a driving force for getting the desired response of hate from the audience. For once the blatant manufacturing of supposed organic responses would help rather than hinder, as the preconception that Bo was being rammed down our collective throats has been present since his interactions with Barrett at the start of the year.
Bo has the potential to become what I feel would also help the Miz find a better standing within WWE, a truly detested heel character, playing on the modern audience’s lack of enthusiasm for whiter than white heroes these days. There’s always a risk that some viewers would be turned off altogether, and vote with their remotes, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, correct?
As always your feedback on any points I’ve raised in this article is greatly appreciated, and I can be reached on twitter at the link under my name, so until we meet again folks: Don’t Stop Bo-Lieving!