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WWE Story

Free WWE Story Pitch #2: Adrian Neville


Free WWE Story Pitch #2: Adrian Neville

Some call him the Prince of the Skies, but since Neville's debut on the WWE main roster, he's been pretty grounded. The pattern of pulling thriving talent out of NXT only to bury it on RAW and SmackDown is a continual one. Neville is just another casualty in McMahon's War with Logic. But what if the elvish Brit were actually given a fair shake by the WWE? Here's one way that might pan out.

The silly League of Nations decides as a "PR move" to "mentor" smaller wrestlers in the WWE, AKA torture them. This could set up four different storylines involving Triple H's latest company goons as well as four mid and lower-tiered guys. We can confirm that the LON are getting sadistic with their power and keep thumping that David and Goliath dynamic that works so well with little guys.

Think of it: Sheamus brings up Finn Balor just to continually beat him down. Del Rio, even though he was bested in the ring by Calisto, can nonetheless torment him outside of it. Sami Zayn, by sheer lack of a Canadian counterpart, gets saddled with Rusef, and Bad News Barrett gets to snatch poor Neville out of the air.

This can slowly play out over a month or two with the little guys deciding, of course, to form their own faction to overthrow the LON. But here's where it gets hairy: Kevin Owens will not leave Sami Zayn alone, even though he will be knee-deep in an epic feud (hopefully) with the newly-rostered AJ Styles.

So when the big battle between Big Guys and Little Guys inevitably goes down on RAW, an interruption from KO will take Zayn out early on. This will free Rusef up to double down on Calisto with Del Rio, and soon it'll just be Balor and Neville, back to back against four giants. 

With the odds stacked against them, Neville will do the unthinkable: he'll whale on Balor. Why? In case you hadn't noticed, Balor tends to turn into a demon. So the LON, being a bunch of main roster guys, will just sit back and laugh, because Neville will be doing their job for them. They won't believe all the hype about Balor. They're big and strong and he's just a pup from Developmental.

Of course, Balor won't like being tossed around and landed on by Neville, with whom he is friends. And soon, they will be brawling. Finally, like an infernal beast, one hard smack to the face from Neville will send Balor into a demonic rage, and even though he won't have his makeup on, the good folks in Lighting can do something red and spooky. 

The problem with demons is they don't discriminate. The demon, having awoken in Balor, will look around the ring and see one man inside it: Adrian Neville, who will probably gulp as he realizes his plan has just backfired. The beating that will ensue will be fast and crazy until Calisto and Zayn manage to get to their feet long enough to pull Neville out of the ring.

And who is left on the apron? The League of Nations, of course. And they will scatter like the chickensh*t heels they are. But Balor will manage to catch the slowest (doesn't matter who) and it'll take the rest of the League jumping on top to get him out of Balor's supernatural clutches. This will be the end of RAW: all four giant guys in the LON, eventually joined by The Game himself and possibly corporate Kane if he's around, holding down Demon Balor as the rest of his old NXT buddies look on in bruised horror.

On SmackDown, Sheamus will come out with his giant compatriots at the opening to cut a promo about how things got a little bit out of control on Monday night, and as a consequence, the League of Nations will be shuttering their mentor program. Balor's music hits, and he comes out, flanked by Calisto and Zayn. Although spooked, the LON will interrupt Balor's promo about how they don't need mentors by remarking how strange it is that Neville isn't with them. Balor will get a mournful look in his eye, and then a look of dread, as Neville's music hits.

Out he'll limp, clutching his bandage-wrapped stomach and being steadied by some backstage hand. He won't make it down the ramp, preferring instead to address the whole gang from the top. Dipping into his reserves of babyfaceness, he'll forgive Balor for tearing him up. Balor will get choked up, as will the audience, because when you actually let Neville speak, he's genuine and eloquent. "I forgive you," he'll say. And then he'll turn to the League.

"But you, Barrett, and all your buddies, will pay for what you've done. We challenge you to a no holds barred elimination match... at Wrestlemania!"

Zayn and Calisto will be stunned, but Balor will look at Neville and they'll nod in understanding. Maybe Barrett will attempt the old, "We're not going to fight you pipsqueaks" routine, but Triple H will come out to assure him that oh yes, they will.

Triple H will be angry at how they've been neglecting their duties of beating the crap out of Roman Reigns on his behalf of late. He will, of course, still underestimate the little guys and reason that the LON needs to be taught a lesson, but they shouldn't be so roughed up by the end of Wrestlemania that if he needs them they can't still help. The remaining lead-up to the "Super Bowl of Sports Entertainment" will show Neville infrequently as he fights to gain his strength back. 

The final battle between Davids and Goliaths will see Neville leading the charge and a non-demon Balor determined to win without the benefit of uncontrollable supernatural powers. (By the way, Balor vs. Kane, demon vs. demon, would be a fantastic feud.) The Goliaths would get their comeuppance from Calisto, Zayn, Balor and their high-flying leader Neville, who would get to pull the craziest, "I-can't-believe-he-just-did-that," inhuman move ever to finish off Barrett, who will be the last giant standing by virtue of his ability to hide and be forgettable.

Revenge will be sweet, and sweeter still since Triple H would lose his backup. Don't worry. I'm not pushing for a Reigns victory, just a flabbergasted Triple H, since he's so good at looking shocked (and sounding like he's been drinking fiberglass insulation milkshakes). 

There are endless things you can do with a guy like Neville. He's calm and reserved, which makes him the right sort of guy to create compelling drama when someone finally ruffles his feathers. Having him initially take a severe beating, but come back stronger and more voracious than ever could solidify him as a courageous face. He could almost be a Superman archetype, except he can be hurt. He's also a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and is incapable of subterfuge. He could be betrayed and it could be heartbreaking.

Picture someone beating up someone he randomly gets put in a tag team match with, and him having to drag the guy to safety. Or picture him patiently sitting through a verbal berating about his ears being like bat wings, only to turn and speak from the heart about how it's not about looks, but deeds. He's even a bit, dare I say, Daniel Bryan-ish? Hurt someone he cares about and watch him go righteously nuts. Play up the underdog angle for this leaping goblin-guy and watch him endear himself to the hearts of fans everywhere.


Free WWE Story Pitch #1: Bo Dallas


Free WWE Story Pitch #1: Bo Dallas

Last night on RAW, delusional motivational speaker Bo Dallas decided to provoke an infuriated Brock Lesnar. There was not one possible outcome of this that could have been in any way favorable to Dallas. He was simply offered up as a sacrificial lamb to The Beast because they needed to throw someone in there, and Bo has delusions of grandeur.

This is a major issue with the writing of the WWE: they severely underutilize the majority of their roster at any given time. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head the last time I even saw Bo Dallas before he strutted out in his white codpiece to receive the beatdown of a lifetime.  Add to that their infamous inability to stack a decent midcard, and you get lackluster lulls in the deep gulf that is the 9 o'clock hour of RAW. 

Another piece of media with its own "universe," complete with a whole universe worth of characters which springs to mind is Game of Thrones, a series of books written by one ailing, old man. I admit I've never read the books, but I do watch the show. Never have I tuned in and felt like a character was boring me. Everyone in the dog-eat-dog world of Westeros has a goal. Sometimes it's simply to stay alive. Sometimes it's to ascend to power. Sound familiar? Both are worlds of fierce, even deadly competition. Yet George R.R. Martin seems to have no trouble keeping every character working toward something. Along the way, he reveals things that show us who they are and give us insight into why they do what they do in the way that they do it. These books are tomes. They are gargantuan. And they are all written by a single man.

The WWE has a team of writers. Why don't this past Summerslam and last night's RAW reflect that? I'm asking because I genuinely don't know. But I challenge you to find a fandom more continually frustrated by the thing they love so much. The WWE is like your good-for-nothing nephew who tested incredibly well but just can't get his sh*t together. You love your nephew, but each time you see him, you come away sad. Why we indulge this sort of toxic relationship with the WWE I cannot say. Why we put up with generic and inferior plots in our top tier wrestling promotion escapes me, too.

So because I, among many others, am dissatisfied with the WWE, I've picked one character to mess with. If I get any sort of feedback at all, I might do another one. I'm not going to pretend this is the most brilliant idea ever and the WWE are fools for not doing it. I just want them to do something with the characters who are so often discarded. There's real talent here. Why waste it?

So, Bo Dallas was presumably carried out of the ring and into an ambulance last night. From there, he goes to a hospital and is treated for multiple injuries. We don't see him again for at least a month (sorry Bo). 

Finally, on Raw there's a backstage segment where someone mentions Bo is out of the hospital. "Why yes, he's in his dressing room, but I don't think he's scheduled for a match tonight. In fact, he hasn't been out of his room since he got here."

Later, Stephanie McMahon herself, accompanied by an annoyed Triple H, goes to his room, gently knocking on the door and asking Bo to let her in. A meek "leave me alone" is his only response. Eventually, Triple H takes matters into his own hands and bashes the door open. A shocking image: Bo Dallas, in multiple casts and bandages, is squatting Golem-style on the counter of the dressing room ripping at his dressings like a wild animal. Stephanie gasps and Triple H looks disgusted. Security is called and Bo Dallas is strapped to a Hannibal Lector-like gurney and wheeled away.

Another month goes by, and suddenly he shows up on Smackdown, all smiles and handshakes. The atmosphere around him is one of uncertainty, but he seems genuinely better. The following Raw, we see him chumming up to some fellow fighters. Later, we see them all win their respective matches.

In the months that follow, two things begin happening with increasing frequency:

1) He gets in ears, giving advice that seems smart but is long-run harmful to his peers. He plays one against the other, then hurts different people entirely, all under the guise of being helpful. He is surface-level reformed, but is really sowing seeds of discord. 

2) In a series of bizarre flashback packages, we begin to learn about Bo's time in the insane asylum. He was never officially released. He got better at being a manipulative motivator as the only way to keep from devolving into a comatose puddle after the beating and humiliation he received from Brock Lesnar. He looked at his own soul, and found it so mangled and unrecognizable that he turned away from it.

In other words, he had to become even crazier and more out of touch with reality in order to survive. By the time his month has gone by, he simply walks out of the place by befuddling and psychologically damaging every orderly and doctor he comes across. Brock Lesnar has accidentally created a monster.

A third problem has also been brewing, not with Bo Dallas but with Bray Wyatt. While Bo has been gone and come back, the Wyatt Family has become a serious faction. They got the new guy Braun Strowman (who I hope replaces the Big Show as the new Giant-in-Residence), and I'm sure Erick Rowan will return once he's ready. So they emerge as a serious splinter force in the WWE.

The problem with Bray Wyatt though is that he's crazy too, and somewhat erratic in whom he chooses to focus his bad juju on. Eventually, it gets to be too much for his lackies, and they lose faith, abandoning him.

And who is there, a fellow manipulative and charismatic leader with no flock? Bo Dallas. They're both nuts, and they both love to control and psychologically destroy their enemies. Also, because of the aforementioned nuttiness, anyone can be their enemy.

Boom! Real life brothers. Kayfabe tag team partners. A Reign of Terror begins.

Not only do they mercilessly destroy their opponents physically in the ring, but they shake these men down to their emotional cores. It gets nasty, vindictive and sinister. The twosome set into motion a series of disputes that get even the most loyal of friends to turn on each other.

Alliances are formed that never would otherwise in order to stomp out this menace. The former Wyatt Family members team up with the New Day. Dean Ambrose ("There's only room for one crazy guy in the WWE, Dallas, and it sure as hell ain't you!") and Roman Reigns reluctantly work with Seth Rollins (OMG Shield Reunion you guys!) and Triple H himself to rout them out... to no avail! This is a solid mid card that could last at least a year, easy.

But of course, us white people are great at destroying the best things we have (she said wistfully, with a touch of bitterness), so it all comes crashing down the only way it can in an entertainment sport dominated by big sweaty dudes: Bro Betrayal. Bray Wyatt turns on Bo Dallas in the middle of some balls-out match against perhaps the former Wyatt Family, who welcome Bray back as their leader (if you can't beat him, become his bitch). 

Bo is all alone now, bitter and deranged. He decides to focus his confused and traumatic rage at the one who made him. He decides if he's going to go down, there's only one man worthy and who will be guaranteed to get the job done: 

Brock. Lesnar.

It's a challenge no one saw coming, but when it arrives, everyone kicks themselves. Bo Dallas challenges the great Brock Lesnar to a fight at one of the big PPVs. "You made me, Brock. I'm your son. You made me this way and you will acknowledge me, even if it's only long enough to destroy me. I have nothing to lose! " He's shaking, nearly crying with rage.

Paul Heyman skips down the ramp and makes a big show of saying how unworthy Bo Dallas is to call himself the Son of the Beast and laughs in Bo's face. But surprisingly, Brock Lesnar accepts, albeit disinterestedly. 

The night of the event, Bo for once keeps his mouth shut. He's somber for a change. The gleeful insanity has been replaced with what you could almost call clarity, if not for the fact that Dallas is damaged beyond repair.

Of course the fight is Lesnar's, but Bo surprisingly holds his own long enough to pull some choice moves. After Brock viciously suplexes Bo ten times in a row, he hops off the apron and walks away. But then, he turns and gets back in. He seems a bit confused, unsure. He stands over Bo for almost a full minute, trying to decide whether to help his "son." Bo is barely conscious but he manages to get one hand up to reach for Brock.

Brock reaches down, picks Bo up in his arms like a child... and fudging SLAMS him again! Oh my gosh, it's terrible. But they don't call him the beast for nothing. He walks off for good this time and Bo is all but dead in the ring.

The lights go out, and out comes Bray Wyatt with his lantern and his "family" in tow. Braun Strowman lifts up the dead weight of Dallas like he's nothing, and Bray Wyatt leads them all up the ramp like it's a funeral procession.

Is this just a final courtesy to Bo from Bray, accompanying him to the Underworld? Or does it mean a possible rekindling of their alliance? What will Bo Dallas be like when, or if, he recovers from this second complete destruction at the hands of the Beast, Brock Lesnar?

Stay tuned... (or don't since this isn't real. But then, what is?)

@Gavin4L contributed to this post.