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Social Outcasts Were A Smart Move For WWE by Ron Pasceri

Just four Raw episodes ago WWE debuted a new, seemingly irrelevant stable of Superstars that have become irrelevant in their own ways over the last couple of years. For anyone who watches WWE regularly, this is no new phenomenon. Each of us can probably rattle off at least a dozen performers that have inexplicably faded into obscurity over the last decade or so. This particular stable consisted of Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose. Not the only four men in the company who were lost in the shuffle by any means, but four men who were REALLY lost in the shuffle. Yes, I’m referring to the Social Outcasts.

My initial thought, before actually thinking it through, was that it was just another dumb idea that would lead to absolutely nothing. Again, anyone watching WWE regularly could think of numerous ideas that are here one week and gone the next. They did manage to help Heath Slater defeat Dolph Ziggler on the night they debuted, but who doesn’t beat Ziggler on Raw at this point? While they also debuted two new shirts over the next two weeks, they were also dominated by the Wyatt Family (saved by Ryback of all people) and the Big Show. They also saw very little action at the Royal Rumble as Curtis Axel was thrown over the top rope immediately. In my mind they were going to be nothing more than something to kill a few minutes of the three hour show for a few weeks. On the microphone they seemed very disjointed and didn’t feel as if they belonged together. The icing on the cake was the night after the Rumble they were thrown in the ring with Flo Rida with the unenviable job of putting over a fringe celebrity. That’s when something magical happened, the birth of “Bo Rida.”

We all know the storied history between Heath Slater and Flo Rida, so it appeared as though Slater would be bested by a nobody once again. It was even more apparent when Heath told him that he didn’t want to hurt him, just embarrass him. When Slater challenged him to a rap battle, I remembered instantly on Table For 3 that Bo said he had formed a rap group in NXT with Neville, Sami Zayn and Xavier Woods. The other Social Outcasts immediately decorated Bo with a gold chain, aviator sunglasses and an unfathomably sweet Kangol hat. At least I want to think it was a Kangol hat. Bo Rida proceeded with, “Uh, Uh, check it!” That alone was enough for me to be satisfied, but he proceeded with pure gold. The kind The New Day have been talking about recently.

He opened with, “My name is Bo and I’m here to say, Flo Rider’s disrespectful in a major way.” At the conclusion of that verse Slater, Axel and Rose all broke out in celebrations out of 8 Mile. “You sucker punched my friend in WrestleMania 28, but I’d be upset too if I was named after this awful state.” Again, the Social Outcasts joyously celebrated Bo’s verse as if Flo Rida was about to throw up mom’s spaghetti. This time the Miami crowd actually popped as well. Adam Rose may have stolen the show for a brief moment as he yelled that Flo Rida had gotten served. “You need to channel your negativity in a more productive manner, you hold an ace high but I’ve got a full house like my name is Danny Tanner… BO-LIEVE!” With that, Bo Rida dropped the mic and rightfully so. The Social Outcasts were now jumping and flopping around he ring and JBL uttered, “Pitching a shutout!” I don’t think JBL ever made me laugh so hard. Flo Rida weakly recited what could loosely be called his comeback, but the only part of it I remember is that the Dudleys came out at the end. Michael Cole tried to act as if the Social Outcasts had lost the battle, but it wasn’t even close. This was the Social Outcasts coming out party as far as I’m concerned.

They lost the match afterwards, but it doesn’t even matter. On a night when The Rock came back home and went back and forth with The New Day, I’m pretty sure everyone remembered “Danny Tanner” the next day. I know I did. It also made me take another look at the stable. Heath Slater is a three-time Tag Team Champion. Curtis Axel is a former Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year, former Tag Team Champions and former Intercontinental Champion. Bo Dallas was once the owner of the longest NXT Championship reign and Adam Rose was one of NXT’s most popular call-ups. There is talent there, it’s just talent that hasn’t been used. Obviously each guy would like to receive an individual push but that isn’t in the cards for everyone. Also, while many hardcore fans appreciate the wrestling aspect of the show more than all else, comedy and humor always have been and always will be an important part of the show. One of the good things about the Social Outcasts is, they don’t need to win matches. They can come out, be entertaining and be used to help protect other wrestlers who can’t afford to lose on Raw.

Another positive about this stable is, they can help to fill the comedy portion of the show. With the Outcasts, R-Truth and The New Day, it’s possible creative will feel the humor quotient is filled. That could have a trickle down effect of keeping guys who aren’t funny from trying to be funny. Comedy in wrestling isn’t bad by definition, it’s only bad when it’s done wrong. It’s bad when the comedy is being done by Roman Reigns or John Cena. It’s bad when it’s being done by Dolph Ziggler (despite his stand up career) or Sheamus. When in the hands of the right performers, it raises the level of the product. The Social Outcasts, to this point, have been handling their comedy duties well. What I originally thought was disjointed, I realized was part of the gimmick. They are outcasts, they have come together out of necessity, not because they were supposed to have some natural connection with each other. They are rejects that are trying to find strengths in numbers, no matter where those numbers come from.

Over the last two weeks, they seem to be coming together more as a unit. At the same time, it is funny when they rush each other off the microphone. It is funny that Heath Slater thinks he’s a leader. It’s funny that no one knows what Adam Rose is talking about. It is funny that Curtis Axel is yelling like a maniac. It is funny that Bo Dallas is still overly cheerful despite the negativity that ultimately caused this group to be formed in the first place. I could be in the minority here, but I am growing to really like the Social Outcasts. They make me laugh, and again, they are all legitimate performers who can talk on the mic as well as work in the ring. I don’t know that anyone other than Xavier, Big E and Kofi thought The New Day would end up where they are now, so who’s to say the Social Outcasts won’t eventually provide a similar boost to it’s members? Outside of not including Damien Sandow, WWE made a great decision with this stable. They have been and will continue to be fun and entertaining in their own way and if we are lucky, maybe Sandow will eventually find his rightful place trending worldwide with the Social Outcasts.

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