In this day and age of social media, and in particular Twitter, a young wrestler can get a huge push and then de-push without even having to appear in the ring or on live television.
Late last year, WWE began showing promos hyping up rising young superstar Brodus Clay. Weighing in at over 300 pounds, the monster heel on developmental programs NXT and WWE Superstar showed shades of Mark Henry and the Big Show.
He was soon scheduled to make his powerful debut on Raw, until this happened:
"In fact, Brodus Clay — who has been promoted as to returning to the company for nearly a month now — teased attacking Morrison on his Twitter account today. Clay said that he would “destroy” him before the tweet was then deleted shortly afterward. Of course, this is possibly a hint at how the company is likely to going to write Morrison out of the storylines — by having the repackaged Clay returning to the company, attacking Morrison, and effectively writing him off TV."
Clay immediately removed those tweets when backstage heads weren't too happy about the spoilers. Not only would he not debut that night, but Miz took his place instead of sending Morrison off screen for good (or for now).
Ever since Brodus Clay spoiled his own WWE Raw debut via Twitter, his once anticipated push has had several pushbacks. In addition, the fact that he is said to debut and never does has become the butt of John Laurinaitis backstage segment jokes.
And now, recent reports suggested that Clay may have to wait until after the Royal Rumble to get his big chance on Raw. To many, his push has already received a massive detour.
Which raises the question. Is punishing a guy's push due to a simple social media mistake fair or foul?
I say, fair.
In a business where you have to work your ass off in order to earn your spot, no question in my mind you have to maintain some humility especially when you are just making your mark.
Clay came off as a bit egotistical in pretty much bragging about going to squash Morrison, who was well on his way out of the company.
In addition, he spoiled his own debut. WWE was highly banking on him considering that a similar character in Mark Henry has gained a lot of attention and popularity.
So when you come off as arrogant and believing in your own hype in squashing a guy in his last appearance plus spoiling your own debut, it's only a given that what was given shall be taken away.
He's not the first superstar to suffer from this mistake, and he won't be the last. Skip Sheffield made a similar error when he tweeted that he was the mystery man behind the It Begins promos.
To be honest, I'm not so sure what the hype is about Clay myself. We've had enough influx of young or new monster heels (Umaga, Sheamus, The Great Khali etc) whose bright flames end up burning real quick because of pushes happening too soon coupled on with un-solid booking.
At this point, I actually suggest putting Clay on Smackdown first and having him gain momentum there instead of throwing him on Raw where he will be lost in the shuffle. Similar to how the likes of Alberto Del Rio was lost in the midst of CM Punk and Conspiracy storylines.
He should be on Smackdown where he will have plenty of jobber material to work with. The likes of Heath Slater and Tyson Kidd can give Clay a good start in looking strong and credible.
But I'm sure people are afraid that he would be overshadowed by Henry. Though it looks like Henry has made WWE Raw more of his home lately and he is dealing with injury.
And even better, I can see a good midcard feud between Justin Gabriel and Clay doing wonders for both individuals. Gabriel is a rising young star who right now needs the perfect nemesis to propel him over the top, and Clay can certainly do that.
In all, though, when you are a young guy in the business, I suggest it's better to be low key about things. Clay is no John Cena or Zack Ryder, he's not that media savvy yet and hopefully he will be more humble about his debut and future push from here on out.
Or else, he will continue to be the butt of Johnny Ace cell phone jokes. Now that would be a travesty.
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