NXT tournament winner Bo Dallas followed up his strong Royal Rumble performance with an upset over WWE Intercontinental champ Wade Barrett on Monday's Raw.
WWE pulled out a play from their 1993 playbook in having a newbie shocks a contender live on Raw.
The Raw Roulette wheel played a central role in the episode, including when Vickie Guerrero spun to determine that Wade Barrett's match would be against an opponent of his choosing.
Barrett, who was still furious over being eliminated at the Royal Rumble, called out Dallas.
Most fans would have expected for Dallas' first WWE match to last a little more than a minute with him landing a move or two before falling to the bigger, stronger Barrett.
WWE toyed with those expectations.
Dallas managed to get in a few punches before the more experienced Barrett took over. Barrett slung Dallas around the ring.
Fresh from NXT, Dallas showed fans unfamiliar with his work just how convincingly he could sell a beating. He writhed on the mat, all of Barrett's power moves aided by Dallas' acting.
Wade looked to be ready to finish things off as he slid off his elbow pad.
He charged, elbow at the ready, and it certainly looked like Dallas' night was over. However, Dallas countered the Bull Hammer and turned it into a suplex.
A hook of the leg and a three-count later and Raw had one of its biggest upsets ever in the books.
Not since the 1-2-3 Kid defeated Razon Ramon in '93 has a star of Barrett's status lost to a guy as low on the totem pole as Dallas.
What could have been a forgettable Rumble introduction has now become a steamrolling train of momentum.
For an unknown superstar like Dallas, there's no better way to be launched into the WWE world then via an established star. A feud with Barrett gives Dallas instant visibility, and a win over him, no matter how lucky, gives him ring cred.
WWE's choice to pair Dallas with Barrett is a resounding endorsement from the company.
Props to WWE for doing the unexpected and for giving a new star a real shot right away.
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