Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Roode Awakening

He's "glorious" and he's your new WWE United States Champion. Even with most TNA/Impact Wrestling standouts seemingly finding their way to WWE, did anyone predict that they would thrive as they have? The company has not always been extremely open to those who've made their name elsewhere. But thrive they have, and Bobby Roode has been no exception. Bursting onto the scene via NXT, Roode debuted with a spectacular theme song (said to have been considered for Shinsuke Nakamura) which evolved into a great, grand, and yes, glorious nickname. As with any superstar, the in-ring talent must match the showmanship. Thus far, Roode has proven to have both.

Many of us have been Bobby Roode fans since his days as part of Team Canada and Beer Money. The latter team often heard chatter that a WWE run could be in their future. Roode's partner in the team, "Cowboy" James Storm, did have a cup of coffee in NXT, but has yet to see the full WWE experience. It would be fun to see the two former partners collide in the major spotlight of WWE, especially with Roode's current persona.

The buzz surrounding Roode did not begin with NXT or SmackDown Live. I can still remember the atmosphere at the 2011 Bound For Glory fanfest. It was Roode's largest hyped run for the TNA Heavyweight Championship, challenging Kurt Angle. Though Roode would not take the title on that particular occasion, it was the point where many began to view him as a bonafide singles star. Roode did go on to be a two-time TNA Heavyweight Chanpion as well as the longest reigning to date.

Due to his TNA stardom, Roode also saw a nice chunk of merchandise during his long tenure with the company. Action figures representing his time with both Team Canada and Beer Money were produced as were trading cards, t-shirts, promotional photos, and other assorted items. Roode even made one of the last covers of "The Wrestler" magazine in a great shot including the TNA Heavyweight Championship belt over his shoulder.

Roode has already debuted in the Mattel NXT figure line which is exclusive to Target. The "Basic" version will be followed by an "Elite" in a subsequent NXT-Target release. That figure will include the new NXT Championship. I've always envisioned a "Glorious" Defining Moments figure release for Roode, complete with robe. There is definitely still room and time for it to happen.

At age 40, Roode has little to prove in professional wrestling yet he has so much more to do. He fits into WWE so well, yet carries on the feeling of being an outsider, similar to Rob Van Dam when he first arrived in the company. It's another unique situation brought about by WWE allowing non-homegrown talents to thrive.

It's a glorious thing...

No comments: