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  #1  
Old 09-12-2015, 09:11 PM
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lenguy lenguy is offline
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Default When was the last time you were truly impressed with a new debut?

Wrestlers come and go, far too often. People debut and make little waves among shrouded mystery and hopeful renewed relevancy. There seems to be this trend among debuts. Bigger guys are pushed to the moon as massive muscle brutish monsters.

They go on this campaign of carnage and destruction and plow through the competition. Whether they spend weeks eviscerating nameless jobbers or are thrust straight towards the top and take out big name guys like John Cena or Randy Orton. Usually within the time period, its make or break for that guy. If he hasn't proven his capacity to hang with the big boys and get over in that time frame, he's regarded as a bust. If this is the case, this so called monster is thrown into the pits of contemptible hell where this wrestler is fated to float in the sea of irrelevancy until the company has no further use for him.

This brings me to WWE's newest flavor of the month; Braun Strowman. I feel he is destined for things that are opposite of greatness. I just don't buy into this whole thing anymore. Where the big guy debuts and goes on this unstoppable rampage over the roster. I can't fault him but I can fault the habitual spadework of this mundane execution of the monster push. Why should I care? Why should any of us care? Why should we care about a guy who comes in and dominates a guy like Cena for weeks only to be jobbing out to a guy like the Miz a few months later on Superstars? What is wrong with this whole process? Why are crowds completely apathetic towards these types of debuts these days? Is it a bit of Deja Vu? Perhaps just too much of a cliche? I think we've just seen it too many times and crowds withhold their extreme lack of enthusiasm in massive contempt. I digress though. I feel it was important to bring this up. I say this because as far as debuts go, I think it not only comes down to WWE and how they book a guy but it also comes down to that guy to truly seize that moment and leave a lasting impression. Even if they are given nothing to work with.

So, with that being said, I want to know when was the last time a wrestler or wrestlers debuted on the main roster where they actually left an impression on you? For me, its simple; The Shield. Here were a couple of relativly unknown guys who came out of the left field and debuted at Survivor Series 2012. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins; The hounds of Justice. They swiftly came in and disposed of Ryback, helping CM Punk retain the WWE Championship. What really made me buy into these guys was the fact that they all brought a different personality to the table. 3 different personalities unified by a singular goal. After their debut match at TLC the following month, my endorsement over the group was cemented. It wasn't the fact that the match itself highly impressive, no. I saw something that day, not in just one, but all 3 guys. I could tell that they would sore to great heights as a team but I also knew that they would also find great success as individuals.

Here we are today, Seth Rollins the first ever WWE World Heavyweight United States Champion, only getting started. Dean Ambrose, the lunatic fringe. A guy that has a great presence and has become massively over with the crowd. Roman Reigns who has probably the greatest unlocked potential who can only get better over time.

So there you have it. The last time I was truly impressed with a debut. Now I want to know your thoughts on this. Help me understand the state of these types of pushes and give some insight on how WWE can resolve this. So sound off below and let me know the last time you were truly impressed with a new debut!
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:09 PM
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I look at it 2 ways - there is the actual debut, the first time you see them and and the impression they make, and then their first angle which is supposed to build the chatacter. For both, I would say The Shield. They brought them in, made them a threat - it worked well. wwe rarely does that anymore. Usually what happens is you get a video hyping someone is coming and then when they finally do show up, the video was the best part. Anyone remember Brodus Clay? OR you get someone like Bo Dallas who comes out there but his first feud does more to bury him than to help him. Outside of The Shield, it has been a long time since someone impressed me with their actual debut or thier first angle - most of those come off as just poorly done.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:14 PM
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Well, they can't resolve anything until they have a change of mentality. Until they grow a pair and actually push a guy and actually invest into him they won't go anywhere. I'll be straight-up, I thought Rusev was fine after his losses from Cena ( even though I despised that in a way ) but his "redebut" as a midcarder who lost everything sounded at least like they had a direction. What do we have now ? A shit show. You couldn't give me money to care about his feud right now with DZ.

You mentioned Strowman. I couldn't be more....indifferent? to him. Yeah indifferent. I just didnt care when I saw him. His babyface also irks me. Sue me. My biggest problem with him is we all know how this will end up. Bray is gonna go nowhere cause of horrible booking since his debut, Strowman will prolly get released at some point after jobbing to someone on Superstars for a while and poor highly talented Luke Harper will still be stuck in "tag-team or mid-carder" limbo.

I won't write a book on who impressed me as a debut, but I will just say that The Shield did because I actually wasnt aware of them ( besides a few youtube videos of John Moxley ) and they made a big impact instantly and then went on to be carry WWE, almost literally. And now they are all in pretty good positions with Seth I think being the best improved one of the 3, imo.

Their start and stop problem needs to go away. We need to see some confidence in their decisions. They are too careful. They own the yard so they can be careful and not take risks. But John Cena is 38 and the months are rolling in. They dont have that much time to create someone big. They dont have to be a John Cena type or even be the face of the company, but they need a big star. And with how they are booking everybody, I dont see it.

My problem with any debut that they do now is that I have so many memories of failed pushes and start'n'stops that I can't really take any debuting character seriously anymore. Will I be pumped if Badass Baron Corbin shows up to help the Shield, fuck yeah, but problem is...it's a moment. A decently cool one but, what's next ? Will something materialize from this ? History shows that that is a pretty small probability.

It's like WWE are throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks, and when it sticks they clean it up. If there ever was a time to let the shit on the wall....
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:18 PM
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I need to go back quite a ways for mine. The last time a debuting superstar really blew my mind was 2008 when I watched the first few matches of Jack Swagger. His in-ring abilities impressed me tremendously and I correctly predicted he'd be a champion within a few months. Jack Swagger is one of the most impressive guys on the roster and it's a shame that his own bad habits and WWE's lack of faith in him have conspired to screw him over time and time again. He should have been the guy to beat Rusev last year, but he didn't, and I think that was the last chance for Jack Swagger to be a big star again.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:46 PM
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Well I'm gonna go with the obvious answer and say Kevin Owens.

First match in the WWE, he beats John Cena. That's just about the biggest impact you can make when you first arrive. Not only did he beat John Cena, he beat Cena in one of the greatest matches of the modern era. Then he followed it up with two more amazing match of the year performances. His promos with Cena were also great. It was a feud that felt personal and the matches had a big fight feel even though this guy had been on the main roster for only a couple months. That's a testament not only to his ability but to Cena's ability to get somebody over. Well done all around.

I'll also agree that the Shield felt like a big deal, not only because they were attacking big names when they first came in, but because they were presented as something unique. Right away they had an aura about them. They were put over as a legitimate threat, they had a unique entrance coming in through the crowd, and they used a handheld camera for promos which was different from everybody else. Pro wrestling is a genre that rewards innovation, and while the Shield obviously took influence from a bunch of sources like the Freebirds, NWO and the Nexus, it was put together in a unique package and the fans responded to it because wrestling fans crave something that's different. Also in terms of booking they were protected more than anyone since Brock Lesnar when he first came in. They destroyed everybody in their path, and we didn't see them drop a fall for like half a year. The mystique the Shield built as a dominant force was a testament to the power of proper long-term booking. Plus since there were three of them it was easy to hide their individual weaknesses and they were able to deliver very fast-paced, action-packed matches. Go back and watch those 3-on-3 matches the Shield had, they were fucking crazy. Seth Rollins legit almost killed himself every night.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaman6686 View Post
I need to go back quite a ways for mine. The last time a debuting superstar really blew my mind was 2008 when I watched the first few matches of Jack Swagger. His in-ring abilities impressed me tremendously and I correctly predicted he'd be a champion within a few months. Jack Swagger is one of the most impressive guys on the roster and it's a shame that his own bad habits and WWE's lack of faith in him have conspired to screw him over time and time again. He should have been the guy to beat Rusev last year, but he didn't, and I think that was the last chance for Jack Swagger to be a big star again.
I actually have the opposite feeling of you. I thought WWE gave him way too many chances. His mic skills are very bland (including once him saying Cena you're dead meat and Cena responded with a deadpan "that's it") and his in ring stuff is nothing special. I view Alberto Del Rio the same way. Way too many chances.

Which is weird considering my choice is Alberto Del Rio. The ring announcer. The cars. Beating Rey Mysterio in his debut. For awhile, everything was great. His in ring and mic skills were great. I loved him until a little after his rumble win.

He seemingly started regressing on the mic. It might have been that he was never great on the mic in the first place and that moving into a big feud exposed him. He became very band as time went on and I still don't entirely get what happened.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2015, 12:07 AM
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I would have to go with the Shield. All three guys came in unexpectedly and immediately made an impact. All through their time together they were booked perfectly, and they in my opinion are one of the best factions the WWE has ever put together.

You had Rollins, the high flyer. Ambrose, the brawler, and Reigns the muscle. They complimented each other and ran through the locker room like there was no tomorrow.

The only drawback was that with Ambrose and Rollins both being so good on the mic, it hid the fact that Reigns wasn't. While that is a good thing if you are going to keep them together, it's a bad thing when you want to make Reigns the new face of the WWE. We all saw how that worked out at the Rumble.

Rollins has gone on to the first wrestler to cash in the MITB at Mania. Also he is the first wrestler to hold both the WHC and US titles at the same time. Ambrose had a dismal run as US champ, and I think the WWE doesn't know what to do with him now. But he's still one of the over wrestlers on the roster. And if the rumours are true, Reigns is still in line to become the next face of the WWE.

Whatever happens I think a lot of fans are waiting for Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta.....Shield come over the loud speakers. I know I am.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2015, 02:58 AM
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I was impressed with Owens' debut. He had a poise about himself. I like even just having the NXT title with him, he stood to Cena like an equal.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2015, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenguy View Post
Is it a bit of Deja Vu? Perhaps just too much of a cliche? I think we've just seen it too many times and crowds withhold their extreme lack of enthusiasm in massive contempt.
That statement adds credence to the logic of WWE marketing to children, don't you think? They haven't 'seen it all before' as adults have.....they still marvel at qualities such size, strength and mystery the new performer brings. Plus, the business logic is that these young people will still be with WWE long after the old folks are either gone or watching something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenguy View Post
This brings me to WWE's newest flavor of the month; Braun Strowman. I feel he is destined for things that are opposite of greatness.
I, on the other hand, still am fascinated by today's debuts.....so to answer the OP question, the Braun Strowman introduction was the last one that impressed me. I'm still willing to suspend disbelief enough for 3 hours on Monday night to enjoy what WWE is bringing. I thought this guy was amazing, from the 'black sheep' contrast to Erick Rowan to the super size of this guy, and what he could bring to the Wyatt Family in the months to come.

Will his push fade? Sure..........Will Braun fall in with the rest of the pack, in which his raw power somehow becomes less intimidating and easier to combat? Definitely.

It's the nature of the beast. Still, I was greatly impressed with his debut.....and glad I can still feel that way after years of watching pro wrestling.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:22 PM
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Owens is likely amongst the top 3 workers in the company right now. The
Shield however impressed from the first day in the company and will be at
the center of the WWE programming for the next 5-10 years.
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