Like many others, I found E:60’s documentary on NXT Behind the Curtain both intriguing, enlightening and moving. Although I became more endeared to each personality featured, the one who really got me by the heart was – of course – Raymond Leppan.
Formerly known as Leo Kruger and now wearing the name Adam Rose, Leppan has overcome a difficult childhood, a troubled adolescence, a challenging career choice, and his first son’s ongoing medical complications to achieve his dream of becoming a professional wrestler with the WWE. It is an inspiring story of determination and perseverance.
Upon the documentary’s end, my wife and I wiped the tears from our respective eyes. She then turned to me and asked if I thought the WWE Universe would begin to support the character Adam Rose more as a result of his story becoming known. I said I didn’t know, but I supposed it was very likely such a thing would occur. It is also possible that WWE would choose to capitalize on Rose’s newly-found sympathy by pushing him a certain way.
Mick Foley voiced a similar opinion via a blog posted to his Facebook page. Drawing comparison to Foley’s past persona Dude Love, he said:
Maybe Mr McMahon can take a page out his 1997 playbook, and afford Adam Rose’s real-life story the type of attention he afforded my own. For me, it was a game-changer. I think a similar setting could produce similar results for Rose, and WWE. I strongly urge the powers-that-be to do not only what’s best for Adam Rose, but what’s best for business.
Not bad advice. But what has actually taken place since E:60 broadcast their film?
The next time we saw Adam Rose, he was too pre-occupied with his new love interest Rosa Mendez to notice that his entourage of “Rosebuds” were growing disgruntled. One of the party-goers dressed as a hotdog, acted as spokesman for the group, requesting their paycheques. Rose first responded with dismissal, then anger, telling the troupe that the party was officially over. Then Mendez drew him into her arms once again and the two began making out passionately.
Having just watched a documentary which showed Leppan as a dedicated husband and a doting father, not to mention an all-around nice guy, I found this difficult to watch.
So, what exactly is the plan for Adam Rose? Knowing that many members of the WWE Universe has seen his life story, what are they hoping to achieve through these latest character moves?
Upon watching his life story, I theorized ways in which Creative could push Rose in a way that capitalized on his newly established pathos.
I saw Adam Rose making small changes to the way he makes his entrances.
Instead of making himself the focus and the life of the party – having everyone flock around him and celebrate his mere presence as something special, he could give that honour to the audience. He could connect more with the crowd, touching hands and encouraging everyone to dance with him. He could even go so far as to pluck random people, children even, from the crowd and make them honourary Rosebuds for a night. What child wouldn’t be tickled pink to dance with a giant hotdog and ballerina’s the whole, goofy gang? It would get the people involved and make it seem like Rose was not so disconnected and narcissistic.
Because let’s face it, that is the way his character reads. He seems to constantly be taking long, indulgent swims in Lake Me.
I think a big reason why WWE did not go for something like this is because they had already written themselves into a corner when it came to Rose’s heel persona by attaching him to Rosa Mendez.
Now it appears that Mendez has convinced Rose that he doesn’t need to be nice, he doesn’t his Rosebuds, he doesn’t need the fans or anybody. She is all he needs.
What may follow are repeated attempts by the Rosebuds to get through to Adam Rose. During his matches, they could come down to his music, dancing around and trying to get him to join the party. Mendez can hiss and scream at them, chasing them off time and again.
Over time, though, and perhaps with the help of Fandango, he can see the light.
Remember that Fandango himself was paired with Rosa Mendez. During that time, he changed his style, his attire and entrance music – and indeed his entire demeanor. He became more fierce in the ring, more aggressive and heelish than before. But then he realized the error of his ways, he realized how hollow it felt to be disconnected from the people in the crowds, and before a London crowd he told Mendez it was over. He cued up his old music, and since then he has devoted himself to sharing his joy of dance with the WWE Universe.
Perhaps he could get through to Rose, and convince him to kick the evil woman to the curb, to embrace his lighter side and embrace the people.
Then, Adam Rose could reunite with his Rosebuds, apologize for being a dick, and promise to make sure the party never stops and everyone is invited.
It’s a pretty idea, and I hope we see something like it happening. But, like Mick Foley, all I can do is put it out there and see what happens.