Our site manager Geno Mrosko was not a happy camper on Monday night, reading WWE the riot act for the strange disappearance of the Funkasaurus, aka Brodus Clay, from Raw the last couple of weeks:
It is absolutely inexcusable that Brodus Clay has disappeared from WWE television. How in the hell do they invest the time in creating a character like the Funkasaurus from Planet Funk who is funky, send him out there to die only to see him get over faster than anyone could have imagined, and then yank him off TV? I suspect it's similar to the reason it took so long for him to re-debut -- they just don't know what to do with him. Or maybe it's something else altogether. Who knows with WWE. What's for certain, though, is that he needs to come back. Immediately.
As is often the case in these mysterious absences, the person to blame is the owner of WWE, Vince McMahon, who has developed a reputation for changing course on a whim nowadays depending on what way the wind is blowing.
Indeed, Mike Aldren broke the news earlier today via his Wrestling Globe Newsletter that McMahon has decreed that the Funkasaurus is too green for television, despite being protected in squash matches since he finally redebuted on the January 9th edition of Raw:
The Brodus Clay 'Funkasaurus' gimmick has been shelved for the time being. We've heard from multiple sources who say Vince feels his ring work wasn't quite where it needed to be for television. A match with Clay vs. Heath Slater was cut from Smackdown two week's ago after it was taped when the decision was made he needed to work on his ring skills.
This is nothing new, as Vince McMahon ummed and ahhed for several weeks over whether Hunico should be given the Sin Cara gimmick in the summer instead of the troublesome original, until one bad match, ironically also with Heath Slater taped for Smackdown, scrapped that idea once and for all. That's all it takes today for someone to get their WWE push stalled or torpedoed. Hopefully the Funkasaurus gimmick doesn't meet the same fate of Hade Vansen, Kizarny, Eric Escobar and many others I'm forgetting on the WWE scrapheap, as he was doing a great job of making a gimmick that could be a career killer in the wrong hands work.
Dave Meltzer also confirmed the story in today's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
In a big surprise, Vince McMahon made the call to take Clay off television, feeling his ring work wasn't good enough. This is the guy who made money headlining some of the crappiest main event workers in history. Apparently it was a match with Slater that was taped and pulled from Smackdown that did him in.
Yes, there is indeed some irony when the ageing Kane and the limited Great Khali are getting main event pushes that Clay, despite getting over better in his role than the aforementioned Elimination Chamber headliners, can't cut McMahon's mustard, but I suppose he hasn't got tenure or a bodybuilder physique that make mistakes a lot easier to forgive.
Of course, Clay may have been ready if WWE had been more proactive in preparing him for his push. If he had been on the road for several months working night in and night out with a veteran hand like Goldust or William Regal, then maybe his in ring abilities would have improved enough that he wouldn't be prematurely yanked off our TV screens and fall foul of the dreaded start stop push that has killed off the momentum of so many budding WWE prospects.