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Night of the Lepus: Adam Rose has its thorn!

Would a Rose by any other gimmick smell as sweet?

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What's interesting about the Adam Rose gimmick, is how its most outrageous components are also its most endearing.

I do not hate this character.

But behind all of his bunnies and bombast (and bipedal cheeseburgers), I felt a strange disconnect, likely from the impracticality of his pitch. In short, I don't know how -- even behind mark-colored glasses -- he's expected to sustain this level of creative overhead.

Will his hybridized posse accompany him to the ring for every match?

I like the idea of a charismatic weirdo (besides this one) finding a home in the "WWE" universe and recruiting "Rosebuds," in much the same way that Chris Jericho played pied piper for his "Jerichoholics," or Christian pandered to his "Peeps" (or "Jeeps," as they're known in Japan).

But they didn't crowd the ring during every walk out.

That's because they're the fleas, not the circus, and the last thing you want in a debuting performer is to have the shadow of the supporting cast block the incoming limelight. Just ask Alexander Rusev, who quietly clomps around the ring like a Bulgarian Michael Myers, while the pro wrestling fan base -- both male and female -- make googly eyes at the blonde bombshell who carries his leash.

Heck, it's only been a couple of weeks and one fan already has Rose's wascally wabbit pegged as an early favorite for the WWE Hall of Fame's first lagomorphic induction.

Window dressing comes cheap in WWE. Marching to the ring as one of Godfather's "hoes" doesn't require any legitimate talent, any more than asking local jobbers to play paparazzi for MNM requires real skills as a photographer. Just stand there and look like you belong.

Then go away once the music stops, because you don't have a chair.

Forget the Austin Powers shtick. Making the Rosebuds an integral part of the Adam Rose gimmick is what sets him up to fail. He should be getting over on his own merits and not because homers are singing his theme song, or because marks are pointing and laughing at the guy in the bunny suit.

It can happen, even in the "reality era."

Brodus Clay -- first teased as a brooding monster -- was repackaged as a dancing bear and sent to the ring in a bright red track suit. Heck, even his theme song was recycled. Did it stop him from getting over? No, nor did a similarly gelastic gimmick prevent FAHN ... DAHN ... GO from becoming a fixture on Monday Night RAW.

It helps that both George Murdoch and Johnny Curtis are talented performers, who played it straight.

So too, is Rose.

Look no further than some of his standout matches in NXT (formerly FCW) against the likes of Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro, among others. I also like his inaugural pairing against Jack Swagger, a rigid patriot who oozes disdain for all things ecletic.

With that in mind, it's now time to scale back the entourage. If not now, then following his in-ring debut at next month's Payback pay-per-view (PPV) in Illinois. At the very least, keep it limited to backstage vignettes or random acts of off-screen nuttiness.

Burgers and bunnies should be the punchline, not the set up.

That's the difference between exposure and overexposure, and a shining example of why gimmicks that work on the local circuit -- in this case NXT -- don't always translate to the global scale, where WWE programming is seen twice a week on television (RAW, Smackdown) and once a week on WWE Network (Main Event).

Rose turns 35 in July and doesn't have the safety net afforded to twenty-something rookies. If he bombs -- at fault or not -- he may be sent to NXT and never return. Even if he does, convincing fickle fans he's no longer "that other guy" could prove to be a formidable task.

Just ask Husky Harris.

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