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Bo Dallas is the forgotten NXT Champion, and that’s a shame

Thursday’s Rude Awakening looks at Bo Dallas, Kimber Lee’s new name, and Jerry Lawler making surprisingly insightful comments.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Listen, I’m glad that Bo Dallas has a story he’s involved in on WWE’s main roster once again. Being one of the Miz’s flunkies beats not being on television, and the latter is the state Dallas found himself in more often than not after the Social Outcasts were split up. No matter what role WWE has put him in, though, it never seems like it’s the right one: Bo Dallas is the one former NXT Champion that WWE seems to exclude from all the other perks every other NXT Champion has seen in their main roster runs.

Seth Rollins is a multi-time WWE World Champion, and a significant enough presence that he was the Authority’s golden boy and is now on the cover of the WWE 2K18 video game. Big E is a former Intercontinental Champion who has had multiple chances at the United States Championship, and is part of the longest-reigning tag team in WWE history, New Day. Neville is the king of the cruiserweights and their champion, and might be so for a long time yet. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are major players, with Zayn position as one of the top babyfaces in the company and Owens a former Universal Champion.

Samoa Joe is relatively new to the main roster, but he’s getting Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire, and has spent his time in WWE feuding with the likes of Rollins and Roman Reigns. Shinsuke Nakamura is even newer to WWE’s top level, but even the half-speed version of Nakamura is being positioned as a main-event player on SmackDown and a likely eventual WWE World Champion.

Meanwhile, Bo Dallas has just sort of floated from one half-formed idea to another, on TV for a few weeks at a time until he disappears, and with WWE never putting any kind of sustained push behind him. Sure, Dallas isn’t as flashy or exciting a wrestler as other NXT champs, but he’s a tremendous personality who absolutely crushed his run at the top of WWE’s developmental promotion. His insincerity made for the most entertaining of any NXT Championship run, and his exit from the promotion is arguably the greatest segment they’ve ever done. (That link doesn’t go to the full segment, but Brandon Stroud’s Best and Worst from that June 12, 2014 show should help, and now you know what date to look up on the WWE Network.)

WWE doesn’t need to make Bo Dallas their next Universal Champion or anything, but man, there has to be something they can figure out for him after this that’s better than “Miz’s lackey.” He’s so much better than this, and WWE needs to give him the chance to remind everyone of that.

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