What a difference a year makes.
Titus O’Neil was coming off a controversial suspension and trying to get any kind of foothold on WWE television in 2016. Lately however, he’s slowly but surely become a reliably entertaining and, as a result, popular part of Raw each week. His Titus Worldwide gimmick started out as a heel act, but since signing cruiserweight Akira Tozawa to the brand, has steadily become more and more heroic.
Part of the fun is because it’s been a long time since the company had someone who led a stable of wrestlers. Aside from a brief run of “Paul Heyman guys” a few years back, the rare times WWE used a manager character, they represented one person. Titus Worldwide feels like it could be a throwback to the 80s, a babyface version of The Heenan Family.
Of course to get there, he’ll need more clients. And with his initial charge Apollo Crews having disappeared from the scene, somebody other than Tozawa needs to wear his new merch.
The above fallout video teases Dana Brooke as the first wrestler from the women’s ranks to join the brand. It also attempts to showcase O’Neil’s marketing acumen, as he pitched Brooke on a “Country Strong” identity/catch phrase.
Seems like Mickie “Hardcore Country” James might be able to make a case for gimmick infringement, and I never really got a rural vibe from the fitness competitor from the Cleveland suburbs before, but... whatevs. The big boost to Dana would be getting a chance to be on television more often with Titus as a staple of Monday night’s midcard scene.
Of course, regardless of what we call her, Brooke could vanish like James while Titus goes wherever Goldust went. But it’s fun to think about while it lasts.