Jamie Lithgow, Brian Damage & Craig Wilson
Since the release of JTG – who somehow managed to cling onto a contract for years without being used on television – there has been a vacancy at the bottom rung of the WWE ladder. However, one could argue that Brad Maddox has since filled that void. Previously up for discussion in our ‘Book or Cook’ series were Johnny ‘Fandango’ Curtis and Heath Slater; both of whom can occasionally be found on WWE’s C show; Main Event. However, Brad Maddox seems to have completely disappeared. What is important to note is that the former Raw General Manager is not injured, so today the team discuss whether to Book or Cook Brad Maddox.
Jamie: I like Brad Maddox because unlike many performers in WWE – including multi-time world champions – he actually has a discernible personality. It was baffling to me that after defying The Authority in 2014 and, essentially, turning face in the process he was destroyed by Kane and written off TV.
It felt like the character of Brad Maddox was really starting to grow; he was a bit of an idiot who had a position of authority thrust upon him and was thus way out of his depth; a role which he played with conviction and good humour… plus he had only just turned babyface. Granted we did see very little of him in the ring – especially on offence – but I can still see a place for the Brad Maddox character to this day. Someone has to fetch Kane all those cups of coffee and it would be nice for Seth Rollins to have someone else to shout at.
According to reports from live events, Maddox has been exploring new gimmicks and ideas, and fair play to him. However, I don’t think he needs them. The Brad Maddox character was entertaining and whether as an active wrestler or otherwise, I’d love to see him back on Raw. Lord knows that show needs something to entertain the fans, New Day can’t do it all themselves…
Brian: I agree 100%….the case of Brad Maddox in the WWE is truly befuddling. He has personality and if you watch him when he was in developmental…he could actually wrestle too! His name wasn’t in the news as breaking the law or anything like that. Did he piss someone off? Nah, I just think WWE creative has absolutely no idea how to use him. That in itself is a sad statement for the reasons I outlined about his abilities.
On house shows…he has been tried out as a CM Punk type rip off or parody. He was given a new name (Joshua Kingsley) and even teamed briefly with Adam Rose. I think he has outgrown the whole ” bumbling GM” gimmick…so what can he do?
Craig: I’m in full agreement and certainly with Brian over the confusion over his misuse. He has a black mark against his name and I’ve not idea why either.
I like him as a character and a wrestler, and not just because we were both born on 4 May 1984… He just seems to keep changing his name and wrestling, and losing, dark matches. Should he, and his fans, be worried by that or are the WWE trying to just find an identity for him.
If they continue to struggle, could it be in his best interests if the WWE choose to cook him?
Jamie: In many respects he would be better off away from WWE if they have little inclination to use him. Nobody is benefiting professionally the way things are….. although financially Maddox may be better off staying where he is. What’s even more bizarre is that he’s not even used in NXT. I seem to recall that he occasionally wrestled and commentated, but even that gig has vanished for him.
Brian does have a point, Maddox probably is beyond the bumbling GM gimmick. I just feel that his character was good as it was and would still work, so scrapping it without transitioning him on to something better is baffling.
Here’s an idea for him, born from what I thought the Solomon Crowe character in NXT was originally going to be; a hacker/troll. The gimmick would essentially be like a modern day ‘G-TV’ using social media and the internet, only – unlike G-TV – Maddox would eventually be revealed as the ‘hacker’. If the best wrestling characters are supposed to be relatable to real life then why on Earth has WWE not taken inspiration from those trolling pricks that are all over the internet? Those guys get nuclear heat.
I think this would work with Maddox. The angle could be like Keyser Soze in ‘The Usual Suspects’, and nobody would suspect the bumbling Authority lap dog.
Brian: I say cook him and it is certainly not because I don’t like him. I think he is uber talented. I just think at this point…if you aren’t going to use him…let him make a go of it elsewhere. Maybe in the independents…Ring of Honor…..TNA…GFW…..Lucha Underground or even Japan.
Craig: Yeah, probably right. There’s no point wasting his talent. He’d be better off going away and making a name for himself and maybe coming back at another time. But as it stands, he has little chance of making a name for himself with the WWE.
Jamie: With regret, I’d cook him too. If WWE would rather push two different versions of Kane than give someone else a chance then it’s safe to assume they won’t be doing anything with Brad Maddox any time soon.
You can read all previous Book or Cook? pieces here.