Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Adam Rose.
Craig: We are due to see something fresh from Adam Rose any time now. After all, vignettes in October seemed to point at a new gimmick from the former leader of the Rosebuds. Alas, other events seem to have gotten in the way and Rose is still directionless.
So what are we thinking about Raymond Leppan? I liked his shtick as Leo Kruger and he was a fairly impressive performer on NXT. Naturally, though, he needed a “gimmick” to make it in the yes of creative and was saddled with the very silly Adam Rose stuff. The cooky stuff, much like Emma, worked well on NXT but struggled on the grander stage.
There’s a good worker in there, that was sadly lost in amongst the stupidity of the Rose character. I’d certainly be willing to give him another gimmick and a chance. It’s a crucial decision though as if he’s given another gimmick that doesn’t work out for him then it’ll be tough for him ever to be taken seriously.
Brian: I think the reason the Adam Rose gimmick didn’t work is because Vince McMahon wasn’t a big fan of the gimmick. In my eyes, it had potential to be something pretty good…but once Vince gets bored of something….you know the deal.
A return to the Leo Kruger character isn’t such a bad idea…as a matter of fact…there were rumors floating around that that was one of the plans for him. He would fit in nicely with the Wyatt Family as that character. I am really rooting hard for Leppan especially after seeing the ESPN special they did on him and his family a few months ago.
Craig: There’s something about him I like too but it’s something completely lost under such an over the top silly gimmick.
He seems to have returned to basics on the house show circuit wrestling once again in plain trunks and boots. Makes me wonder if he’s either returning to basics or is in between gimmicks.
I genuinely think he’d be a loss to the roster if he was cooked. He’d wind up somewhere else, of that I have no doubt, but I don’t think us WWE fans have seen the real deal with him yet.
Brian: I still think the Adam Rose gimmick could have worked in a kitschy kind of way….much like Fandango did. Of course, it is too late to go back to that character…but it could’ve worked if done right.Leppan is talented and I still see great things ahead for him. Will he ever be a main event guy? Most likely not…but a few tweaks and he could definitely be a top mid carder.
Craig: I can’t help but think that a return to NXT could help his cause dramatically. Rather than attempt to redebut on the main roster with a new gimmick, head back to NXT with his new shtick and get over there. A spell off Raw etc wouldn’t be too bad for him and would give him a chance to get his character’s own house in order before exposing it once again to the masses.
Brian: I concur…NXT would be a great way to redevelop a new gimmick…whatever that may be. For that reason and so many others…I say BOOK him.
Craig: Yeah, I say book too. Undoubtedly deserves another chance as there is certainly something there with him. I wonder, though, how much of an impact the release of Brad Maddox – a previous superstar that has received the ‘Book or Cook?’ treatment – will have. After all, it was heavily mooted that the pair would be teaming up. Does that mean plans for Rose are back at the drawing board and how long will it be until they come to fruition?
Brian: They had him do a TMZ-esque gossip segment on Raw on Monday…so it looks as if they are going to go down that road with him…at least for now.
Craig: least if he’s on telly then they clearly have plans of some description for him.
Jamie: You know what’s annoying, I actually like the gossip gimmick he debuted on Raw. Problem is, I just want him to be Leo Kruger and someone else (The Miz?) could do that TMZ style gimmick instead.
The one saving grace for the Adam Rose character – as we’ve already seen from his ‘Party Pooper’ angle – is that it comes across as an alter ego, much like Fandango. Bray Wyatt could not come out one week and cut a worked-shoot promo saying that he had been portraying a character, but Rose could. A full and conscious character reboot rarely works, but with Rose I think it could.
In general terms though, there is something engaging with Adam Rose. I want to see more of him, even though I’m not that into the character. That speaks volumes for Raymond Leppan, so I’d book him whether as Adam Rose, Leo Kruger or something else.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.