Brian Damage, Craig Wilson & 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 or poorly used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Tyler Breeze.
Brian: If you want to talk about falling fast, then look no further than Tyler Breeze. Breeze was a true star down in NXT, wrestling 5-star matches with the likes of Hideo Itami and Finn Balor to name a few. Breeze gets the promotion to the main roster and is immediately thrust into a big feud with Dolph Ziggler. Then, seemingly inexplicably Breeze starts losing matches and is now pretty much regulated to the lowest part of the undercard and barely used on television.
Many reports were saying that Tyler Breeze quickly fell out of favor with WWE management because he left a television taping early (A big no no) without asking for permission first. Some other reports say that Vince McMahon simply doesn’t like the Breeze character. Regardless of what the real reason is, no doubt about it, Tyler Breeze is not highly regarded at this time. Can Tyler Breeze recover? Will he ever get pushed again?
We do know that Tyler Breeze is far from useless, if his NXT tenure is any indication. Are we looking at at quick demise or is there any hope for him?
Craig: I think Breeze suffered the same fate as Xavier Woods did when he came up from NXT. The WWE took a gimmick that connected with a small and loyal NXT fanbase and expected it to get the same reaction from the WWE fans on Raw, some who may not have seen him on NXT.
It was always destined to fail. Not, though, that Breeze’s gimmick should fail. It’s a modern take on the cocky Rick Martel style thing. But without build-up, and he had none on the main WWE roster, fans are left wondering “who is this guy?” rather than knowing who he is and disliking his cocky and brash ways.
Is there a way back? Sure. But it needs a concerted effort from the WWE to get the character over. However, if as Brian suggests, Vince isn’t into the gimmick then that’s bad news indeed…
Jamie: This reminds me of the ‘imaginary brass ring’ theory. Here we have a guy being pushed in NXT, with a gimmick that’s over and producing good matches. Surely the guys in charge down in NXT would have been pretty happy with the way things were going with Breeze, right? Does any of that matter though? Nope, because if the guy in charge of the main roster just doesn’t like you for some reason then you have no chance in WWE. This has surely got to be demoralising not only for Matt Clement himself, but everyone who helped work on the character and get it over in NXT. It’s worrying to think there’s probably a fair few performers in NXT working their asses off developing gimmicks for a guy who will shoot them down without a second thought, regardless of how over they get in NXT.
If the reports that Vince doesn’t like/get the character than Breeze has no chance. While popular enough in NXT circles, he hardly boasts Daniel Bryan levels of public support to force Vince’s hand on this issue. Put it this way, the release of Zoolander 2 has been and gone, and I didn’t hear a single reference to Tyler Breeze essentially being Zoolander anywhere on WWE television.
Brian: I agree with you both 100%, maybe he is just being punished for allegedly leaving a TV taping early. If that is the case, then Tyler Breeze still has a fighting chance. If it is simply because Vince doesn’t like him then Breeze is pretty much finished already. The guy has proven he can work various wrestling styles and is a definite asset on any roster.
The WWE needs to be careful here, if he is being punished for making a “rookie” mistake then jobbing him out repeatedly will only get fans to be indifferent to him. So when you are ready to re push him, fans will already not care. I think the only thing that can save Breeze now is have him have a match the Raw after Wrestlemania and let that rabid crowd get him over quickly again.
Craig: I think your idea is a good one, Brian. Keep him off TV until then as every time he appears, and loses, he loses even more credibility.
If I’m being honest, I’d not lose any sleep if Breeze was to be cooked. But despite all my reservations, he was able to make a connection with NXT fans. Can he do that on a larger scale with the WWE faithful? Only time will tell but he deserves that time, and more importantly the opportunity, to try and connect.
Brian: I think we can all agree that Breeze deserves an opportunity to connect with WWE fans as he did in NXT. For that reason I say book him and see what he is capable of. If Vince is truly not interested in Breeze than cook him and let him become a star somewhere else.
The consensus here is that Breeze deserves to be booked but also that, if rumours are true, if Vince isn’t hot on him as a character, it is difficult to look beyond Breeze jobbing until he is eventually cooked.
What do you think? Would you book or cook Tyler Breeze? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.