Originally written 6/01/16
Sitting in a small dressing room, Curtis Axel, HeathSlater and Bo Dallas are together, looking over the format for the evening’s show.
“Looks like we’re jobbing again tonight to the Vaudevillians”. Axel sighed as he glanced over at Bo Dallas, who was texting on his phone.
“Again?”, Dallas asked, not even bothering to look up.
“Man, this sucks!”, Slater mumbled.
A loud knock on the door interrupted thdark and sour mood.
“Come on in”, Slater yelled at the door.
The dressing room door opened and in, moving slowly, but still standing tall with pride and dignity, walked a historic and legendary figure.
“Can I speak to you guys for a minute”, the man standing before them asked.
“Yes sir”, Axel said, quickly standing to give the man a place to sit down. Slater and Dallas quickly followed suit, but the man standing in the door just waved his hands and signaled them to sit back down.
“I’ve been watching you guys for a while”, the man said. “Hell, I’ve known you, Joe, and you, Bo, since you were babies. And Slater, I’ve known you for what now… ten years?”
“Almost”, Heath smiled.
“Anyhow, I’m going to be blunt here. Why the hell are you guys getting buried every night?”
All three men started to talk, but the man standing there shushed them with a look.
“I don’t get it! I don’t get it at all. I look at you guys. I know you guys! Hell, I helped train you, Joe and you’re damn good! You’re a third generation superstar and your grandpa… you dad… were two of the very best of all time and you’re just as good if not better.”
The man turned to Bo.
“And you’re so damn good too! I watched you grow up and watched you perform in NXT! I’ve been in the ring with your daddy, your uncles, your grandpa… man, he was a tough bastard… and I look at you and see so much potential and talent.”
And then the man looked at Heath.
“So good in that ring. A good talker and comedy wrestler, but I watched you coming up, as part of Nexus and teaming with Gabriel and showing that tough side. You are the perfect baby-face and remind me so much of Tommy Rich, but you’re so much better in that ring…”
“Thank you sir!”, Heath smiled again.
“I know what you can do and what you’re capable of. I just want to know why you’re getting buried and spending all your time back here in the locker room instead of being the go-to guys out there on TV.”
“They just see us as comedy and jobbers”, Dallas said.
“We don’t have the stroke with the writers”, Axel said. “And can’t get the push!”
“”Any suggestions?”, Slater asked.
“Damn right I do”, the legend replied. “You guys are called what… the Social Outcasts?”
“Yes sir”, Dallas said.
“Well, take advantage of that social media you guys use so much. In my day, we just had one booker or boss to talk to and I could always get the angles and work with who I want. Now you have writers and agents and then Steph and Shane and all sorts of hoops and ladders before you even get to Vince.”
“It’s crazy”, Axel admitted. “And if even one person decides to work against you or doesn’t like you, it’s pretty hopeless.”
“Well, here’s what I thinjk you should do. Get more serious in the ring. Joking and playing is fine. Look at the New Day. But in that ring, despite what the agent might say or the writers suggest, be serious. Don’t make anyone too mad and do what you’re told, but don’t act like it doesn’t matter. If you lose, show frustration and anger. The fans will notice and pick up on it. Use that social media to win the fans over, suggest and tease feuds, and live up to your name with the Social Outcasts trending constantly. Vince will eventually notice.”
“That makes sense”, Dallas admitted. “Grandpa told me something similar last summer when I was down at the farm and we were talking about my career.”
“I’m surprised your Grandpa didn’t tell you to storm Vince’s office and demand a strong push”, the legend said.
“Actually, he did mention that too, but Dad warned me that it would probably hurt more than help right now”, Dallas laughed.
“Well, let him know that you are serious and want to be used, want to make an impact and contribute in a bigger role. To hell with those snot-nosed punk writers. If you see Vince or Steph or Hayes or even Patterson around, approach them and give them your ideas, your suggestions, and so forth. Be polite and respectful, but if you’re there enough, they’re liable to use you for something just to get you to leave them alone. And if they give you the ball, run with it and score a touchdown. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go.”
“You really think that’d work”, Slater asked.
The legend threw him a look and Slater just sat back and nodded, remaining silent.
“I have to go”, the man said. “I’ll mention to Vince and Linda at dinner tonight that I’d love to see him do more with the three of you. And I want to see you guys step up and grab that ball too! If I don’t see the Social Outcasts in contention for the tag team titles or in a major storyline within the next six months, I’m going to be pissed off… and nobody wants that!”
“No sir… not at all”, Axel agreed.
“So think about what I’ve said. And Joe, have your Grandpa call me this weekend.”
“Yes sir”, Axel said as he got up to hug the older, respected legend.
And with nods to Dallas and Slater, WWE Hall of Famer and former 8-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race turned and walked from the room.
“Guys, I think it’s time to quit playing and get serious”, Slater said after the door closed.
“I think we need to get something going with the New Day… or maybe those new guys, Enzo and Cass”, Dallas said.
“I’m going to walk over to the Vaudevillian’s dressing room”, Axel said. “I’ll talk to them and Jamie and we’ll make this a match for the ages tonight.”
“Think they’ll put us over?”, Dallas asked, a small smile of hope on his face.
“Probably not”, Axel said. “But we can still steal the show and turn some heads!”
“Sounds good!”, Slater smiled. “Let’s make Harley proud!”
“Let’s make Vince take notice”, Dallas added.
“And let’s take that ball and run a touchdown”, Axel finished. “Time to put everyone in the company on notice.”
“The Social Outcasts trending worldwide”, Dallas replied.
“And as Enzo and Cass like to say, and you can’t teach that!”, Slater finished.
*** Finish ***