My Two Hundred Dinars: ‘Funkasaurus’ Brodus Clay

Posted on January 15, 2012

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The Return of Brodus Clay, the debut of the Funkasaurus.

So after weeks of aniticipation and postponements, Brodus Clay finally re-debuted on WWE television this week. His vignettes showed glimpses of his squash run on Superstars last year, talking of him being a juggernaut and whatnot, and the expectation was that he would return as such. He would return as a typical monster heel who sells little and eventually loses to Rey Mysterio to emphasise what we already know about Rey (Hey Mordecai!). John Laurinaitis, the acting GM of Raw, would be seen on the phone week after week talking about how his debut would be postponed, and the general consensus was that when he eventually returned it would be due to frustration at the pushing back of his debut and he would go on a path of destruction that Santino Marella, Justin Gabriel, Ted DiBiase and Alex Riley would have been unable to avoid. So he finally returned on RAW this past Monday, and what did we get?

We got the Funkasaurus. From Planet Funk. Funkasaurus. He had 2 girls clad in skin tight red attire dancing like extras in an Austin Powers movie. He has Ernest Miller’s entrance theme (yes, it is still fantastic). He wears a bright red singlet and looks like some strange mix of Colt Cobana, Dusty Rhodes and a Hippopotamus. Since the return, it has gone one of two ways. Some people have been up in arms in fury, straining to say that any credibility Clay had has been ruined, that his career will never recover, that he should have just returned as the monster heel that he was, and much to the same. The rest of the people, myself included, are saying the opposite. The Funkasaurus is absolutely fantastic, in every possible way, and here is why.

First of all, lets deal with the obvious. This is a fun gimmick. I have watched his return at least a dozen times since Monday, and each time I have been grinning from ear to ear (and I’m notoriously grumpy). Everything about it, and particularly Clay’s portrayal of his character, just scream ‘fun’. It’s brash, it’s bright, it’s joyous. It’s everything that pro wrestling has been at times in the past, and has rarely been recently. There have been fun characters recently, or at least comedic characters, just look at Santino Marella and, to a degree, Zack Ryder. Santino’s act might have grown a bit stale, but it is still occasionally very funny, and Ryder fit the same bill for a while before he got himself so over that his in ring credibility needed to be rehabilitated. Which isn’t a problem with Brodus Clay. Here we have a character that is pure fun, but is also fantastically dangerous in the ring. Look at the debut above, the match vs. Curt Hawkins (don’t watch the Smackdown squash vs. Tyson Kidd. Waste). His trash talking is even fun. He is a fun character that absolutely dominates folk. It is such a refreshing change from dominating in ring characters that either snarl a lot or just smile a lot. In a strange way, Clay’s in ring moveset really compliments the Funkasaurus character, especially with him calling his spots. It’s impressive work by creative to have a dominant but fun babyface.

Another clever aspect of this character is the potential it has for creating sympathy for the monster face. Pro wrestling, in its purest form, has always been about the bad guy having the upper hand on the good guy, creating the desire from the fans to see the good guy get his revenge, The matches will generally have the bad guy beating the good guy down until the crowd gee the good guy up, and then towards a heavy hitting victory. A big problem however, is when your face character is physically imposing. Big Show will always have this problem, and many others before him have suffered from the same thing (Hey Ezekial Jackson). Wrestling fans can suspend their disbelief with the best of them, but we all know that if it was an actual fight, Brodus Clay would butcher most of the roster. By giving Clay this character, this fun filled joyful character, it creates the possibility for sympathy. Everyone loves a big guy dancing, but everyone knows that big guys dancing have a heck of a lot of vulnerability. So when Brodus is getting beat down by Cody Rhodes, crowds will be getting behind Brodus, as opposed to going ‘how is that little bloke beating down that hippo?’.

The gimmick isn’t just good news for Brodus Clay, it is also very good potential news for WWE. The merchandise possibilities for this character are endless, due to the brilliant cross appeal of the Funkasaurus. Adults will love him or hate him, because we love and hate everything, but kids are going to go ape-shit eventually for the big ol’ Funkasaurus, and when a kid goes ape-shit it generally means they have to buy something to display their ape-shittery. The Funkasaurus is going to shift a lot of merchandise.

To be honest, I can’t think of many downpoints to the Funkasaurus. Heck, the only one that comes to my mind straight ahead is that I can’t imagine any feud he could be in, because who could possibly have a gripe with the Funkasaurus? Anyway, before you start griping about how this has ruined Brodus Clay’s career, just think about it properly, and just ENJOY IT. Because if you can’t enjoy the Funkasaurus, I don’t know what you can enjoy.

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