Remakeover / Repackage: Apollo Crews - Too Easy to Not Push | Smark Out Moment

Remakeover / Repackage: Apollo Crews - Too Easy to Not Push

Posted by Greg Coleman Monday, December 10, 2018
Welcome to REMAKEOVER/REPACKAGE, where we take a wrestler that is struggling and give them a change of character in an attempt to turn their career around. Something isn't working, so they need to be tweaked, whether it be their look, a heel or face turn, a new name or even scrapping everything and starting back at the drawing board.

Talented yet Overlooked

When Apollo Crews arrived in NXT, he appeared to have all of the tools to be a major star in the future. However, from the time Crews debuted on the main roster on Monday Night Raw in April 2016, it looked and felt like there was no plan on what to do with him and how to utilize him.

Apollo Crews would head to SmackDown as a part of the draft in the summer of 2016. His run on the blue brand was largely uneventful, outside of his famous arm wrestling match with Cesaro during an epic food fight.

Crews would return to Raw in April 2017 as a part of the Superstar Shake-up. Back on Raw, Crews would eventually join Titus O'Neil to form Titus Worldwide. The team peaked with a few tag team title matches against The Bar, but they were unsuccessful in capturing the gold. Recently, Apollo Crews decided to part ways from Titus O'Neil and Titus Worldwide continuing his pursuit of success as a singles competitor.

Apollo Crews is a rare athlete and one that I believe if utilized differently, could be a much bigger star than he already is and enjoy some championship success. Here are some things WWE could do to improve Apollo Crews and get the most out of his skills and character:

Return to SmackDown Live: 

As I detailed above, Apollo's previous run on SmackDown was less than memorable. With Daniel Bryan recently turning heel, there is a noticeable dearth of babyface talent on the blue brand.

Apollo Crews would help to bolster the babyface roster on SmackDown Live while giving him the opportunity to work with some of the great talent available on SmackDown Live such as Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, The Miz, and Andrade "Cien" Almas. SmackDown Live is known as The Land of Opportunity and no one could use an opportunity to prove what he can do more at this point than Apollo Crews.

He may not even need a full on makeover or repackaging, but just a change of scenery.

Embrace the Nation...Not that Nation

Before Apollo Crews arrived in WWE, he was known as Uhaa Nation. If you go back and watch any clips or highlights from Uhaa Nation you would notice that he is a tad more expressive in-ring than Apollo Crews is. When he would hit a big move he would sometimes yell the phrase "Too Easy".

Apollo Crews is a rare combination of speed, agility, athleticism, and power that you won't find in anyone else on the WWE roster. Apollo should embrace that fact that he is incredibly gifted and can do things in the ring that no one else can do and talk a little trash. I believe that more Too Easy and less smiling will add a much needed edge to Crews' character. 

He may not necessarily have to turn heel to accomplish this but he should definitely add some more intensity to his in-ring work and promos. He can talk about how he got sick and tired of seeing guys who don't have his talents move up the ranks and that now he's not going to ask nicely for things he's want anymore instead he's going to go out and take them and it's going to be "too easy" to take them because no one can match my skills and talent.

Turn heel and form a tag team with Bobby Lashley:

The smiling strongman act clearly hasn't paid dividends for Apollo Crews as he may have hoped it would. At this point, he's been on the main roster for a couple of years and has been relegated to the bottom of the card for the most part. In my opinion, Crews started out in a hole because WWE Creative didn't have a vision for him when he was called up and this is a trend that has continued. 

Another wrestler on the Raw side that fits applies to is Bobby Lashley. Lashley made his return to WWE after a 10 year absence the Raw after WrestleMania this year. It appears there was no plan or vision for his return the same way it appeared that there was no plan or vision for Crews' Raw debut.  Lashley's run thus far as has been underwhelming to say the least. He had a dreadful feud with Sami Zayn that included ridiculous skits about his sisters and culminated in a dud of match at Money in the Bank. The highlight of his current tenure was a victory of Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules. The air went out of that balloon the next night when Reigns would get the win back against Lashley but this time in a #1 Contender's Match for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Lashley has recently turned heel and has been given a manager/hype man in the form of 205 Live star Lio Rush.

Future Raw Tag Team Champions

Like Lashley, Crews could be benefit from Rush's services as a mouthpiece and would allow Apollo to do what he does best which is wrestle. The Raw tag team division is virtually nonexistent  and could benefit from a new tag team. This would be great for both men as it would give them something legitimate to focus on and the two of them together would make for an imposing tag team that would be great heel tag team champions.

Apollo Crews could go on a brief losing streak and after each loss he would be seen interacting with Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush where they tell him the nice guy act only gets you so far and Lio promises Apollo that he could take him to levels Titus couldn't even dream of. Finally after another loss, Crews would attack his opponent viciously to the approval of Lashley and Rush watching in the back. The next week, Lio Rush would announce that he will now be working with the future of tag team division and Crews comes out in sunglasses similar to Lashley. WWE could play up the history of African American tag teams in wrestling history such as Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas, Doom, and Harlem Heat and highlight how this team has the potential to surpass all that those great teams accomplished.

Return to NXT

There have been rumors that NXT may change from being a developmental brand to just being another brand under the WWE umbrella in the future. This means that talent from NXT that heads to Raw or SmackDown Live won't be considered as being called up but simply switching brands the way a talent is considered that goes from Raw to SmackDown Live during a Superstar Shakeup and vice versa. 

More importantly, this will mean talent that goes to NXT from either RAW or SmackDown Live will not be viewed as getting demoted but switching to the 3rd brand of NXT. I can't think of a wrestler on either roster that will benefit from a return to NXT more than Apollo Crews. Crews would get the opportunity to become a major player on NXT while highlighting his in-ring talent.
NXT has changed since Apollo Crews was last there and one of the biggest changes is the addition of the North American Title. Crews could be in a featured spot as a champion without having to be NXT Champion and this could be a great way for him to prove what he could do as a champion that could help build confidence that he could perform well in that position on Raw or SmackDown Live. 

One of Apollo Crews' best friends in real life is the current NXT North American Champion Ricochet, who is currently involved in an angle with The Undisputed Era.

A storyline could be written that Ricochet needs a tag team partner to even the odds against Adam Cole and Roderick Strong and Crews turns out to be the backup he needs. Another storyline could be Apollo returning to NXT and turning on Ricochet to feud over the North American Title because he's jealous at the success Ricochet has had on NXT since Crews never got the opportunity to reach those heights.

Two of the best athletes in all of WWE
I hope you all enjoyed reading this and I would love to hear your thoughts, so tell me how you think WWE could better utilize Apollo Crews in the comments below!

Greg Coleman is a long-time pro wrestling fan who aspires to be a wrestling writer. Greg is a frequent Smark Remark and Triple Threat contributor on Smark Out Moment You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.


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