Bray Wyatt, Jon Moxley, and Effective Character Changes Throughout History - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Christopher King, Greg Coleman, and Robert DeFelice will be giving their thoughts on the importance of character changes in pro wrestling!

A change in character is the ultimate difference in the world of professional wrestling. Character changes can take a low-level guy and make him a main eventer overnight. Character changes can also ruin certain performers. In this week's edition, we will talk about character changes throughout history while focusing on two major character changes that are happening right before our eyes. Let's not waste any more time, let's discuss...

Question 1: A new vignette has surfaced on the internet where the former Dean Ambrose is seen returning to his Jon Moxley character. Are you excited for this change? How effective do you think this change will be?

COLEMAN: I’m extremely excited for the return to Moxley! From what I’ve heard, he was one of the hardest hitting wrestlers on the indies so him returning to that style in a new promotion will be great. Given that I’ve always felt the Lunatic Fringe character in WWE was always half-baked, a full-blown Mox run in AEW, Impact, or ROH would be great for the former Dean Ambrose. It could even facilitate the character coming back to WWE one day.

KING: I have only watched his promos in the past as Moxley, This 3-minute video has more exciting than the last several years of his WWE run. The rumors are he will be either returning to WWE and it was a HUGE work or he's headed to AEW. I feel like if he tries to use this gimmick in WWE it will be horrible like their rendition of Matt Hardy's Woken character.

DeFELICE: Truthfully, I only saw one Jon Moxley match while he was on the independents. It was an I Quit Match with Jimmy Jacobs. Even in the brief time watching him, you could tell he was special. For whatever reason, once he broke away from The Shield, Dean Ambrose was never really able to tap into that same level of energy.

Upon learning of his return, I went back and watched some old Jon Moxley matches. The style was clearly much more violent but there was a level of wrestling that you didn't necessarily see from the Dean Ambrose character as they were so dead set on making him a zany, lunatic character. I am excited to see where he goes. Regardless of where it is, he will make a gigantic splash

Question 2: Let's talk about the Firefly Fun House. What do you think of this new direction for Bray Wyatt? Do you find this more or less effective than the traditional Bray Wyatt promotional material?

DeFELICE: I'm very lenient with Bray Wyatt. I truly believe that he can be a great, legendary character. That being said, regarding this new gimmick, I don't like it. I simply don't feel that a former WWE Champion should have to go through so many gimmicks. Yes, you can make the argument that The Undertaker went through a lot of phases in his career, but those were largely rooted in the same character that was sure of its direction.

COLEMAN: I’m not a fan. Bray’s character was great as is and the Wyatt Family was equally great in their initial iteration. There is no need to go with this Split-style persona for Bray Wyatt. His character was never the issue, it was the lack of faith the higher-ups had in the character. Would Bray need to be repackaged if he wasn’t a transitional champion the only time he won it and lost to Matt Hardy by being thrown into a lake? Bray should get the band back together and add a legit Sister Abigail in the form of a women’s wrestler and go from there. I can do without demented Mr. Rogers.

KING: It's freaking awesome! I love it, I agree that his character was great when it first debuted, however, the fact that he has not won any major feud he was involved in has ruined the aura behind his character. If they are going to give him some decent booking and storylines and an actual direction for God sakes this could work!

Question 3: Throughout history, we have seen many characters undergo evolutions to stay current or to better their success. What, in your opinion, is the most successful character change of all time?

KING: I would like to say Undertaker but that's too obvious. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Kane, from the Big Red Machine to X-Pac's best friend, Tormented and deranged unmasked Kane was awesome too! But I also thoroughly enjoyed the corporate Kane character I felt like it meshed well with his real-life persona. 2015 Kane as Jekyll and Hyde was interesting to watch but I knew it wouldn't last. Randy Orton comes to mind as well.

DeFELICE: I think undoubtedly, you have to say Triple H's transformation from Hunter Hearst Helmsley into the ass-kicking machine that we grew to know.

As Hunter Hearst Helmsley, he was seen on the same level as Spark Plug Bob Holly and Henry O. Godwinn. It is sometimes fun to watch that era of his career and see him begging off and backing away from Superstars that never made a fraction of the impact that he would go on to make. Triple H is one of the greatest of all time and that's only because of his ability to adapt and stay the course in the face of political issues. I definitely think my fandom would have taken a hit without the Triple H character.

COLEMAN: Great question. I believe there is really only one answer to this, and that’s the Undertaker. Mean Mark Callous was a good big man worker. The Undertaker is a wrestling icon and perhaps the greatest character in pro wrestling history. Honorable mention to Raven from Scotty Flamingo and Bray from Husky Harris.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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