Bo Dallas has had an up and down ride in terms of support from the WWE from the outside looking in. Long before we were told to “BO-Lieve” in him, he was given a push to be a part of the Royal Rumble and would eliminate Wade Barrett who at the time was Intercontinental Champion. He would have a match or two with Barrett and quickly have his move to main roster taken away and he was back to NXT.
When returning to NXT, Dallas would get a character makeover, as that seemed to be the main issue when he was called up to the main roster that he came off as a very generic “babyface” character. They would end up creating an over the top “babyface” character that is loosely based on Justin Bieber in my mind. Bo would go on to capture the NXT Title and have the longest reign with that championship as he worked on creating this character along the way.
It got over huge with the NXT crowd and made Bo the biggest “heel” character they have had at NXT which is an environment where it is pretty hard for anyone to get over in that fashion, as the NXT crowd seems to just embrace what they like regardless of how it is presented. They even love to hate Bo to an extent and he did have his “Bo-lievers” in the NXT crowd. He would continue to amp up the character and become a big hit with the gimmick.
Prior to being called up to the main roster the Bo Dallas character has even been expanded on to an even more over the top character that does not have as close a ties to Justin Bieber and is more just an over top insincere guy. Maybe more of phony guy than anything, even like a Tim Tebow where he is saying all good things but no one is buying it.
Since his return to the main roster Bo is undefeated and has started a steak that has been labelled with the Bo Dallas tag of being “9-Bo” instead of just plan old 9-0. This is almost something closely resembling the R.D Evans streak in Ring of Honor, in which Evans totals are greatly exaggerated and made as a comedic reference to the famous Goldberg streak in WCW.
The initial response to Bo was not all that positive from crowds despite his over the top antics which have included doing a victory lap around the ring. A promo that unintended, but really not, bashes something to do with the town they are in. While offering some inspiration to the opponent he has just defeated and usually a hardy handshake to wish him well.
There were rumblings that not just the fans, but behind the scenes Vince McMahon himself was not a “Bo-Liever” in this character. A lot of the NXT talent has had their struggles with a list that would include Emma, Xavier Woods, Paige and Adam Rose at getting “over” on the main roster. Bo seemed to be the latest victim of this problem for WWE. However, in recent weeks things have started to turn around and perhaps the most shocking evidence of how much was on the pre-show to last night’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, where Dallas appeared unannounced. He would come out and interrupted Daniel Bryan of all people.
Daniel would suggest that Bo was acting like a “BO-Ner “and suggested that “Bo-Leave” after he had offered Bryan encouragement on his recovery from his neck injury. I know a Vince McMahon line when I see it and that “Bo-Ner” line screams Vince. So is this a sign that he is on board with the character? Maybe, it sure was although an awkward spot to have Bo in terms of Daniel Bryan’s serious news about his injury , it does suggest WWE wanted to get Bo Dallas more “over” with the interaction with Daniel Bryan.
I have come to learn that Bo is without question, a character that fans love to hate, or just plain old hate. There is not a lot of in between with his character and in modern wrestling that is a good thing. If you go by the John Cena philosophy to being “over” it is not what a crowd does it is just if react at all. Based on these terms Bo is being successful.
Ever since the start of the gimmick in NXT I have been a huge fan of it. Is this something that makes Bo Dallas a big star and future champion? Probably not, but it is a great mid-card gimmick for a long run with a U.S or Intercontinental Championship down the line. In addition, when you consider the main event scene is getting pretty crowed these days anyway, coming out of last night.
He may not be as “over” as his real life brother Bray Wyatt is, but he has carved out his own place in the WWE after a long road to get here.