WWE is in the midst of a youth movement. Their farm system NXT has been seen as a huge success. Young wrestlers (WWE likes to use the term ‘superstars’) are now more prepared than ever to take the next step and be on the main roster.
Roman Reigns is a product of NXT and is a member of the famed Anoa’i family, which includes The Rock, Rikishi, Yokozuna and over a dozen other former and current wrestlers. WWE had every reason to strap a rocket to him and push him to the top.
They added him to a stable called ‘The Shield’ with two other wrestlers that had a lot of experience in the indies, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The group has long since been dismantled, yet Reigns still stuck in the same character.
I’m a self-confessed vintage toy nerd. I collect vintage wrestling action figures from the 80’s & 90’s. I started purchasing some vintage toys out of nostalgia. Well, WWE and Mattel sucked me into their new stuff. I now buy a few figures a month.
WWE Elite Series 30, Elite Series 31 were both home runs (Elite Series 32…not so much). I mostly skipped Elite 32 (only purchased Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio) because I knew Elite 33 would be crazy awesome. They knocked a few of these figures out of the park. The Mattel design team did some great work.
The WWE Superstars included in Elite 33 are X-Pac (Flashback), Junkyard Dog (Flashback), Batista (aka Bluetista), Cesaro, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
Here are some pictures and a review of which accessories each figure will come with.
WWE hasn’t had much luck recently debuting characters after a lengthy series of vignettes. The string of recent failures can be traced back to Brodus Clay’s re-debut as the Funkasaurus, the laughable ‘Lord Tensai’ debut and let’s not forget Fandango’s debut (his entrance music was more ‘over’ than him). It might be a bit too early to label Bo Dallas and Adam Rose as busts, but it has been months and they have yet to gain traction.
Yes, there have been some successes, with The Wyatt Family being the biggest, but it isn’t always the performers’ fault.
Have vignettes lost their appeal? Will The New Day continue the string of failures?