Did WWE Call Apollo Crews Up Too Soon?


Apollo Crews’ character already seems stale, but he has the potential to be the superstar of the future.

There’s been a lot of character flops in the WWE over the past few years but none have been as upsetting as Apollo Crews’ debut run on the main roster.

The WWE Superstar barely had a go in the company’s developmental system, NXT, so it was a big surprise when he debuted on Monday Night RAW the night after Wrestlemania 32. It was a pleasant one, but definitely a shocking one. Crews had somewhat proven himself in the ring in NXT – I mean, sure he could do some flippy shit and look strong – but he never had a truly outstanding match.

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Even more of an issue was that Crews never had a powerful moment on the mic. He showed the potential to be flexible with his character. He often came off as a straight-forward, “eat your vitamins and do your homework!” baby face, but there were moments where he showed opportunity to transform into a cunningly cocky heel – one moment stands out when he bumped into Finn Balor backstage during NXT and gave the champion a confident smile while looking on at his title.

That said, any angle Crews began to carve for himself ultimately went nowhere or was directed a different direction.

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Now on the main roster, Crews has been brushed aside into a feud with the Social Outcasts – one step away from officially becoming one himself. Crews debuted with a few strong matches, and while WWE’s intention seemed to be making him look stronger by taking out four men at once, it all boiled down into a shoulder-shrug of a debut month for Crews.

The truly upsetting part about Crews’ soured momentum is his potential. Crews has the makings to become a top WWE star. He’s got the looks, the good-boy/can-do attitude, and the (insane) physical ability. With a black Superstar of his caliber, Crews offered a chance for progression and history. The WWE has never had a black World Heavyweight Champion (outside of The Rock) and the longer that stat line stretches, the more embarrassing it gets for a company still trying to push into an inclusive era with the introduction of the Women’s Championship.

A few years of build and Crews could very well be that first black world champion and even a mainstream superstar with the golden-boy smile and attitude he portrays. Imagining him on talk shows and proudly championing a WWE title around the media isn’t a far-off scenario. But instead, Crews hasn’t even been on the first two pay-per-views since his debut in early April. In fact, Crews wasn’t even mentioned during Extreme Rules on Sunday.

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Of course, there’s a lot of competition within the WWE roster and plenty of superstars to fill in roles, but it’s hard to see why Crews isn’t a higher priority since showing up on Monday Night RAW than he is right now. Hopefully, his story hits a turning point sometime before SummerSlam, and judging by the all that Crews could potentially offer both inside the ring and out, there’s a lot of stock WWE letting dangle on the line.