WWE has never used Bobby Roode to his fullest potential

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 19: Bobby Roode attends WWE Live AccorHotels Arena Popb Paris Bercy on May 19, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 19: Bobby Roode attends WWE Live AccorHotels Arena Popb Paris Bercy on May 19, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images) /

Bobby Roode has had a 24-year-long pro wrestling career. He debuted in the business in 1998 and since then has amassed quite a few matches in the squared circle (that’s putting it mildly). Today I’ll be taking a look at how despite the fact that he’s so experienced, WWE has never used Bobby Roode to his fullest potential.

The last time we saw Bobby Roode, he had essentially turned ‘face.’ Of course, this wasn’t in the narrative per se, but it was understood because he and Dolph Ziegler had just had a run-in with heels, Omos, and MVP on Raw.

Then, we didn’t see Ziegler or Roode for quite some time. This incident was the first time we had seen the duo since their recent run in NXT. And now on Monday’s episode of Raw, we saw Dolph return—still very much in that ‘face’ personification, only this time without the Glorious Bobby Roode.

Conspicuous by his absence? I’d say yes. What is WWE’s intention with Bobby Roode moving forward? A character change? Yet another run on NXT? Or is it done for the 46-year-old? I sure hope not…especially for this man that WWE superstar, Sheamus, once called  “a massive asset to WWE” on an episode of Celtic Warrior Workouts.

When he first came back to the realm of WWE he told Triple H that he “wanted to work.” In pro wrestling terms that means he wanted to be there, whether mid-card or in whatever capacity. He wanted to wrestle and work in whatever capacity he could be used.

Well, WWE creative saw fit to use him often in underwhelming ways…and all this from a pro wrestler that I feel had shades and still does have shades of a Paul Orndorff “Mr. Wonderful” meets Bret Hart, if you could kind of see that….

He had the potential to be used in so many more ways than he was used. Shades of this were shown in his feud with Randy Orton and his runs in NXT and of course, his absolutely impressive 12-year run at TNA/Impact Wrestling, where as far as I’m concerned, he was and is royalty.

Don’t forget that this man was even before his time at TNA, within the WWE. According to Sheamus, he was being talked about back in FCW, the farm league of WWE, if you will. This was all the way back in 2007 as per Sheamus.

Sheamus of course, along with so many other current WWE superstars, was in FCW…the developmental territory of WWE before NXT and after Ohio Valley Wrestling. But as far as Bobby Roode was concerned, they didn’t know what to do with him then though; despite having him wrestle a bunch of dark matches, they had nothing for him,  so he left and made quite the name for himself in TNA.

And what of his time in TNA? He is a six-time world tag team champion in TNA (5 times with James Storm—the two of them known as Beer Money, and once with Austin Aries). He was also a two-time World Heavyweight Champion in that company.

When he left TNA in 2016 he went into if it was hard to leave that company that had given him so much, and he also talked about his new pro wrestling platform at the time: NXT, and how he felt about his opportunity in the land of WWE. Here’s some of what he had to say at the time:

"“…I don’t really have a negative thing to say about that company. I was treated extremely well there for 12 years and financially I was taken care of. Honestly, it was just time for me to go. I never really got into this industry for the money although it’s nice. I’ve been able to make a career and support my family for the last 12 years doing what I love to do. But that was just it…The last two years of that company, I didn’t love it any more. I started to lose my passion which was concerning to me. I didn’t like being away. I didn’t like performing. TNA became a place where it was just a television product and I got into this business to perform and be on the road. There was a time in that company where you could do that. You could go on the road and do live events. I’ve always been about learning…No matter how long I’ve been in the business or where I’ve been in a company, I’ve always wanted to continue to learn. During those times in TNA when we were on the road doing live events, I would always ride with guys like Bully Ray or Kurt Angle, Christian at the time. Guys like that and sit under the learning tree and learn from these guys…It got to a point those last two years there in TNA that we literally just went and did television and it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I had 12 great years and I just felt like at my age and at my stage in my career I wanted a different opportunity and that’s all I wanted. My first conversation with WWE was just that. I want opportunity and they’ve given me the opportunity and here I am today.”via 411mania.com (Transcription) – The Sporting News (source)"

He subsequently had a phenomenal run in NXT…epic matches, the caliber of which we had seen in TNA. And yes, on the main roster in WWE he has had success in the tag team division—winning the Raw Tag Championships twice and once on SmackDown, but it was his US Championship run that I want to draw the most amount of attention to…

This time, of course, he would be pitted against one of the very best to ever do it, and the matches they would have, the promos they would cut on each other and the overall feud itself was a masterpiece altogether and showed in my eyes, the potential that Bobby Roode had and still has.

I mean as far as the feud itself, it was the perfect storm…Randy hadn’t had that particular championship in 16 years, and it seemed in the storyline at least, that he wanted it bad, but it so happened to be in the very capable clutches of one Bobby Roode. I mean it doesn’t get any more classic and old-school pro wrestling than that, and both men pulled it off perfectly.

Roode has the athletics, the look, and the conviction to pull off any storyline. He just needs to be given the chance, or perhaps at this point, we should be saying he should have been given the chance, to battle for the top WWE championship. I believe he most certainly would have been able to pull it off, no matter who was in that ring against him.

The match at Fastlane 2018 between Roode and Orton was a literal masterpiece, and yeah Roode came out the loser in the match, but he didn’t at all lose in my heart; he won in the end.

I had already been a fan—since his early days in TNA—but it was during that feud that I started to have some hope. If Roode could pull off a great storyline with the likes of Randy Orton of all people, what else was left to do but challenge for the top prize in WWE?

But of course, like always, WWE creative dropped the ball. Of course!

I mean yes, he’s 46, but he is in epic shape and can still have very aggressive technical matches, so is there a little more time for this guy to keep at it? To my estimation, absolutely. WWE just needs to let him go out there…let him do what he was doing back in TNA and in NXT, and a little during that aforementioned feud with Randy.

Next. Paige has an important legacy for WWE and all wrestling. dark

They have had a gem in Bobby Roode and right in their own stable…a perfect stallion unused to his fullest potential and that is a travesty worth addressing. For now, all we can do is hope that he gets his chance as we wait to see what storylines—if any—he is given and in what capacity he is further used. Fingers crossed Bobby Roode fans.