Since Roman Reigns was pushed as a babyface, there probably hasn’t been a superstar shoved father down fans’ throats than Austin Theory. WWE higher-ups seem determined to make Theory the company’s “next big thing”, but it doesn’t seem like he will ever reach that point.
In his most recent match defending his title at WWE Backlash, Theory was outshined by the two other competitors in the match Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed. Theory can’t even be the star of the show in the title matches he wins, because he has to go away with the fans.
Some say ever since joining WWE, Bronson Reed gets no reaction, but neither does Theory and he has been pushed much further than Reed so far in his career.
This year at Wrestlemania there was a real opportunity for Theory to pick up some momentum by facing one of the all-time greats, John Cena. You would think that using a cheap finish to the match to win versus a fan favorite would almost certainly make the fans really hate you, but that hasn’t been the case. If anything Theory lost momentum in the feud vs. Cena, because of how badly he got beat on the microphone before the match.
Every time Theory enters a match the fans aren’t rooting against Theory, they are just rooting for the opponent because they simply don’t care to see Austin Theory’s work. Additionally, in every promo Theory gets put on the microphone for it is an awkward crowd reaction, because he isn’t that captivating.
Looking farther back in history, Theory won Money in the Bank in 2022 after being added to the match by Adam Pearce just before the bell rang. Theory’s time with the briefcase resulted in him unprecedentedly cashing in on Seth Rollins for the United States Championship. Theory’s cash-in failed on Nov. 7, 2022, proving he was not ready to even be a mid-card champ at the time. Somewhere deep down WWE knows that you can’t build a main eventer that has zero connection with the fans.
Now seven months later, Theory is caught in a state of being stale, with the same cheap finishes and the same awkward promos week after week. Austin Theory does not seem ready for the spotlight anytime soon, and WWE’s resources could be better used pushing another heel that is way more charismatic.
Now on Smackdown, TV time is even more competitive than Raw and hotter acts will easily overtake the United States Champion’s time very quickly. Going forward, it seems like a far cry from Theory becoming a world champion or main eventer anytime soon.