The Alpha Academy story is excellent wrestling storytelling

Chad Gable, Otis, Maxxine Dupri, and Akira Tozawa are all set to get over huge as this angle continues.
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Storytelling is one of the main elements of successful professional wrestling. Amazing matches are one thing, but the development of characters that fans care about is another aspect of enjoyment for many. WWE is slowly rebuilding its ability to tell impactful stories, and it has one of the best going on right this moment with the Alpha Academy angle. Chad Gable, Otis, Maxxine Dupri, and Akira Tozawa have the fans holding their breath each week. The fans are ready to explode when this huge payoff comes.

Everyone knew that Chad Gable was a special talent and he would succeed as a top babyface if the opportunity ever came. But what has happened is that Gable’s most important run has come as a heel. Better yet, it comes at a time when his contract is set to expire giving him leverage rarely seen in an industry like wrestling. Gable continues to channel Kurt Angle to become one of the most hated men on the roster. Running down Otis, Dupri and Tozawa every week with reminders of the lowest points of their careers is nasty work. And that work is working to get everyone aligned against him.

What it has also done is make Dupri, Otis and Tozawa even bigger fan favorites, after years of simply being side characters. Listen to the reaction Tozawa received for briefly standing up to Gable. Dupri continues to get the same response. Just months ago, fans were heckling her because her in-ring skills weren’t developing.

Then there’s Otis. A few years ago, the angle between Mandy Rose and Otis had fans cheering for him, but it was more because Vince McMahon saw him as a joke. And he was booked as a joke, losing the Money in the Bank briefcase to The Miz without much fanfare. But this turnaround completely trumps the response he saw in early 2020. The moment he turns his anger toward Gable the roof of the building will explode. Will this turn him into a massive babyface? Perhaps for a short term, as there’s no telling where he fits on the roster as a singles performer. But it is a big payoff for a story that has taken its time to develop. And in taking its time, everyone involved is getting over with the crowd.

This is exactly the path WWE should take to increase the number of stars on its roster. Each week it seems like a new performer’s contract is expiring and everyone will not get new contracts. Only through effective storytelling and in-ring performances can the promotion refill its coffers. The Alpha Academy angle is giving the company just that with four names who needed the boost. Here’s to hoping that momentum pays off for something in both the short and long term as everyone involved is talented enough to turn this into an inflection point for their careers.