WWE must make sure Uncle Howdy fits in with today's product

WWE continues its sports-based presentation making many wonder where Uncle Howdy fits in today's main roster shows.
Bo Dallas_April.jpg
Bo Dallas_April.jpg /

WWE is going all in on Bo Dallas’s eventual return as Uncle Howdy. There have been several teases to him on television, social media, and most recently a takeover of the WWE website. People are talking and looking forward to the debut that will seemingly come later this month. But, there’s a question about where this character and his potential band of misfits fit within today’s production. That’s a tough question to answer that is much more difficult than it seems. 

While some may deny it, WWE has taken a more “sports'' focused presentation of the product. While there are several aspects of sports entertainment still prevalent within WWE Raw and SmackDown, the shows are still doing several things right to look more like a special sporting event each night. There’s more believablity behind the product on a nightly basis, without all the incessant shenanigans that made the performers look like idiots each week. 

So where does a character based on superpowers and spooky visuals fit into this presentation? For most, the answer is that they don’t. Take Bray Wyatt’s final run with WWE as an example. It was great to see him back on television, but even though the show hadn’t shifted completely as it has today, the presentation of Wyatt stood out like a sore thumb. The Pitch Black  match he had with LA Knight did not fit into what WWE was doing and thankfully Knight didn’t come out harmed as a character. It didn’t work and it’s OK to point that out. 

This is why it’s so important for WWE to get this presentation of Uncle Howdy correct. Expect a shift in the focus on the character. Instead of it being all about light tricks and jump scares, this character should be much more grounded in the approach. The character shouldn’t lean into horror, presenting the idea that the other wrestlers are afraid of him - that doesn’t fit today. In some ways, there could be a comparison to what WWE attempted to do with The Final Testament. That group was built with superstars that were pushed out of the company, looking to get revenge for being discarded. If Uncle Howdy and his crew is composed of similar individuals, that direction is worth a look - especially since many of these figures have much more charisma than those in the Final Testament. 

Everyone is looking forward to seeing Uncle Howdy when he finally makes his return to television. The reaction will be huge because of the tragedy that’s hit that family. But WWE must have a solid plan for this character long term to make sure the group fits in today’s presentation of the product or it is doomed to fail once again.