Every Rose has it’s Thorn- How do you solve a problem like Adam Rose?

By Tom Mimnagh - @tommimnagh

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Many avid viewers of WWE’s currently white-hot developmental league, NXT, will have noticed the return of one of its former graduates to the fold in the form of Adam Rose.

Many avid viewers of WWE’s currently white-hot developmental league, NXT, will have noticed the return of one of its former graduates to the fold in the form of Adam Rose. Rose had toiled in various incarnations of developmental in a number of guises including the well remembered Leo Kruger gimmick before settling on the party loving Adam Rose gimmick. With his ‘Rosebuds’ in tow, his entrances quickly became the stuff of legend in just a few weeks at Full Sail, and he amassed a cult following in a matter of weeks, showing a fun in-ring style, and an adaptability that perhaps wasn’t quite so obvious in his previous characters. In fact, he impressed so much; it was less than a month before vignettes ran advertising his debut on the main roster. Sadly, that’s where it all started to go wrong for Adam Rose.

There were always going to be issues with calling up a character to the main roster so briefly after debuting. Essentially, from his time in NXT all we as an audience knew about Rose was he loved to party, and had a group of followers in wacky guises who accompanied him to the ring, and he travelled on a bus named the ‘exotic express’. I can’t speak to anyone else’s opinion, but for me that seems like a severely underdeveloped character, one who needed fleshing out before going in front of huge crowds who expect more. I’m sure more could have been done with Rose once he reached the main roster, but it wasn’t, and his single-dimensioned persona simply didn’t connect with the audiences as intended.

Perhaps the high point was in London, where for the purposes of sending the crowd home happy Rose (confusingly pretending to be English) and Wade Barrett had a confrontation with Triple H after Raw went off the air, to the delight of the assembled masses, with several thousand people singing Rose’s theme tune along with him. I’m glad the character had that high point, because it is easy to feel that with more development, more depth, and a better produced entrance (the full WWE main roster stages needed way more Rosebuds to fill out the space and look as impressive as it did at Full Sail), Rose could have gotten over with the fans in a big way.

Sadly it was not be, and after about a year operating as a jobber-to-the-stars, Rose is back where he started NXT, only this time his gimmick is a more heel-ish one, obsessed with ruining everyone else’s party. A party pooper if you will. Gone are the outlandish robes, the rosebuds, and any faint whiff of an actual character. While it’s a nice idea in theory, I can’t see it translating any better to the main roster than his previous work. So what do you do with Adam Rose? How do you rehabilitate him enough to be able to get over with the fans on a larger scale? Well for me, there is only one way. Re-enter Leo Kruger.

Leo Kruger as a character might have only been marginally more well developed than Rose, but it allowed for a viciousness, an unsettled mercenary unpredictability that Rose lacks. He still could do with improve his in-ring work, but a decent shift in his character to something more serious, menacing, and threatening would do him the world of good. I’m not suggesting that do some sort of weird amnesia angle, or the split personality concept (fun as I imagine that might be), but there are certainly ways for Rose to go through a transformation to his darker alter ego. For Pete’s sake, One Man Gang, a large white man from Detroit, became an African Prince through a quick ceremony in a car park, surely Rose can undergo a much more realistic metamorphosis and get away with it. I’d even have him form some sort of mercenary group. Start rounding up some of the wayward superstars in NXT into an assault faction. (Yes I’m aware that reeks of a modern-day Truth Commission, and of course it would need to be handled in a better fashion, but it certainly has potential). Whatever way you slice it, Adam Rose is a character that has no future, and while Kruger may suffer a similar fate, surely they need to try a new approach with Rose, or risk him being consigned to the scrap heap, despite arguably being a very decent mind card performer, something the main roster is crying out for.

So here’s hoping the party is truly over, and we say ‘’ta-ta’ to Adam Rose, The Rosebuds, The Exotic Express, and herald the resurrection of the Kruger. Or just a new fresh gimmick, either way do something with Adam Rose, WWE.

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