Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

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Big Red Machine
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Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 8th, '22, 23:34

https://www.pwtorch.com/site/2022/08/08 ... ns-to-wwe/

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist (Twitter: @sr_torch)

August 8, 2022
Dexter Lumis is the latest former NXT wrester to return to WWE since Triple H took over as head of talent relations.

After A.J. Styles beat Miz in a No DQ match in the main event of Raw, Styles was shown looking into the crowd with concern as the police tackled somone near ringside. When the person stood up, the fans cheered as it was revealed to be Dexter Lumis. The announcers quietly asked if it was Lumis in the crowd, but it was difficult to hear them as they were acting like the appearance was off script.

WWE has posted footage of Lumis being arrested on their Instagram since Raw ended. Lumis was originally released from WWE back in April after being featured heavily in NXT in a storyline with Indi Hartwell. Lumis is the latest former NXT wrestler to return to WWE following Karrion Kross and Scarlett this past Friday on NXT and Dakota Kai at SummerSlam last month.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 8th, '22, 23:35

This is the one that I just don't get. What does Hunter see in this guy?
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by XIV » Aug 9th, '22, 06:18

Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 8th, '22, 23:35 This is the one that I just don't get. What does Hunter see in this guy?
If he's in the gimmick he used in NXT which is appears he is, he's a one trick situation, he's a stalker, who does some creepy shit and repeat. It's very one dimensional, which even if he was massively over, would only serve to sell tickets for maximum one angle because how many times are people going to be interested in this type of angle. It's not a well you can go to again an again and expect amazing results.

So in answer to your question, apart from a one shot angle, I have no idea.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 9th, '22, 13:46

I feel like he's very good at immersing himself into his character, at least that's what I feel the people see. Sooo...character work I guess.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 9th, '22, 17:51

XIV wrote: Aug 9th, '22, 06:18
Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 8th, '22, 23:35 This is the one that I just don't get. What does Hunter see in this guy?
If he's in the gimmick he used in NXT which is appears he is, he's a one trick situation, he's a stalker, who does some creepy shit and repeat. It's very one dimensional, which even if he was massively over, would only serve to sell tickets for maximum one angle because how many times are people going to be interested in this type of angle. It's not a well you can go to again an again and expect amazing results.

So in answer to your question, apart from a one shot angle, I have no idea.
That's exactly it.

I feel like modern wrestling (and, to a lesser extent modern wrestling fan culture) don't understand that some characters have a limited life-span before they need to change or go away, simply because of what they are.
Lumis (for the reasons XIV laid out above) and Orange Cassidy are examples of this, in that they are essentially just their gimmick or shtik, and if they don't evolve, people will (rightly) get tired of it.*

That said, I think there are actually more situations like this than people realize. Bayley, for example. You can't just repeat her character's NXT journey on the main roster, because the evolution of the character was a key part of that journey. Thus, when she got to the main roster, she either felt like she was regressing, or they took that aspect away, which made her bland until she became ineffective and they had to turn her heel.

Cult leader characters also have this issue. There are only so many times someone can be exposed as a false profit before 1) it gets boring, and 2) you stop caring about the poor people he/she is misleading because at this point those people are idiots for getting sucked in in the first place.
When I was doing my big fantasy booking and was booking Bray Wyatt as the cult leader, I had an outline for the storyline of his character:
1. Introduce the character- show why people would follow him.
2. Introduce the threat- show what makes him uniquely dangerous (and begin to introduce opposition)
3. Expose the selfishness- show the danger he represents to his followers that they are too blinded to see (and then introduce a more personal opposition)
4. Expose the the fraud (feuds/storylines that result in followers leaving him).

And at that point I realized that I didn't really have anything new to do with him. I could extend him for a little longer by moving a desperate person into his orbit, but unless I was going to have that person succeed, the relationship would have to end rather quickly, and even if I did have that person succeed, the inevitable result would be just repeating the same stories I had previously told, so the best thing to do would be to just write the character out at the end, and the lifecycle of the character would have been just two-and-a-half years.
And that's the sort of thing that it would be hard for a real promotion to do when you have a character who has been a main eventer and (hopefully) popular and critically lauded character, but both because you don't want to give up the money you'd be able to make running him as a zombie until people get sick of him and stop buying merch, and because you don't want others to reap the benefits of a character you built up.
I think really the only booker who has had the discipline to do that sort of thing in the modern era is Mike Quackenbush. I think territorial bookers had something of an understanding of it, but mostly with monster heels (who there wasn't much money to be made with them once they lost to Bruno/Lawler/whoever).

The "short shelf-life/selective use" character is a booking tool that is really underutilized in modern wrestling. wXw does it well in the ways that they'll bring back someone from their past for a quick run during which he/she will have an important interaction or story with a main roster character, and Gabe has done it a few times over the years (although I'm not certain how many of Gabe's were planned to be that way, especially with people who weren't in the "special guest/legend role"- I think Alex Shelley 2008 stuff with Jimmy Jacobs and possibly the use of Munenori Sawa to get the EVOLVE rules over in 2010 were, but I'm not sure how much of the "Corino comes in to help someone fight Homicide stuff" that happened over the years was intended to be him just coming in for that as opposed to him quitting after putting Homicide over but before his next program could start) but no one else really seems to do it.
The person who seems to have the best penchant for it (or at least something similar to it) is actually Tony Khan, but what Tony has shown feels more like an ability to pick to right outsider to bring in for a one-off to enhance a story between third parties than for the outsider himself/herself to be the one effecting one of the parties (Nick Gage coming in as a mercenary paid by MJF to get rid of Jericho being the best example).


I feel like Impact has done stuff along these lines in the current D'Amore era, but I haven't followed them enough to speak with any authority on that.




*(The reason I think parts of the AEW crowd in particular haven't gotten tired of OC is that they became indy fans in the era of streaming services and PWG-style shows where you can draw houses by just running once a month and flying in a bunch of indy names to do their shtick- whether that shtick is Orange Cassidy or Joey Ryan stuff, or it's Effy doing his thing, or Bullet Club doing their things, or the Lucha Bros. having their flippy matches, or someone like David Starr or Zack Sabre. Jr.or Will Ospreay or Timothy Thatcher, Gresham, or Ricochet or Sami Callihan or Janela having their matches. Take some of that, mix in whoever happened to be touring the US from New Japan at that time, maybe grab a Luchador who had been on LU or an up-and-comer creating name value for themselves like El Hijo del Vikingo or Barbaro Cavernario, mix and match some of the names, and you've got yourself a card, and streaming services/VOD make it easy for a new indy fan to gravitate towards your show because 1) you weren't doing stories so there was no background they had to know, and 2), most of the card was people they had seen before and had fun with, so they were fine having that same fun again, but slightly different, and spending their three hours that way instead of trying to keep up with storylines and taking chances on a card with people who they don't know in prominent positions).
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by XIV » Aug 10th, '22, 05:58

Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 9th, '22, 17:51
XIV wrote: Aug 9th, '22, 06:18
Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 8th, '22, 23:35 This is the one that I just don't get. What does Hunter see in this guy?
If he's in the gimmick he used in NXT which is appears he is, he's a one trick situation, he's a stalker, who does some creepy shit and repeat. It's very one dimensional, which even if he was massively over, would only serve to sell tickets for maximum one angle because how many times are people going to be interested in this type of angle. It's not a well you can go to again an again and expect amazing results.

So in answer to your question, apart from a one shot angle, I have no idea.
That's exactly it.

I feel like modern wrestling (and, to a lesser extent modern wrestling fan culture) don't understand that some characters have a limited life-span before they need to change or go away, simply because of what they are.
Lumis (for the reasons XIV laid out above) and Orange Cassidy are examples of this, in that they are essentially just their gimmick or shtik, and if they don't evolve, people will (rightly) get tired of it.*

That said, I think there are actually more situations like this than people realize. Bayley, for example. You can't just repeat her character's NXT journey on the main roster, because the evolution of the character was a key part of that journey. Thus, when she got to the main roster, she either felt like she was regressing, or they took that aspect away, which made her bland until she became ineffective and they had to turn her heel.

Cult leader characters also have this issue. There are only so many times someone can be exposed as a false profit before 1) it gets boring, and 2) you stop caring about the poor people he/she is misleading because at this point those people are idiots for getting sucked in in the first place.
When I was doing my big fantasy booking and was booking Bray Wyatt as the cult leader, I had an outline for the storyline of his character:
1. Introduce the character- show why people would follow him.
2. Introduce the threat- show what makes him uniquely dangerous (and begin to introduce opposition)
3. Expose the selfishness- show the danger he represents to his followers that they are too blinded to see (and then introduce a more personal opposition)
4. Expose the the fraud (feuds/storylines that result in followers leaving him).

And at that point I realized that I didn't really have anything new to do with him. I could extend him for a little longer by moving a desperate person into his orbit, but unless I was going to have that person succeed, the relationship would have to end rather quickly, and even if I did have that person succeed, the inevitable result would be just repeating the same stories I had previously told, so the best thing to do would be to just write the character out at the end, and the lifecycle of the character would have been just two-and-a-half years.
And that's the sort of thing that it would be hard for a real promotion to do when you have a character who has been a main eventer and (hopefully) popular and critically lauded character, but both because you don't want to give up the money you'd be able to make running him as a zombie until people get sick of him and stop buying merch, and because you don't want others to reap the benefits of a character you built up.
I think really the only booker who has had the discipline to do that sort of thing in the modern era is Mike Quackenbush. I think territorial bookers had something of an understanding of it, but mostly with monster heels (who there wasn't much money to be made with them once they lost to Bruno/Lawler/whoever).

The "short shelf-life/selective use" character is a booking tool that is really underutilized in modern wrestling. wXw does it well in the ways that they'll bring back someone from their past for a quick run during which he/she will have an important interaction or story with a main roster character, and Gabe has done it a few times over the years (although I'm not certain how many of Gabe's were planned to be that way, especially with people who weren't in the "special guest/legend role"- I think Alex Shelley 2008 stuff with Jimmy Jacobs and possibly the use of Munenori Sawa to get the EVOLVE rules over in 2010 were, but I'm not sure how much of the "Corino comes in to help someone fight Homicide stuff" that happened over the years was intended to be him just coming in for that as opposed to him quitting after putting Homicide over but before his next program could start) but no one else really seems to do it.
The person who seems to have the best penchant for it (or at least something similar to it) is actually Tony Khan, but what Tony has shown feels more like an ability to pick to right outsider to bring in for a one-off to enhance a story between third parties than for the outsider himself/herself to be the one effecting one of the parties (Nick Gage coming in as a mercenary paid by MJF to get rid of Jericho being the best example).


I feel like Impact has done stuff along these lines in the current D'Amore era, but I haven't followed them enough to speak with any authority on that.




*(The reason I think parts of the AEW crowd in particular haven't gotten tired of OC is that they became indy fans in the era of streaming services and PWG-style shows where you can draw houses by just running once a month and flying in a bunch of indy names to do their shtick- whether that shtick is Orange Cassidy or Joey Ryan stuff, or it's Effy doing his thing, or Bullet Club doing their things, or the Lucha Bros. having their flippy matches, or someone like David Starr or Zack Sabre. Jr.or Will Ospreay or Timothy Thatcher, Gresham, or Ricochet or Sami Callihan or Janela having their matches. Take some of that, mix in whoever happened to be touring the US from New Japan at that time, maybe grab a Luchador who had been on LU or an up-and-comer creating name value for themselves like El Hijo del Vikingo or Barbaro Cavernario, mix and match some of the names, and you've got yourself a card, and streaming services/VOD make it easy for a new indy fan to gravitate towards your show because 1) you weren't doing stories so there was no background they had to know, and 2), most of the card was people they had seen before and had fun with, so they were fine having that same fun again, but slightly different, and spending their three hours that way instead of trying to keep up with storylines and taking chances on a card with people who they don't know in prominent positions).
Territory wrestling and to a degree independent promotions always had better success because 80% of the roster had limited runs, so particularly people with one dimensional gimmicks still managed to get a career out of it because they'd do 6 months or so Florida and then go over to Mid-South for 12 weeks, then they'd sign for Crockett Promotions and there could be 2 or 3 years between runs in the same town, so by the time it came back around it was like "holy shit, this guy is back and now he's after that guy" it was fresh again and there was a few new faces for the angle to work with. With multi-year contracts, 1 dimensional gimmicks such as Lumis or as BRM said Orange Cassidy are found out.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 11th, '22, 09:25

XIV wrote: Aug 10th, '22, 05:58

Territory wrestling and to a degree independent promotions always had better success because 80% of the roster had limited runs, so particularly people with one dimensional gimmicks still managed to get a career out of it because they'd do 6 months or so Florida and then go over to Mid-South for 12 weeks, then they'd sign for Crockett Promotions and there could be 2 or 3 years between runs in the same town, so by the time it came back around it was like "holy shit, this guy is back and now he's after that guy" it was fresh again and there was a few new faces for the angle to work with. With multi-year contracts, 1 dimensional gimmicks such as Lumis or as BRM said Orange Cassidy are found out.
I'd never actually thought of that similarity before.


To my knowledge, the only promotion to give contracts that weren't that long was ROH in the Sinclair Era, and that was only to guys they didn't view as real centerpieces, and even then, it often felt like half of the reason for doing that was so they could tell us that Silas Young or Rhett Titus has "signed a new contract with ROH!" every nine months or so.

I think Tony Khan had Matt Cardona in on a trial-run for a month or two, but I don't remember if there was an actual contract there.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by XIV » Aug 11th, '22, 13:35

Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 11th, '22, 09:25
XIV wrote: Aug 10th, '22, 05:58

Territory wrestling and to a degree independent promotions always had better success because 80% of the roster had limited runs, so particularly people with one dimensional gimmicks still managed to get a career out of it because they'd do 6 months or so Florida and then go over to Mid-South for 12 weeks, then they'd sign for Crockett Promotions and there could be 2 or 3 years between runs in the same town, so by the time it came back around it was like "holy shit, this guy is back and now he's after that guy" it was fresh again and there was a few new faces for the angle to work with. With multi-year contracts, 1 dimensional gimmicks such as Lumis or as BRM said Orange Cassidy are found out.
I'd never actually thought of that similarity before.


To my knowledge, the only promotion to give contracts that weren't that long was ROH in the Sinclair Era, and that was only to guys they didn't view as real centerpieces, and even then, it often felt like half of the reason for doing that was so they could tell us that Silas Young or Rhett Titus has "signed a new contract with ROH!" every nine months or so.

I think Tony Khan had Matt Cardona in on a trial-run for a month or two, but I don't remember if there was an actual contract there.
It’s the WWE and WCW effect, whereby fear of losing the talent or the talent getting over at a rival promotion lead to contracts, whilst it can be good for long term financial security of wrestlers, it can lead in some cases to talent being massively exposed. Now Orange Cassidy is on worldwide TV with AEW, he’s exposed as a one tricky pony, but on independent scene, he was different and a bit of fun.

Territory Wrestling and to a degree that Mid-2000’s independent scene had the distinct ability to allow wrestlers to A- Have longer careers doing one thing if that’s all they could do or B- Give guys the room to try new things without massive exposure until they found their niche or character so we don’t end up with whatever the fuck WWE have done to Eli Drake/LA Knight/Max Dupri

The emergence of big companies has stifled that at points over the last 20 years because inevitably someone who makes a splash on the indies gets picked up and then they can find themselves like a fish out of water.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 11th, '22, 19:29

XIV wrote: Aug 11th, '22, 13:35


Territory Wrestling and to a degree that Mid-2000’s independent scene had the distinct ability to allow wrestlers to A- Have longer careers doing one thing if that’s all they could do or B- Give guys the room to try new things without massive exposure until they found their niche or character so we don’t end up with whatever the fuck WWE have done to Eli Drake/LA Knight/Max Dupri

The emergence of big companies has stifled that at points over the last 20 years because inevitably someone who makes a splash on the indies gets picked up and then they can find themselves like a fish out of water.
I agree that that has been the effect, but I don't think the "big two" has been the issue. The issue has been putting people/acts on TV before they are ready (either in the in-ring sense or in the "knowing what the act is and how it works best" sense), and the cause, IMO is just the availability of so many indies on streaming services, as well as NXT's availability on streaming (and there was a point where WWE recognized that with NXT, which was when the Grapefruit Circuit became what it has become now). If even a mid-level indy can easily be seen on IW.TV or wherever, then a lot of acts are going to get a lot more exposure while they are still being formed.

The other issue, of course, is people (mostly Vince) deciding to do something new with someone, even if what they are currently doing is working fine (Tony Khan has done this as well, but nowhere near as much, and the only person who could have been a real star who has been harmed by it, IMO, has been J.D. Drake). That kind of thing has nothing to do with a "top two" situation. It's just a result of stupid people having power.
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Re: Dexter Lumis returns to WWE

Post by XIV » Aug 11th, '22, 23:49

Big Red Machine wrote: Aug 11th, '22, 19:29
XIV wrote: Aug 11th, '22, 13:35


Territory Wrestling and to a degree that Mid-2000’s independent scene had the distinct ability to allow wrestlers to A- Have longer careers doing one thing if that’s all they could do or B- Give guys the room to try new things without massive exposure until they found their niche or character so we don’t end up with whatever the fuck WWE have done to Eli Drake/LA Knight/Max Dupri

The emergence of big companies has stifled that at points over the last 20 years because inevitably someone who makes a splash on the indies gets picked up and then they can find themselves like a fish out of water.
I agree that that has been the effect, but I don't think the "big two" has been the issue. The issue has been putting people/acts on TV before they are ready (either in the in-ring sense or in the "knowing what the act is and how it works best" sense), and the cause, IMO is just the availability of so many indies on streaming services, as well as NXT's availability on streaming (and there was a point where WWE recognized that with NXT, which was when the Grapefruit Circuit became what it has become now). If even a mid-level indy can easily be seen on IW.TV or wherever, then a lot of acts are going to get a lot more exposure while they are still being formed.

The other issue, of course, is people (mostly Vince) deciding to do something new with someone, even if what they are currently doing is working fine (Tony Khan has done this as well, but nowhere near as much, and the only person who could have been a real star who has been harmed by it, IMO, has been J.D. Drake). That kind of thing has nothing to do with a "top two" situation. It's just a result of stupid people having power.
I think by proxy it is a “Big 2” issue, not because they’re always meaning to, but because if the exposure those companies have.

WWE has tens of millions of weekly worldwide viewers, AEW has millions of worldwide viewers, WCW did and at one point TNA did. It’s not the company, it’s the exposure.

If people see someone doing their thing for a company on IW.TV or YouTube or wherever that’s just a small percentage of audience seeing that comparatively. 1 trick gimmicks will be fine that arena and get booked because each time, the audience seeing it will largely have not seen it before.

On a bigger stage, it will get exposed and become boring very quickly. That’s my point on big 2. Not that they’ve done it intentionally, but the platform that it’s done upon.

This is why wrestling will always require a territory or Indy type scene.
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