It has only been about two months and the character of El Generico already seems to be gone. Rami Sebei signed with the WWE in early January of this year and is currently wrestling in WWE’s farm system NXT in Florida. While Rami made his debut as El Generico on NXT, he has already been repackaged under his real name, without the mask. This appears to be another move by the WWE to repackage an Independent wrestler and take them away from the character that they became famous for. Take the jump with me as we look at why this will be a career defining move for Rami and examine where the WWE has passed/failed with other independent sensations.
Before we break down what has gone on with El Generio, lets take a look at some of the decisions that the WWE has made in the past when it has come to big name independent wrestlers
CM Punk - This is the perfect example the WWE handling an independent wrestler correctly. CM Punk made huge waves in the independent and was one of the top wrestlers not a part of the WWE for a far amount of time. When the WWE signed Punk, they changed nothing about him. Not only did they not change his very unique name of CM Punk, but they allowed him to keep his arrogant Straight Edge persona. I can almost guarantee there were many board room meetings of wanting to repackage CM Punk both because of his unique name, and because he struggled early on. However, they continue to let Punk do what made Punk great, and we have all benefited.
Bryan Danielson- Most of you know this man as Daniel Bryan, however, he became famous in the independent circuit under his real name Bryan Danielson. When he came to the WWE in 2009, they initially allowed him to wrestle under his real name. However, after a few weeks the WWE came to him and gave him a list of 10 names to pick from, liking Daniel Bryan the most. Although they changed his name, they allowed him to keep his style and character freedom. The Daniel Bryan wrestling on Smackdown, mirrored the style of the Bryan Danielson who had wrestled in Indy circuits around the world. Once again, the WWE handled it correctly and have found a megastar in Bryan.
Colt Cabana – Forever Punk, there is a Colt. I am a big of Colt Cabana. He wrestles a great style, is great on the mic, and just generally loves wrestling more than I do. My dream? To see him grace the great WWE squared cirlce. Oh wait, he already did. Well, Scotty Goldman did. Thats right, the WWE took a very successful Colt Cabana and repackaged him into Scotty Goldman and it flopped, bad. Colt was only on a few episodes of Smackdown and truly never had a story line. He was released in 2009 and since has only been a part of pipe bombs. The reason you know its not Colt’s fault is because as soon as he left WWE, he continued to grab fame in the Independent Circuit. If the WWE were to bring him back, (noticed the date of the video) they would have to drop the Scotty Goldman persona. We Want Colt.
Matthew Bloom – While Colt might have faulted, Matt Bloom has absolutely bombed. Matthew Bloom was a very good midcard wrestler for the WWE from 1999 to 2004 under names of A-train and Albert. After his release, Matt made a name for himself in Japan as he dominated the tag division under the name Giant Bernard. Not much to his gimmick, just a big man among boys, destroying everything he could find. Then, in 2012, much to the joy of many, he returned to the WWE and was repackaged as Lord Tensai. The rest is miserable history. Tensai quickly took out top names and then just imploded. His character was given no depth, the gimmick did not fit with anyone else, and he quickly fell to bottom of the pile. It has gotten so bad he has been repackaged as a Japanese Dancing Machine Monster along with Brodus Clay. Put this one down as a failure.
Rami Sebei – Rami has made his name in the Independent Circuit under the ring name of El Generico, not Rami. He is a white guy who has embraced the style of the proud luchadors and their aresnal of moves. While the character of Luchador has been done before, it has not been done the way of El Generico. Generico has now been repackaged and will wrestle under his real name w/o the mask. I believe this is bad idea because no one knows who Rami Sebei is. Even if someone is only a middle of the road wrestling fan, they may have heard of who El Generico is, or reconginze his picture. By dropping both things, the WWE alienates his fans and kills his momentum. I fear this will hurt Generico and no one will get behind the character of Rami Sebei. If he fails, it will be his character because his wrestling is there. Watch this video, it proves he has 20 more “top moves” than some wrestlers have moves. We want El Generico.