The recent return of WWE superstar Dana Brooke to the NXT brand has drawn mixed reactions from fans and industry insiders alike. One voice emerging from the debate belongs to WWE veteran and co-host of "Busted Open Radio," Mickie James, who shared her perspective on the controversy during a recent show episode.
James did not mince her words, asserting, "I believe Dana Brooke was the incorrect choice for an NXT placement." She compared the situation to that of Seth Rollins and Natalya, whose NXT stints were met with approval due to their established reputations and tenacity.
"Dana was molded in the WWE style system, and now we're witnessing a whole new generation of that system, only more sophisticated," added James. Brooke's professional background involves transitioning from gymnastics and fitness to wrestling, a shift that demanded a profound adaptation to WWE's specific style.
James further noted that Brooke's initial NXT stint failed to win over the audience, leading to her promotion to the main roster. James expressed fondness for Brooke, praising her efforts to improve her craft. "Dana is a wonderful individual, and in recent years she's made significant strides in her wrestling prowess and capability," she remarked.
James and Dreamer Question Brooke's Persona
The discussion continued with James and co-host Tommy Dreamer expressing reservations about Brooke's character portrayal. Dreamer pointed out that Brooke's conceited entrance routine sends the wrong message.
"If you're aiming to be a fan favorite, perhaps a change in persona is necessary," he suggested. James chimed in, hypothesizing that Brooke might need more guidance when presenting her character. "Often, the stories fail to evoke emotions and focus too heavily on the matches," James observed.
She argued that NXT seems to cater to an audience that favors high-quality matches over emotional narratives, which might have hindered Brooke's connection with the audience. As the conversation wrapped, James expressed her frustration with the power of online opinions on a performer's career.
She lamented that many viewers tune in to critique rather than appreciate the performance, significantly impacting a performer's trajectory. She concluded with a call for increased emotional investment from viewers, making for a healthier interaction between performers and the audience.