Technically, Apollo Crews would be classified as one of the members of WWE’s “New Era.” But at the moment, you could compare Crews’ role in this era to a tree falling in a forest with no one there to hear it. Does it make a sound? Does Apollo’s presence on the main roster move the meter one iota? Clearly, he has fallen flat in the month and a half since being called up, and the near future doesn’t appear any brighter either.
According to a report from Cageside Seats, there are no significant plans in place for Apollo Crews at present, or moving forward.
Earlier this month, exactly one month after WrestleMania 32, the Inquisitr reported that Baron Corbin was facing the same fate, but at the very least, Corbin won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and Sunday will be his second consecutive singles match on a pay-per-view, albeit another kickoff show match with Dolph Ziggler. Crews, on the other hand, has yet to taste a WWE pay-per-view slot since his call-up.
That promotion for Apollo Crews came the night after WrestleMania, the same night that Corbin and Enzo & Cass made their Monday Night RAW debuts. The latter three were at least afforded ample mic time to give the RAW audience an opportunity to be introduced to this new talent initiative. Crews’ showcase was limited to less than five minutes in a squash match with Tyler Breeze, another NXT alum getting lost in the shuffle. To WWE’s benefit, they did tease Apollo’s arrival with a mini-vignette, and he was initially received very well.
It took less than a year for Apollo Crews to go from NXT to the WWE main roster, but it appears management brought him up with few concrete ideas in place to push his career further along. Right after the aforementioned NXT stars made it to the big time, a report surfaced that Vince McMahon was not impressed with his new stars. He was playing a game of wait-and-see before committing to any formidable program with Corbin and Crews, and he wasn’t sure what the Enzo & Cass gimmick was despite obvious adulation from the audience. Further reports have since come out indicating that Vince is actually a fan of Big Cass as an individual superstar, even though Enzo garnered much of the heat before his injury.
The lone “feud” Apollo Crews has been involved in was with the Social Outcasts. Crews beat each member individually, with the angle culminating on the April 18 episode of RAW. In a backstage segment, Crews granted them one more match. If Apollo won, the group would leave him alone. If he lost, he agreed to join the faction. In this case, it might have done more for his character and development had Heath Slater beaten him that night. But another easy victory ended the feud, and Crews was supposed to move on to bigger and better.
If he ended up on the losing end of that match, Crews at least would have been a part of something. Sure, he has a lot more potential than Slater, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas, but he could have been a short-term replacement for Adam Rose and eventually ripped the constraints off to progress to another program when the creative team had something for him. By not joining the Social Outcasts, Apollo simply finds himself floating aimlessly among an overcrowded mid-card division.
The historical lack of African-American Heavyweight Champions is well-documented, which gave Apollo Crews a leg-up when he was first brought into NXT. You knew he had the ability to wrestle his way to the top. It was just a matter of the booking team adding a compelling element to the character that fans could support and care about. But all they (barely) see at this point is a smiling wrestler who wins matches fairly easily with no discernible direction.
[Image via WWE]