WWE has big things in store for Otis, who defeated Dolph Ziggler and united with Mandy Rose at … [+]
WWE WW went all in on Otis at WrestleMania 36, where the beloved big man defeated Dolph Ziggler and finally united with Mandy Rose.
Over the past several months, the odd love triangle involving Rose, Ziggler and the comedic behemoth Otis has surprisingly been one of WWE’s best booked and most entertaining storylines. When Otis and Tucker, collectively known as Heavy Machinery, debuted on the main roster in early 2019, there was—rightfully—concern that the limited success they had in NXT would also hold true on Raw and SmackDown, where they figured to be booked as nothing more than lower card performers and enhancement talent.
Well, that clearly hasn’t been the case.
In particular, the rise of Otis—who is now one of the most popular babyfaces in all of WWE—has been a breath of fresh air in a WWE in which many babyface characters are cut from the same cookie cutter mold. Otis, however, is definitely different: He’s a powerhouse with an unlimited supply of charisma, surprisingly good in-ring skills, a natural likability and a crowd connection that just can’t be taught. Ever since he entered into this love triangle with Rose and Ziggler late last year, that crowd connection has only improved as this storyline has demonstrated that an over-the-top romance angle can work incredible well when done right.
Remember, it wasn’t long ago that WWE tried something similar with Rusev, Bobby Lashley and Lana on Raw. While Lana claimed that the angle was a ratings hit and some parts of that storyline certainly drew well on YouTube, the storyline was widely criticized for being too over-the-top and nonsensical, with some critics even labeling it as “horrid” and “brutal” to watch. Otis’ continued pursuit of Rose, however, has largely been immune to those same criticisms, instead widely being viewed as a storyline that has helped elevate both Rose and Otis, who could potentially be two focal points of SmackDown programming moving forward.
At WrestleMania 36, this storyline finally reached its climax when Otis defeated Ziggler just two days after it was revealed that Sonya Deville had betrayed her best friend in Rose. Although Otis’ win was widely expected based on the trajectory of the angle over the past several weeks and although that moment would have gotten over huge had it taken place in front of 70,000 fans in Raymond James Stadium, that doesn’t change how meaningful this moment was for Otis and how big it could be for the big man’s future. Roughly a year ago when Heavy Machinery was brand new to the main roster, it was reported by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that Vince McMahon—who is infamous for his sophomoric humor—absolutely “loves” Otis. At the time, a source told Meltzer that McMahon’s thoughts on and faith in Otis would make or break Heavy Machinery on the main roster.
It’s safe to say that Otis had indeed “made” Heavy Machinery on SmackDown, where he was able to help propel Dolph Ziggler to something he’d never gotten: A WrestleMania singles match. That’s right. Despite being a 15-year WWE veteran known for being one of the best in-ring performers in all of WWE, Ziggler’s WrestleMania 36 match against Otis marked the first time he ever had a singles bout on “The Grandest Stage of Them All,” which is an accomplishment both for Ziggler and Otis, whose likability in this storyline helped get him there.
Now, only big things await Otis.
He is finally paired with Rose, a star McMahon is also apparently a very big fan of, and though it remains to be seen if his somewhat limited in-ring skill set will ever catapult him to the main event scene, he is now firmly entrenched as one of the top babyfaces on SmackDown at a time when fans are craving new names at the top of the card.
That’s good news for Otis, who got his “WrestleMania moment” and now figures to get a major push, too.