Superstar Spotlight: David Otunga

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight: David Otunga

I will admit right away that when I don't like someone or something, I really don't like them and want them to go away. I don't like LeBron James, I don't like the 'Call of Duty' franchise (or Activision, for that matter), and I don't like Avenged Sevenfold. There are many people, especially in professional wrestling, that are talented at what they do but suffer from being in the wrong type of role. R-Truth is the first person who jumps in my mind, and I am talking from his days as K-Kwik to Ron Killings until now; I couldn't stand the guy. I didn't like Truth's pop-n-lock moves, theme songs, or Eve trying to dance with him. I never said Truth (or anyone) sucks; I just don't like them in their role and want to see something else. Brodus Clay is now from Planet Funk, Cody Rhodes has been going through a nice change since being Randy Orton's lackey, and Miz went from being a chick magnet to 'must-see.' This brings me to this week's spotlight, none other than David Otunga, Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the Interim General Manager of Monday Night RAW, Mr. John Laurinaitis. 

Otunga was featured on NXT season one as a 'favorite' of the pros and even made it to the final three before losing out to Wade Barrett. The only thing I knew about him before was he went by Dawson Alexander in FCW, and he was on I Love New York on VH1. (How anyone could love New York is beyond me, but I digress…) Otunga got a lot of spotlight in Nexus and kind of got to play the role of number two to Barrett, and he could talk but he was god awful in the ring. He was greener than grass and there were a few times where I thought he was going to cripple someone when he was delivering his finishing move, the Verdict, to anyone. I couldn't stand seeing Otunga every week and I always hoped he would be the next guy John Cena would take out, but I never got my wish. Otunga looked a lot better, or less awful depending on how you look at it, when he was teaming with Michael McGillicutty. He even became a two-time tag team champion, but that was quickly torpedoed like most other tag teams, then Jerry Lawler started making fun of them at commentary.

David Otunga wasn't seen on television for a short time (rejoice!) then came back in September where he offered his legal advice to John Laurinaitis and acted as his council. He is still always seen in the background drinking his coffee, and chiming in when no one wants him too, and it really works. Otunga gets thrown into matches on Smackdown that he doesn't want, and picks on weaker opponents all while acting as Laurinaitis' lackey. He is in a perfect role and looks to be learning on the job instead of being thrown into the spotlight and looking uncomfortable. Otunga looks more comfortable in the ring (when he is) and he is using a real life background to develop a good character that gets over. The 'Harvard' gimmick usually gets over (Chris Nowinski was great with it), and Otunga is like a Clarence Mason type guy who can actually back it up if he needs to.

Otunga absolutely benefits from backstage and in-ring segments because he is a good talker, and he gets to learn from experienced guys in the ring. His last few singles matches were against Sheamus, John Cena, and (to a loose extent) on Monday, he faced CM Punk, so he is learning on the job and doesn't have to carry a match like on NXT. I hope he stays in his role for a while and continues to periodically wrestle, because this is helping him become a better performer and putting out a better product for WWE. I think the digs at his fiancee are funny, but I know who she is and a lot of the audience probably doesn't. Some people are just finding out she is the Weight Watchers girl, but she is not as famous as someone like Shaquille O'Neal who can just walk in and get a pop. WWE should stay away from lesser known pop culture identities (I heard crickets during Perez Hilton's intro) and let their talent get over by themselves; Otunga is proof in the pudding. 

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