At the age of 47, R-Truth seems to have found a new lease on life in WWE. Somehow, his career has taken an unexpected turn and his popularity is now higher than before and his stock itself has never been higher. We’re talking about a man who’s been in the wrestling business for a good part of 22 years.
We’re talking about a man who’s seen it all, been through WWE at its peak, TNA at its best and has been a staple of WWE long enough where he has the clear respect of his backstage peers. However, it was only in the last year or so where R-Truth’s stock suddenly rose to a whole new level. But how exactly did it happen?
R-Truth has generally been a comedy character since his WWE return in 2008. Many don’t realize this, but Truth had a stint with WWF between 1999 and 2002, where he was most famously known as K-Kwik. However, his comedy character meant that there was a clear place in the hierarchy for him.
That didn’t stop him from trying something new in 2011. His character had taken a darker turn and he even turned heel, challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship at one point (albeit in an unsuccessful attempt). He would be a part of the “Awesome Truth” in 2011 as well, teaming up with The Miz to form a rather tyrannical tag team, one that saw him main event Survivor Series against John Cena and The Rock.
However, he probably realized that the serious character wasn’t for him and he reverted to what he was best at – comedy. So a few years had passed him by and he was generally a midcarder or lower midcarder. His most notable comedy moment was in 2015, when he vowed to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, only to be told by Kane that he wasn’t in the match in the first place. This is when he uttered the famous words “My bad” and had everyone laughing, including Roman Reigns, who was trying to control himself but visibly failing to do so.
After that, his gimmick of getting things wrong was implemented into his character and it worked like a charm. He was always present in comedy spots even in big moments, such as the Royal Rumble 2016 when he ran into the ring only to pull out a ladder. he climbed the ladder and realized that he wasn’t in a MITB match, getting eliminated immediately after. He told Sam Roberts in an interview that he pitched the idea to Vince McMahon via text message and McMahon replied “sure” along with laughing emojis.
This was one area where Truth had a huge advantage – he won over Vince McMahon a long time back. Understanding that he had his role as a comedy character, Truth did everything in his power to put smiles on people’s faces week after week. Around 2017 or so, he was in an alliance with Goldust as a part of “The Golden Truth”, but in retrospect, that never really kicked off as expected and later in the year, Truth suffered an arm injury, going out of action for months and effectively ending his tag team.
When he did return in 2018, he was drafted to SmackDown and spent some time in the sidelines before he finally got a storyline in the summer. He vowed to become United States Champion. How did he plan to do it? By pinning Carmella, the SmackDown Women’s champion! His involvement with Carmella led to an extremely hilarious storyline and even after Carmella lost the SmackDown Women’s title, she was involved with Truth.
Their pairing turned out to be a surprising success, with Carmella organically turning babyface again. Being associated with a superstar like Truth took away all her heat and she became an essential part of his act as well. It was really at this point when fans as a large truly began appreciating Truth and the value he brought to television.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, fans really want one thing – entertainment. When Truth is able to provide that and more, it’s hard not to respect a veteran like him. In that way, the WWE 24/7 Championship really feels like it’s the culmination of an incredible career – a reward for years of hard work and years of being underappreciated.
Never did Truth complain, whine or moan about his position in WWE. He was always a team player and the 24/7 Championship turned out to be a massive hit – and it is R-Truth that WWE has to thank. There’s no doubt that the unpredictable nature of the matches and the random title changes make for great TV, but the fact that it has a crossover on social media and YouTube only adds to it. And it’s seen in the numbers. R-Truth’s misadventures with the 24/7 Championship are amongst the highest viewed WWE videos of late and people go out of their way to tune in to see him.
We fully expect R-Truth to be a 100-time 24/7 Champion by the time the title is eventually vacated. It really feels as though it’s a title made for him and even if it is, it’s absolutely perfect. When you have someone like Truth who can make chicken crap into chicken salad, how can you deny him?
In a poll conducted by WWE.com in June of 2019, R-Truth was declared as the most popular champion in WWE, over the likes of Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch and even Kofi Kingston. The fact of the matter is that 2019 has been a great year for champions. There have been a lot of worthy title-holders and the fact that R-Truth is considered the best just goes to show that he knows exactly what the fans want. He is only going to get the appreciation he deserves later on when he retires.
Until then, enjoy it while it lasts, because R-Truth is absolute gold in every sense of the word.