On a recent edition of ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast,’ WWE CEO Nick Khan compared Dominik Mysterio’s heel turn to that of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On Dominik’s progress: “When I started with WWE … height of COVID, Dominik — young wrestler, Rey’s son, seen as Rey’s son, nice young man — but it wasn’t really working. I think the patience that Vince and Paul Levesque, Triple H, show with the talent, you saw it with Roman, where people were not buying him as the monster face, if you will. And then, all the sudden during COVID, he came back to the Florida facility when we were taping down there, came back as a heel and boom! Roman Reigns takes off. Dominik Mysterio — ‘Hey, I’m the good son of Rey Mysterio.’ It was great, they stuck with it … turned him into a heel, amazing!”
On letting talent develop: “I think sticking with it and really giving people a shot to be the best versions of themselves on the mic… I think sticking with what you think can work is probably a good plan.”
On other stars who took time to develop: “When The Rock came in as Rocky Maivia … boos throughout — even worse than boos, no response. He sort of lit it up and The Rock took fire…. There tends to be that moment where all of a sudden it catches fire.”
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In a recent episode of ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast,’ WWE CEO Nick Khan made an interesting comparison between Dominik Mysterio’s heel turn and that of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Khan highlighted the progress Dominik has made and the patience shown by Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque (Triple H) in allowing talent to develop.
Khan acknowledged that when he first joined WWE during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dominik Mysterio, the son of legendary wrestler Rey Mysterio, was struggling to find his footing. Despite being seen as Rey’s son and a nice young man, Dominik’s character wasn’t resonating with the audience. However, Khan praised the patience and support given by McMahon and Levesque, which ultimately led to Dominik’s successful heel turn.
Khan drew parallels between Dominik’s journey and that of Roman Reigns, who initially struggled to connect with fans as a face (good guy) character. However, during the COVID-19 era, Reigns returned to WWE as a heel (bad guy) and experienced a tremendous surge in popularity. Khan emphasized the importance of sticking with a character and giving them the opportunity to evolve and find their true potential.
The WWE CEO also mentioned Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s early days in the industry. When Johnson first debuted as Rocky Maivia, he faced a lukewarm response from the audience, with boos and indifference. However, Johnson persevered and eventually transformed into The Rock, becoming one of the most beloved and iconic figures in professional wrestling history. Khan highlighted this as an example of how a character can catch fire and capture the audience’s attention.
Khan’s comments shed light on the WWE’s approach to talent development. He emphasized the importance of allowing wrestlers to find their own voice and giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills on the microphone. Khan believes that sticking with what they believe can work is a good plan, as it allows talent to become the best versions of themselves.
The comparison between Dominik Mysterio’s heel turn and The Rock’s rise to stardom serves as a reminder that success in the wrestling industry often requires time and patience. It is crucial for both the talent and the company to trust the process and allow characters to evolve naturally. This approach has proven successful in the past, and it will likely continue to shape the future of WWE.
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