While she could make history by being the first ever American Ninja Warrior to make it to the WWE, recent WWE signing Kacy Catanzaro might already be off to a rocky start.
Nowadays, every new recruit to the WWE must go through the WWE Performance Center and in that way, Catanzaro is right on track. As a real-life gymnast, the transition from climbing obstacles and conquering the "Warp Wall" on American Ninja Warrior sets her up nicely to progress rapidly and become a fixture on a show like NXT. The question is, what type of role will she play?
According to Wrestle Inc, if it were up to Triple H, she'd be a heel. Like many decorated athletes before her—talents like Kurt Angle or Mark Henry—it's difficult to come from another public arena and present a babyface persona, at least one the WWE Universe will embrace. As such, Triple H is opening her eyes to the fact she might not be the next Bayley of WWE.
When asked about how he sees her fitting into the landscape of the characters in WWE, Triple H said, "I like to think of myself as a nice guy, (but) I made 90% of my career being the worst guy in the business. She might end up being the bad guy that thinks she's better than everybody else because she was the hero on American Ninja Warrior."
Apparently, this doesn't sit well with Catanzaro who is thinking about her brand more than the WWE. Catanzaro is known as a fearlessness competitor and one that overcomes obstacles. She gives hope to females all over the world that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. Upon her debut, she believes that's the image she wants to keep.
When asked, she flat out shot down the idea of her embracing the cocky heel role. "I'm not gonna be a bad guy," Catanzaro assured. "I'm definitely gonna be a babyface [and] keep the same [positive] brand that I am in [American] Ninja [Warrior], which is honestly who I am in general."
Is this just playful talk between a new recruit and her boss? Or, is this a real issue that could become problematic and a sign that Catanzaro doesn't understand the WWE as a product, including what sells?
The most successful wrestlers have to adapt. If Catanzaro is unwilling, her tenure in the WWE may be short-lived. She seems to have all the physical tools to perform at a high level, but as many have learned, the ability to wrestle is only a small part of the equation in becoming a successful WWE Superstar.