The biggest drawback to Roderick Strong during his time as a babyface in NXT has been that the fans never really had a reason to root for him.
With a pair of vignettes aired over two recent episodes, that all changed.
And according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there's been an extremely positive reaction to the vignettes, both among the fans and the brass backstage. The vignettes were an experiment to see if that kind of storytelling still would have an affect on crowd response to a performer, and it appears that WWE officials have their answer, because there has apparently been a major difference in the reactions that Strong has been getting from the fans at NXT Live Events.
They don't appear ready to pull the trigger on a massive push for Roddy just yet, however. He lost a match to Hideo Itami on this week's show and in the process, lost a shot at Bobby Roode's NXT Title. After that match, he was attacked by SAnitY and all signs point to him tangling with the Eric Young-led faction at NXT "Takeover: Chicago" later this month.
Strong and his fiancee, MMA fighter Marina Shafir, welcomed their first child together in late April, a boy named Troy. The happy family was featured in the vignettes, adding even more reasons for fans to connect with Roderick Strong.
Part one of "Who Is Roderick Strong?" can be viewed at the top of the page. Part two is below.