For the past year, NXT has been invaded by chants of “TEN! TEN! TEN!” – it’s essentially, the new YES! chant, but on a bit of a smaller scale. And it’s all down to one man, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of who he is, but what you may not know is that Dillinger actually started in WWE development ten years ago (don’t say I never teach you anything), and those years were far from perfect, including an extremely forgettable run in the ECW reboot from 2008, up until his release in 2009. Tye re-signed in 2013, where he was immediately put to work as an enhancement talent on NXT, jobbing to every Tom, Dick, and Bull Dempsey. It became obvious pretty quickly that WWE had no real plans for him; he was just a good, experienced worker that could put other guys over and hide his less experienced opponents’ short comings.
What we didn’t see on NXT TV was that Tye was pushing his own gimmick on house shows which quickly became a hit with fans, to the point where it got over enough to be put on television in August 2015, where The Perfect 10 instantly became a star. For somebody who is essentially used as a glorified journeyman in NXT, his popularity and following is quite remarkable, he even has his own t shirt despite his win/loss record (and a pretty sweet t shirt at that). Since his ‘perfect’ debut, he’s had less than ten televised wins, but they’ve each been perfect to watch. 10 chants began dominating proceedings at every NXT show, even in matches Tye had absolutely no part of. When I went to NXT’s first UK show in Newcastle last year, the 10 chants were deafening through the night, even Bayley started flashing the tens at her opponent during her match – it was possibly the most fun part of the entire evening (except for maybe chanting “Corbin is a Mackem” during a Baron Corbin vs. Neville match). It could easily be argued that such a strong choir of 10s can be heard on NXT simply because it’s something easy and fun for everyone to get involved in, much like the aforementioned YES! chants, yet my argument would be to just look at when Fandango actually tried to get people to start ‘Fandangoing’, and look at how well that worked out.
However, as much as I love the perfect one, I never envisioned him ever being brought up to the main roster as it would be inevitable that he would immediately be lost in the shuffle. As popular as he is, he still isn’t racking up wins or building up moment, leading me to believe that WWE probably doesn’t have many plans for him. However, with the implement of the brand extension, and the subsequent possible increase in time that could be given to lower-card wrestlers to display their talents, it suddenly became obvious to me the po-‘ten’-tial a Dillinger main roster call-up could have.
Imagine the hype, pomp, and circumstance of the build-up – all we would hear every Tuesday would be, “The Perfect 10 is coming to Smackdown!” It could be built as the most important debut in Smackdown, or possibly even WWE history; a wrestler who is actually perfect in every way is coming to your screens – similar to Mr Perfect’s gloriously cheesy debut vignettes from the 80s. It will be seen as the momentous debut of all time, and then once he finally steps in-between those blue ropes, he would lose. Week after week, it would be drilled into your ears just how perfect he is, he would not let you forget how good he is, just to see him lose repeatedly. However, no matter how much he loses, he would still have the brash and arrogance to cartwheel and flash the 10 to his opponent whenever he gets the slightest bit of offence going. Regardless of the amount of times he gets pinned for that 3 count, the crowd are going to erupt whenever they hear that “ten” at the beginning of his entrance, or whenever they see Dillinger’s fingers extending out, and that’s the beauty of him, he can be used to enhance other talents whilst still being highly popular, similar to Heath Slater. Also, Tye is more than capable of putting on a good match, meaning that he could easily lose in quick fashion for comedy purposes, or he could put a great fight that gives his opponent a really hard fought victory, putting them and himself over in the process. Either way, you’re going to remember Tye. Not only that, but he could easily be placed into any situation and adapt perfectly (personally, I’d love to see him in a tag team at some point, possibly named the perfect 10s).
I’m not expecting gold around his waist any time soon, but there will be certainly be a lot of gold in the ring when he’s cartwheeling around it. WWE, please call him up, it will be perfect.
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