In 2017, Tye Dillinger fulfilled the dreams of many diehard NXT fans when he entered the Royal Rumble at No. 10 — pretty much the only option for the man who calls himself “The Perfect 10.” Like Tyler Breeze before him, Dillinger rode a wave of fan love and loyalty all the way to a can’t-miss gimmick and the simplest pro wrestling catchphrase since “Yes.”
Despite his big Rumble debut, it was still a few more months before his official call-up to the main roster as a part of Smackdown Live, and still another month after that for him to fulfill all his NXT obligations.
Since being in WWE full time, Dillinger hasn’t done a whole heck of a lot. He’s had a low-level feud with Baron Corbin and a few United States Championship shots, but other than that … nada.
Dillinger was slated to enter this year’s Rumble at No. 10 once more, but he was jumped backstage and Sami Zayn took his spot in the match. He tried to get payback, but was instead … beaten by Baron Corbin. And that’s the most he’s been on television in months. According to a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, the word on why Dillinger has been kept off television … is because WWE doesn’t like fans chanting “10.”
“Dillinger is just a guy on the brand that works prelims and they put him at No. 10 [in the Rumble], and it makes for a cute minute for people to chant ’10,’ which [WWE doesn’t] even want people to chant anyway. That’s why they keep him off TV so much: because they don’t want people chanting ’10.’ So the whole thing is completely stupid.”
I will admit it: I’ve been in indie (and WWE) crowds where fans chant ’10’ for every count of a referee’s count-out, and it can get pretty annoying. But it’s far from the most egregious chant. (I think we all agree the “WHAT” chants can and should die a horrible death as soon as possible.)
If there’s any truth to this at all, that must suck enormously for Dillinger, who’s been with WWE off and on since 2006 and finally found the one thing that took him up to WWE — and they don’t like what fans are doing with it.
Again, this could all just be a bunch of malarky, but there don’t seem to be many other explanations being offered up for why Dillinger has been used so exceedingly sparingly.
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