Mojo Rawley doesn’t get hyped – he stays hyped. It just so happens that WWE is hyped about Rawley as well.
Rawley, real name Dean Muhtadi, is a former football defensive lineman. Although he never played in an official NFL game, Muhtadi had preseason and training camp stints with both the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals. As a member of the Cardinals, Muhtadi was nicknamed “the Iron Sheik” for his ridiculous strength. He even became training partners with three-time Pro Bowler Darnell Dockett.
Not only does Rawley have great athletic gifts, but he has the size that Vince McMahon craves in his performers. The official WWE website lists Rawley at 6-foot-4 and 290-pounds. He’s probably closer to 6-foot-3, but he’s weighed as much as 310-pounds during his football playing days.
His size, strength and charisma help Rawley stand out in the ring. He’s still very green, but it’s obvious that the potential for stardom is there. You have to remember that Rawley started training in 2012 and didn’t make his professional debut until 2013, so he hasn’t been in the game long at all. Rawley turns 28 in July, so he’s just entering the prime of his athletic life. He will no doubt improve as time goes on.
When you look at Rawley you don’t see someone who should go out there and wrestle a 20 minute back-and-forth match. His success lies in beating dudes quickly with his move, then running around and getting the crowd excited (which he also does before the match). This act, with the right performer, almost always gets over. It’s way too early to make comparisons to Bill Goldberg, Junkyard Dog or even Hulk Hogan, but that is the style that Rawley was molded for.
Right now Mojo only participates in short matches, usually two to four minutes in length. He goes over most of the time, typically winning his contests with the “Hyper Drive” (running seated senton).
Rawley wouldn’t be winning so many squash matches if WWE didn’t have high hopes for him. With so many NXT stars leaving Florida for the main roster, Rawley will have an even better chance to shine. In time I expect him to be a focal point of the show, right up there with NXT Champion Adrian Neville, NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte, NXT Tag Team Champions the Ascension, Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze.
After NXT? Only time will tell, but he’s going to get every opportunity to succeed on the big stage.