Taking Twitter Into The Squared Circle

How has the social media platform inspired a buzz in professional wrestling?

Source: WWE

Twitter has become an integral part of developing your wrestling gimmick, regardless of where you work. Without a tight Twitter game, the likes of Joey Ryan and Jordynne Grace might not be as relevant as they are today. Jim Cornette certainly wouldn’t be either, an example of how much it also matters to people who have been in the game for decades.

Using Twitter right is a challenge at the best of times. It’s easy to get yourself into trouble in just a few characters, as Lio Rush found out early in his WWE career when he mocked Tenille Dashwood getting fired back in 2017.

That was the first time he suddenly disappeared from WWE programming but not the last.

Becky Lynch is a prime example of a wrestler who has used Twitter to her advantage expertly. When she was on the verge of becoming “The Man”, the original WWE plan seemed to be to make her the heel in the feud with Charlotte Flair. The fans weren’t having any of that and backed Becky. To her credit, Becky took her new Austin-like status to Twitter and laid into everyone and anything. Thus, The Man was born. Becky rode that newfound anti-hero attitude all the way to the WrestleMania main event and added the moniker “Becky Two Belts” to her growing list of nicknames.

Becky Lynch

These days, no one in the WWE, if not all of wrestling, does Twitter better than Oney Lorcan. If you’re not following him, you’re missing something special. Insane, but special.

Christopher Girard joined NXT in 2015 after years on the indies and with other promotions. Once there, he started wrestling under the name Oney Lorcan and began building his reputation. Saying Oney is a tough SOB in the ring is an understatement. His smash-mouth style combined with his straightforward entrance garnered him some attention but he lacked the personality needed in this gimmick to make him a WWE superstar. After a series of hard-hitting matches with Danny Burch, he and Oney became an NXT tag team. Fans started getting on board, something management must have noticed because they got tag team title shot at TakeOver: Chicago. They received a standing ovation after that match from an appreciative crowd.

Thanks to an injury sustained in that match, Oney had to take some time off which cooled any push he and Danny had at that point. Then came Oney’s Twitter assault.

Over the past few months, Oney Lorcan’s Twitter feed has taken on a decidedly different tone from anyone else in wrestling. Everything is in all caps with no punctuation and endless insanity. There’s a lot of talk of park benches, throwing it up, metal music and kicking ass. Don Julio tequila comes up a lot, too. On the surface, his tweets just appear to be the ravings of a madman. In reality, those tweets are building an in-ring persona.

While Oney is an incredible wrestler and has gotten over with a lot of fans, his gimmick, such as it is, lacks the personality management looks for in a superstar. Through Twitter, Oney is building a persona he can attach to his ass kicking wrestling style.

On a recent episode of NXT, Oney and Danny took on Chase Parker and Matt Martel in a tag team match. Part way through the bout, Oney was down outside the ring and Danny had cleaned house, leaving him alone inside the ring. Danny got more and more fired up until he called Oney’s name. In turn, Oney shot to his feet and let out a primal scream. Then he got in the ring and the ass kicking began in earnest.

All of this is in line with the persona Oney has been building on Twitter. A larger than life guy who is constantly super fired up and ready to fight at a moment’s notice. The kind of guy who does push ups with Vince McMahon while they talk about who they want to fight. For some reason, the Twitter version of Oney lives under a park bench, something that makes perfect sense in that context. He’s using Twitter to build a mythology around his character, even incorporating other wrestlers like Danny Burch.
Based on what fans recently saw on NXT, Twitter Oney is starting to appear in the ring and that can only be great for his career.

Oney has the skills and the talent to be a top tier superstar. The only thing holding him back in NXT and WWE overall has been a character fans can latch on to. He’s effectively using Twitter to develop that aspect of his career. As he continues to do double duty on NXT and 205 Live, he is going to increasingly need that character to help connect to a wider audience.

While every wrestler shouldn’t try to build the exact same character as Oney, using Twitter to help create a character is a good idea. That doesn’t just mean being a jerk on Twitter, either, as that seems to be the default setting on the platform.

Unless you’re MJF. He’s a natural.

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