I still say a lot of it stems from him, a football wash out rather
than a veteran indie darling replacing Chris Hero in CM Punks orginial vision of The Shield, and then being THE GUY in the 2015 Rumble after all the fan favorites got eliminated.
I think you might be a little too "smark" and "inside" with this one.
90% of the WWE audience has no idea who Chris Hero is.
90% of the wider NXT audience, who wasn't exposed to Chris Hero before, doesn't care one bit about Kassius Ohno.
The other 10% of the narrower NXT audience, who watches indies and know who Chris Hero is, thinks Ohno should be utilized better - despite not looking or sounding like a star, not being particularly over with the wider NXT fanbase, and coming across as Duke "The Dumpster" Drose 2018.
You can argue all day that NXT should utilize Hero better, but that hasn't stopped others with mostly losses - like "The Perfect 10" Ty Dillinger - from gaining a following. Ohno doesn't really have that in NXT.