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By Ciaran-James @TheCiaranJames
With the first “Shake-up” due to take place next Monday on Raw, I look at the possible candidates from RAW, SDLive & NXT that could be traded or promoted. With no further details, available it’s anyone’s guess as to what might happen on Raw.
The New Day
The fabulous trio have become nothing more than walking, talking comedic advertising boards, the former longest reigning tag team champions need a change of scenery. Before WWE got carried away and made them in to what they are in 2017, the New Day often had exciting matches with most of the teams they faced. You couldn’t pick out that one specific match of the year contender but the New Day always put a shift in. Beneath all the jokes, clothes and outrageous promos, Kofi, Xavier and Big E are all very talented workers, they proved that even on Monday night against the Revival. One positive they do have is that they still receive a warm response from live audiences, however their act and surroundings have become a little stale. Either the RAW or SDLive tag team divisions are thriving, but the New Day need fresh air and there is no better place than the blue brand. SmackDown offers the trio fresh surroundings, fresh opponents and less filler.
She has already accomplished more than most in her wrestling career, the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair has taken her father’s legacy and ran with it. The four time WWE women’s champion is arguably the best female wrestler in the world right now, and worryingly she hasn’t hit her prime yet. Since her debut on RAW the former NXT graduate held the screen, we have watched her grow as a performer and become one of WWE’s most well-known wrestlers. Known as “The Queen of PPV”, Charlotte has left her colleagues behind, on Raw she has accomplished all there is to accomplish, after three years on the red brand some fresh opponents are needed. SDLive offers Charlotte that in abundance, from Becky Lynch, Naomi and veteran Mickie James, the opportunities are endless.
When the draft ended last July, it was clear WWE wanted some of the better wrestlers on Raw, however what they didn’t do was use them. Since last summer Sami Zayn has been in one pointless feud to another, often used as the enhancement guy or underdog. The former El Generico has bags of potential, in WWE/NXT he has only scratched the surface of what he is capable of, the problem is when does that surface get scratched. Zayn is perfect for the role of the underdog, but like most when the does the audience start giving up on you? On Raw Zayn has been treated as the nearly guy, often losing out to WWE’s desired headliners, most recently he put both Braun and Samoa Joe over. Zayn has potential, I’m talking main event of Wrestlemania potential, if ever given the chance. On TV Sami has been seen going head to head with authority and being displeased with his situation, it’s time for WWE to give Zayn his break.
Well didn’t little Miss Bliss surprise us all, when promoted from NXT to SD last July many scoffed at the opportunity awarded to her. The diminutive superstar although entertaining was not the first name on everyone’s lips last summer, after competing in NXT for two years and manging Blake & Murphy it seemed she would wait her turn. That wasn’t however going to be the case, upon her arrival on SDLive WWE almost straight away made her the number one threat to Becky Lynch’s newly one title. She made Becky her target and was intent on dethroning the champ, Alexa’s character, promo ability and ring skill garnered respect among members of the wrestling industry. She soon became a highlight of the women’s division on SmackDown, when she was granted her title match lots of us wanted her to succeed. Bliss has since won the title twice, she along with Becky Lynch is the top female star, but where does she go now. In such little time, she has worked with the main ladies on the roster. It seems the bright lights of Raw want her, for right now she should make the move.
If anyone needs a change then its Dolph Ziggler, what’s he doing now? Who’s he feuding with? There are so many questions and more regarding the former World Champion. Dolph once delivered the best RAWAfterMania reaction when he cashed in on Alberto Del Rio, following that his career fell apart, it seems even now he’s still recovering. After a failed world title shot with Ambrose and the Miz reinvigorating his career, there really isn’t much left for Ziggler to do in WWE. He has since losing out on the title become a shadow of his former self, the blame for his downfall is WWE and personal, someone with Dolph’s skill has options, he however just likes the safe ones. If he isn’t to leave and try his luck on the Indy’s or Japan then Dolph needs a move to Raw or to be sent down to NXT. Right now, he’s just treading water.
With this week’s departure of fellow Vaudevillian Simon Gotch, the career clock seems to be counting down for English. The once promising NXT prospect has floundered since his promotion to the main roster, quickly forgotten by the booking team on both Raw and SmackDown the newest member of the Guerrero family seems lost. His gimmick with Gotch worked in the small setting of NXT, but in the big time where only a small majority of the Raw and SmackDown audience watch NXT, the villains were lost at sea. But a man of his skill and look can be used, having the lean frame that he does there is no stopping English joining the ranks of 205Live. With his impressive ring work, agility and promo there is reason as to why he can’t rebuild with the cruiserweights.
Andrade “Cien” Almas
Almas is one of the most underrated talents in WWE/NXT, after being well received and then falling out of favour after his debut the high flying, high impact talent has now come into his own. Since ever so slightly changing his look and attitude the Mexican seems to have found a niche for himself. He can adapt his style to any opponent he faces, WWE obviously trust him in the ring, knowing that with debuting talent he gets the best out of them. He has the look of a superstar and carries himself like one, although yet to find championship gold in NXT he seems ready made for the main roster. With the current IC Title scene on SDLive being a little light since Ambrose became champion, there is no reason why Almas cannot fit right into that mid-card. He reminds me of when Del Rio first debut, Almas has those same attributes but I think he works a little smoother than Alberto in WWE. With Tye recently getting promoted, Baron, Dean and Apollo in the middle of the roster, Andrade would fit in perfectly.
Okay so as previously noted the WWE tag team scene isn’t the best right now, the teams are extremely talented yet the booking has been ghastly. Gargano and Ciampa have been a revelation since they started teaming in NXT, the widely respected former independent workers have often steal the show. In NXT, they have been champions and challengers, as a tandem all goals have been achieved. They could split and go it alone but realistically where does that leave them? A promotion to Raw or SD would be great, however I feel their presence on SDLive could really kick start the division and would offer exciting matches with new talent. Both AA and Uso’s require new challengers, their feud although yielding great matches seems to have run its course right now. It really is their time to shine on the main roster.
Like many former retaining, NXT Champion Asuka has run her course, she undefeated since her debut and stands atop the pile in Florida. At TakeOver Orlando she successfully defeated Ember Moon, but now is returning to NXT enough? Have the third brand really got an in-depth roster of women ready to step up, there is talent in NXT but not at Asuka’s level. It would benefit Asuka to relinquish the title and move on to the main roster, both Raw and SD offer many possibilities and she would fit in almost immediately. With her undefeated credentials in NXT future matches with Charlotte, Bayley, Nia and Mickie offer much to the audience to get their teeth into. To keep Asuka where she is right now would begin to damage her character, when there’s nothing left to do, move on.