Well we are officially on the other side of Wrestlemania. As a fan I was pleased with the show. Of course I was bias of a few storylines and finishes feeling I could have booked them better. That is just the type of fan I am and will always be. If I wasn’t this blog wouldn’t make little to no sense.
As always the #RAWaftermania was a fresh start where we see new stars coming in, some stars taking breaks or in this year’s case a Phenom retiring. But all in all it gave an opening for CHANGE.
I was very happy to see Vincent K. McMahon make his way on to the screen This man, like it or lump it, is a one of a kind business man. Watching him play the crowd as he did was, as always, a thing of beauty. He also gave us a well needed announcement of a “Superstar Shake-Up” to change things up. I was not expecting this till closer to June but an very happy it is sooner than later. So thanks to this announcement I will focusing on the Shake-Up in this week’s blog.
Now there was an article on McMahon’s Announcement on WWE.com where they give vague details on how this will work. They make mention to the possible “trades, deals and other moves” but for the sake of this post I will be focusing on; multiple acquisitions that would benefit each show, as well as those trades I will be making a recommendation for a NXT call up for each show.
RAW Acquisition #1: Mojo Rawley
This just makes sense when you consider the ending of The Andre the Giant Battle Royal. As I stated in Wrestlemania 33 REcreated: Runners-Up & the Honourable Mentions this match needs to start meaning something. It needs to be a leap off point for a superstar. Not meaning a future main event spot or world championship status but at least a purpose. At Wrestlemania Jinder Mahal and Mojo Rawley shared the beginnings of a possible feud. Although I have no doubt that the best we can get from this conclusion is a pre-show match nonetheless it is still giving these two superstars something. Now at the conclusion of this obviously its best to have Mojo Rawley go over and lead to another mid-card feud that at least has my attention between major segments on RAW. I would watch Mojo vs. Rusev, or even Mojo vs Titus O’Neil. Again this won’t be for a title but still has a slight amount of storyline to a stale midcard. In fact I would even tie this to the future signing of Zak Ryder and the possibility of a Hype Bros midcard run in the Tag Team Division of RAW.
Smackdown Acquisition #1; Sheamus
Yes I know that he is slated for a Tag Team Title match with Cesaro against current champions The Hardy Boyz. Leading into this match have Cesaro receive an open contract from Daniel Bryan where Bryan tells Cesaro that if he ever wants more opportunity there is a spot on Smackdown. Cesaro and Sheamus lose their match resulting Sheamus attacking Cesaro, signing his name to the open contract and laying it on top of his former partner. At this point in his career Sheamus can hold a standard feud against talents such as Tye Dillinger, Luke Harper or even a returning Shelton Benjamin. I think Sheamus has hit a point where we won’t see a major title reign but he does have enough appeal and at times natural heat to work a midcard match on a secondary Pay-Per-View. He could even take something stale like The Ascension and either join forces or infiltrate this team breathing fresh life into it. Even if they swap out the leather battle gear and wore kilts and acted as Sheamus’ muscle it would be an improvement to their current slip into tag team obliviousness.
Raw Acquisition #2; Breezango a.k.a The Fashion Police
Ok please don’t stop reading this. There is a point to this trade. This is not for the team itself but more for the parts. I would actually do this and do some sort of comedy storyline where Fandango actually turns on Tyler Breeze for the rights of a time share from the Shining Stars. Yes this is cheesy but it appeals to the PG audience and it writes Fandango off TV until they can repackage Johnny Curtis. That guy was able to hold a decent program in NXT but has been dropped down to a filler on the main roster. As far as Tyler Breeze goes he is a similar story. He once was the NXT Champion, a main player and is now just another name in a team. Picture an embarrassed partner-less Breeze walking backstage after Fandango leaves him in the ring. Approached by Cedric Alexander who offers his hand in friendship. Breeze attacks Alexander for his “offer of pity to the Prince of Pretty”. Boom Breeze is 205 and given new life. We would automatically get matches that would have the internet buzzing every Wednesday after 205 Live. Think about it Breeze vs Alexander,Breeze vs TJ Perkins and piece du resistance Neville vs Breeze vs Austin Aries in a Triple Threat Match.
Smackdown Acquisition #2: Enzo Amore & Big Cass
So we all saw last week as Enzo & Big Cass quickly lost their chance at their first Tag Team championship within the WWE. They followed that up with a loss to Sheamus and Cesaro the next night. This team needs a new home. They still have the audience’s attention and the crowd appeal that is needed on Smackdown. They also the appeal of a top contending team to quickly top the Tag Team Division on Smackdown. This would set up a feud with The Usos. This also effects not only the Tag Division as it would the Women’s Division with a Naomi heel turn protecting the title reign of her husband and his brother painting the picture for Carmella dropping the horrible storyline with Ellsworth and evening the odds against Naomi and The Usos when she joins forces with Enzo and her real life boyfriend Big Cass.
RAW Acquisition #3: Dean Ambrose
So Ambrose has been a slight creative slunk since losing the WWE World Title to AJ Styles. Now obviously he wouldn’t bring the Intercontinental Title over with him. This would set up a situation where it would be Title vs Contract against Baron Corbin this week on Smackdown. Ambrose losing does two things; first it gives Baron Corbin a title win and a spotlight. And secondly it gives Ambrose a chip on his shoulder. He is now the unappreciated employee who saw all of his efforts go towards nothing. He sees himself as a whipping boy. He is shown blowing off shows and not doing what is asked of him. He can even do an angle where he goes on strike and pickets his own matches. Stephanie would take this personally a constantly make an example of him. This forces him to gravel for his job but is still “fired” for his efforts. He then goes into a fit of rage leading to the point where he “snaps” and truly becomes a lunatic. And just like that Ambrose becomes the modern day hero to the menials and their sense of entitlement.
Smackdown Acquisition #3: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn needs a push and with the amount of talent that is being pushed on RAW right now Zayn has been reduced to a stepping stone for guys like Owens, Strowman and Samoa Joe. On Smackdown Zayn is the midcard hero with main event potential. Off the top of my head I see three feuds with 5-Star Match possibility; Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin and The Miz. Even title feuds with fellow baby-face Shinsuke Nakamura would produce memorable matches suitable for one of the Big 4 Pay-Per-Veiws.
RAW Acquisition #4: AJ Styles
In one year he rose to the top of the card for Smackdown and gave them the push they needed. Now is his chance to run the flagship show. Right off the bat you get a feud with Samoa Joe. This feud is something we have seen many times before but no doubt these two superstars would up their game when it comes to doing it in a WWE ring. We also have the potential in a feud with Kevin Owens for the United States title. And the cherry on the ice cream sundae would be having ALL Club members (Styles, Balor, Anderson and Gallows) on one show. This could lead to joining forces, or even a power struggle leading to a Balor vs Styles program that would be so good for both superstars. This is a move that brings attention to RAW in the best way.
Smackdown Acquisition #4: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Seth is someone who can lead a brand but on RAW he loses the opportunity with so many leading stars. Seth has established himself as a worker in the eyes of the “bosses” but still needs a chance to appeal to the fans. Smackdown gives him that chance. Against stars in Smackdown has can build a fan following and find his way back to the top holding another WWE World Title. He also has the ability to switch down the road and have an amazing heel run versus Nakamura, Zayn or even Dillinger.
RAW New Superstar Acquisition
Cesaro stands in the ring. He has just been betrayed by Sheamus. He talks about how he knew better but still trusted Sheamus. Anderson & Gallows come out. They say you need to have a brother in arms. You need a soldier as well as a friend. But as they can see Cesaro doesn’t have that which is bad news for him but good news for them. Just as they climb in the ring we see the run out by Kassius Ohno A.K.A. Chris Hero. Cesaro and Ohno clear the ring and casual fans get to witness reincarnation of the KINGS OF WRESTLING (but of course under a new name).
Smackdown New Superstar Acquisition
This one is very simple. I would bring up Andrade “Cien” Almas. He is currently coming into his own as a heel on NXT. He can start out with an attack on Tye Dillinger another NXT call up. It can be built as him feeling disgruntled against former NXT superstars that got called up before him. Leading to Apollo Crews and Kalisto. And if that takes off his path would lead to a showdown with Nakamura or even Seth Rollins.
Now I understand allot of these trades are no mind altering blockbusters but there is one thing they all do. They all add substance. They add options for the parts of each show that lack something. Vince Russo often refers to a time during the Attitude Area where every superstar was given something. And that gave each segment of WWE TV something. We need that back. Fans need options. Not everybody needs to cheer for the main event as long as they are given something else to cheer for along the way.