So we are less than 24 hours from Night 1 of the Superstar Shake-up. The “red brand” made out very well on this deal receiving a cornucopia of talent ranging from pre-show darlings, women on a path to success, some established heels and a midcard champion. I wanted to take this time to focus on one acquisition in particular.
The first “shake-up” of the night came before RAW even started. It was announced on WWE.com that RAW had acquired Apollo Crews from Smackdown. This trade surprised me because up to this point WWE hasn’t known what to do with Mr. Crews. So this move can mean 1 of 2 things; either they will be shuffling this gentleman back and fourth without purpose until his contract runs out or he will actually be given a spot on the flagship show. I am honestly hoping for the latter. Apollo Crews is a very talented wrestler with amazing skills in the ring but he doesn’t possess the skills to get the casual fans to follow and invest in him.
So some people would suggest he needs a manager but in this current climate of WWE good ones are hard to find. I have seen the suggestion around the web that Paul Heyman would work. This is the thing wtih Heyman. He IS WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the best managers in the business but he does have a rocky track record when you look at his recent clients. Heyman has had five clients in the last several years (Brock Lesner, CM Punk, Cesaro, Ryback and Curtis Axel). 2 out of those 5 would be deem a success, those would be Lesner and Punk. What they have in common is a history with Heyman behind the curtain as much as they did in the ring. Heyman was the one that believed in these men and the stars they could be and eventually developed into. He had a vested interest in their success. Axel and Ryback were merely stepping stones in the eventual Brock Lesner vs CM Punk marquee match-up at Summerslam 2013. And when you look at Cesaro he was in a very similar spot that Apollo Crews sits now; a physical dynamo that could not get the crowd to pop if he set their seats on fire. So Heyman is not going to solve this problem unless he is the one with the matches.
This is where my creative plans comes in. On the April 3rd, 2017 we saw the debut of The Revival when they came in and decimated The New Day. They made a statement by “injuring” Kofi Kingston and putting him on the shelf. The next week they took on Big E and Xavier Woods. Again they made a statement. So what I purpose is Dash& Dawson come out next week on RAW saying they are not done with the NEW DAY. They go on to say that they are not looking for pin falls they are here to put people on the shelf. Xavier and Big E come out and tell Dash & Dawson they aren’t hard to find. We get a heated match. In the middle of the match they have Big E down and handcuff him to the ropes. They knock Xavier Woods out and lock his legs up to deliver the stomp from the top rope, exactly how they took Kofi Kingston out. The refs come out they get Xavier Woods and Big E to the back. Woods is screaming in pain getting wheeled into an ambulance and as Big E is climbing in with him Apollo Crews is scene looking on in concern.
The next week Big E comes out he says he is fine representing the POWER OF POSITIVITY alone and there is nothing The Revival can do. He continues by saying at Payback they are going to see that. He says that he already talked to our New GM and got his match, a 2-on-1 handicap match. Out comes Dash with Dawson and we have a singles match. Big E would control the match forcing Dash outside of the ring multiple times to regroup. Finally through frustration Dash & Dawson jump Big E causing a disqualification. Big E would rally back forcing the Revival to flee leading us into Payback with Big E looking strong.
Payback arrives and we have Big E vs The Revival in a 2-on-1 Tag Handicap match. This one goes exactly how one would imagine with Big E holding his own at the beginning but due to underhanded tactics The Revival would take the upper hand. After finishing Big E with the Shatter Machine for the 1-2-3. The attack doesn’t end there. As Dawson locks the legs up and Dash goes to climb to the top to take out the last member of the New Day Apollo Crews comes out and clears the ring. As Dash & Dawson stand outside the ring yelling back Apollo would then drop them with a diving attack to the outside taking them both out causing a retreat by The Revival as he [Apollo Crews] helps Big E to his feet.
This would lead to the teaming of Big E and Apollo Crews. With Big E’s charisma the WWE Universe would slowly see a charisma rub on Crews’ character. This is exactly what Apollo needs. Big E is more than a manager Big E is a crowd favourite. By having Apollo save and befriend Big E he absorbs the popularity of the New Day that was seen to be lost when Kingston and Woods were hurt. Now the best thing at this point is to have The Revival continue the feud with Big E & Crews. They could run in on their matches against other teams or even address each other through promos. Eventually when they do face-off I would have Woods outside the ring with crutches. Somehow have him assist with a win over The Revival. This causes a rift. Apollo doesn’t want to win in this way and you see a divide starting.
Eventually Woods returns first from his injury. He is visably bothered by Apollo Crews but Big E is doing a good job patching all visable problems. This would move into Apollo & Big E building a winning streak (sometimes with the unknown help of Xavier on the outside) and lead them to a Tag Team Title program. They ultimatley win the titles and during a celebration we see the return of Kofi Kingston.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are on the mics. They congratualte Big E for holding it down while they were gone. Totally ignoring Apollo Crews you can see Big E getting awkward. He jumps on the mic and says its good to have his borthers back in the ring but he couldnt have down this without Apollo. Woods starts laughing. He makes the claim that they wouldn’t be holding the titles with out his help. Apollo gets rattled and gets in Woods’ face. As Big E pulls him back Kofi and Xavier land a double kick over Big E’s shoulder taking Apollo out. As Big E begs and plees with them they turn shrug at each other like “why not” and take out Big E. We witness the END OF THE NEW DAY as a trio.
This can lead in to multiple stories; the obvious Tag Team Title feud of The “New” New Day vs Big Apollo. This could go for at least 2 pay-per-views. And then when it is played out you have the eventual heel turn of Apollo Crews on Big E. Big E has the potential for a great singles run but first will need to shed his associates. Through this Apollo gets a new look with a heel New Day or goes off on his own as the man who is sick of helping people and getting no further for it.
All in all this makes sense. The New Day is becoming stale but still has enough crowd power that they can help a star that needs it. You create branches of the storyline that can build within each other which WWE wouldn’t accomplish by just adding a fourth member. Big E and Apollo have enough of a similarity in style that they compliment each as a Tag Team and because Xavier and Kofi act as the current mouthpieces they are already making Big E look like the odd man out.
With one storyline you can easily turn this into multiple organic stories giving the superstars so many creative ways to take it.