So we’ve gone through each show. I gave you predictions that I did…eh…on, and I reviewed the idea of a second one of these in four months; YEEEEESH!
However now, it’s time to really do the comparing game. I said in the other two posts that this was ok. Talent of equal value really were traded for one another, but just because the talent swap was fair, does it mean it was well done? Did the right talent switch brands? Was there a brand winner? Who made out the best and worst among the talent? Well….lets find out.
– Dean Ambrose, Alexa Bliss, Apollo Crews, Curt Hawkins, Mickie James, Kalisto, Maryse, The Miz, David Otunga, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Bray Wyatt,
– The New Day, Charlotte Flair, Lana, Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, Rusev, Byron Saxton, Sin Cara, Shining Stars, Tamina Snuka, Sami Zayn
Better Brand Post Shake Up
This is pretty hard actually. As both brands got an even swap of talents (and titles), it’s hard to really point at one brand and say “Brand X Won!”. There is one glaring issue though that I feel is indicative to the WWE’s current structure.
RAW has no genuine main eventers in my opinion. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt; they’ve all shown it difficult to draw money, attendance is down with them as champs, and ratings fall flat. They needed a John Cena or an AJ Styles. They didn’t get one, plus they ended up losing two guys the fans really like (I don’t know why…) in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Ambrose didn’t work on SmackDown and Bray Wyatt is the most overrated wrestler in the comapany, they aren’t helping them move the needle. However, Owens and Zayn don’t need to carry the brand on SmackDown. They have Nakamura, Styles and Cena for that. So by the sheer sake of the top two picks finding a better fit on SmackDown, I give them the edge.
Also, while RAW got the better deal overall, Alexa Bliss to RAW doesn’t do the same thing to me as Charlotte Flair to SmackDown does. Bliss still feels like she needs to prove herself, while Flair comes in and instantly becomes THE WOMAN on the brand.
Which Wrestlers Won/Lost
Specially speaking, who won in the move and who bottomed out? This isn’t going to be easy, as saying “Jinder Mahal can now be properly pushed!” isn’t true at all, and “aww Curt Hawkins is going to job out!” Well, he’s already doing that. So who’s stock is going to go up and who’s is going down?
Winner: Kevin Owens
– Owens fell flat as the champ on RAW. His feud with Chris Jericho, which didn’t even net a great match at WrestleMania, was the only thing he had going for him. He was booked poorly, he had subpar matches most nights, and he wasn’t a ratings mover. But, on SmackDown with the guy that helped make him, John Cena, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler, and even Sami Zayn; the talent pool to make Owens shine is there. Plus, the WWE won’t need to rush another world title win on Owens when he clearly wasn’t ready.
Loser: Alexa Bliss
– I’m torn here. I love Bliss. I really do. The company, however, does not. On SmackDown, she was right there talent-wise with everyone but Becky Lynch. She could stand out with her promo work alone, and be a legitimate heel for years. However, now that she’s on RAW, wrestling with Sasha Banks, Bayley and even Nia Jax (who’s just “better” because she’s “bigger”), I think that really puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on a young starlet. She’s still learning, still growing and now she’s in shark infested waters. Plus, the specter of Asuka is hovering overhead, and now that Mickie James is on the show now, Bliss has a lot of proving to do. Had Lynch or even Naomi (baring a title switch), been moved, I think Bliss and Flair would of had the career evaluating feud that would of helped Bliss’ stock.
Uncertain: The Miz/Rusev
– Both The Miz and Rusev found success to varying degrees on their former shows. The Miz’s promos became must see t.v., especially on Talking Smack. Rusev has floundered as late due to Lana breaking kayfabe and ruining an angle, plus injuries, but he’s the best moving big man they got. Both Miz and Rusev could reach new heights. Miz could finally become the top star on a brand and win the big one (though…Lesnar? Yikes). While Rusev could be tested against the best worker roster in history. Not just Cena, Styles, Nakamura, Ziggler folks, we also have both American Alpha members, Kofi Kingston and Sami Zayn. Stacked workers. It’s all about how the WWE wants to book Rusev going forward.
Who Should of Stayed
The WWE didn’t get every move right, though they did get most. However there are two people from SmackDown, who’s careers are about to go into a downward spiral because of the moves.
From RAW, the two names that pop out, but not entirely for the same reasons as the SmackDown duo, are Sami Zayn and The New Day. Zayn will find some success on SmackDown but no one in their right mind will actually say that Zayn is in the top eight of that show. John Cena, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Shisnuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Mojo Rawley (BELIEVE DAT) and Rusev are all better off right now than Sami Zayn. Sure, Zayn’s popular, but he’s like 4-3828 in his last 3832 WWE matches. They may call him the Underdog from the Underground, but he might as well just be Barry Horowitz 2.0. The ceiling on RAW may be higher to hit, but it’s also less cluttered.
The New Day however had a grove on RAW, and the Hardy’s were the team that everyone was clamoring for them to face. While American Alpha will give The New Day better matches, only The Hardy’s could of given the New Day the BIGGER matches that they truly do deserve.
However the SmackDown duo are going to be hurting worse. Zayn won’t gain the traction he could, and The New Day miss out on a big money feud. However Alexa Bliss and Apollo Crews could be fired by this time next year because of these moves. Bliss is not high on the WWE brass’ radar at the moment, and considering how Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and champion Bayley all TOWER over Bliss in terms of presence and name value, really shows you Bliss isn’t as valued as many believe. She should be booked better and promoted more as a prodigy in the ring, but they make her cowardly heel, and give her no real originality besides her look.
Apollo Crews should start filing his unemployment papers now. On SmackDown there was always a chance a heel or face in the mid card would get hurt and he’d be able to take their place and prove to everyone that he belongs. However, the mid card on RAW is the main event. Literally every mid carder is a World Champion. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Big Show, and hell, even Triple H still kinda counts. Samao Joe was a world champ in TNA and ROH, while winning the NXT title. So yeah, Crews has no shot in hell now.
Who Should of Moved
It’s a pretty safe bet that not everyone moved to where they should of gone. Certain guys really could of found new life had they moved and not the other. While I know it’s unlikely, swapping champions (not titles) would of been great for both Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. But they didn’t HAVE to move.
Luke Harper and Finn Balor could of both used a change of locations, but not if Bray went to RAW. Bray and Balor as a feud makes sense actually. It’s actually one of the few feuds I’m looking forward to. Too bad Bray is shit.
But the two people who NEEDED to move? Well that would of been John Cena from SmackDown to RAW and The Big Show from RAW to SmackDown. Cena needs to be on RAW, 1) to get him away from Styles, 2) to help save the failing RAW main event scene and 3) to finally pit him against Roman Reigns and watch the WWE burn down from the rage fires.
The Big Show, while I’ve never liked the guy, really deserves a last good run before he sails off into the sunset. On SmackDown he can reform is best tag team with Kane and bring legitimacy to the division. He could headline a show or two against AJ Styles, who I’m sure could actually pull out a 4, if not a 5 star match with the big man. He’d have better mic workers to work with in Kevin Owens, and he’d have better guys to put over in Shinsuke Nakamura. There’s no better way to end a career than putting over new guys on the way out.
– I’d give the overall thing a C+. The moves made sense, it felt fair and each pick was made knowing a similar move was coming. Lose Ambrose? Get Owens. Lose Bliss? Get Charlotte. However, the set up was stupid. “AND OUT OF NO WHERE, HERE’S THE RANDOM WWE STAR WHO WASN’T HERE LAST WEEK!”
An entire bulk of the show could of been featured around Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan and their “SmackDown team” of guys like Fit Finlay, Sara Amato, and Adam Pearce arguing and deliberating over who to trade for who. While RAW could have Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle, Arn Anderson, Matthew Bloom and like Lita? That’s up to you guys who should of been last in that group. But the segments could of been gold. Hell, do you one better. Have Stephanie and Shane sit in a skybox seat and have the GM’s run the trade rooms. With Stephanie and Shane bantering until they get the calls to confirm the moves.
The lack of a true A-List talent really made it feel inconsequential. While some of the moves helped, you really thought an AJ Styles, Roman Reigns would of (though thank God those two didn’t) moved. I really think John Cena to RAW makes sense. However, I think swapping the champions (again, not the belts), would of worked too. It would of been an “Oh shit!” moment, while the rest of the moments we got were anywhere from, “ugh why?” to “Oh, that’s smart.”
Enjoyable, really. Both shows were really a lot of fun. Not just the moves, but the promos and matches for the most part were a lot of fun.