Major Roster Changes in WWE
WWE ran a MAJOR angle on tonight’s edition of Raw (yes I know, we hear this every week). This week’s gimmick was that Donald Trump instituted some trades between the other drafts as his “final decision” as Raw owner and thus WWE was forced to switch up the roster. I don’t really understand what the point of this was other than them realizing the mistakes they made in the annual WWE Draft back in April without actually calling this an official “Draft”. Typical WWE wanting to shake things up.
In reality it’s tough to really care about these decisions, except in this case it’s a bit perplexing. My initial thoughts were that ECW got utterly molested in this draft. Not only did they lose four of the best stars on the brand, they got a bunch of bad people. Raw was strengthened legitimately this time, and although the draft in April was menat to make Raw better, it turned out that it made Smackdown a MUCH better product. Now, you’ve got better workers on Raw. Smackdown still has a horde of great workers and now a few more.
The one thing I do love about this whole situation is that the TWO BEST active workers in the company, Chris Jericho and Edge, are UNIFIED Champions. That means we’ll (hopefully) see them defend those belts on all of the shows and add more great matches. That, to me, is the best decision the company has made all month (and there have been some BAAAAD ones).
What really makes no sense to me is that with Jeff Hardy leaving, Undertaker being a part-timer and Punk turning heel, wouldn’t it have been smart to move at least ONE top babyface to Smackdown to supplement that? If you put that into perspective, the highest face on the brand is Rey Mysterio. What a fail. Who will contend for Punk’s title now? This company is so freaking weird sometimes.
Now, let’s take a look at the individual trades and briefly analyze them:
Gail Kim (From Smackdown to Raw): Awesome female worker who really hasn’t gotten the spotlight put on herself since returning to WWE. With the lack of real challengers to Maryse on Raw other than Mickie and Beth, Gail will fit in nicely and strengthen that division. Smackdown on the other hand will be loaded with more crappy Michelle McCool matches. Gail is a good looking asian, and I think we need more of those on the A-show.
Alicia Fox (From Smackdown to Raw): She and Kelly Kelly are probably the best looking chicks in the company. With her rapid improvement, I can see why they would decide to move here. Still, I think it is too soon. I think she needs some more grooming before she can be on live TV. Still, it’ll be nice to see her fine black ass.
Jack Swagger (From ECW to Raw): Great move, but maybe a bit too soon. I was enjoying the Christian vs. Swagger feud on ECW. This can go two ways. Swagger can be pushed as a semi-top heel, or he could be treated like a low level heel like The Miz and job out to the top guys. The latter seems most likely, which is a damn shame.
Evan Bourne (From ECW to Raw): Much like Swagger, Bourne can go both ways. Difference is that while he is more talented than Swagger, his size isn’t doing him any favors. He can tear it up on Raw, but will he get the chance to? I love that Bourne, Swagger, and Fox, the TAMPA TRIAD, are now on Raw.
Mark Henry (From ECW to Raw): His babyface turn on Raw was probably the best face turn I have seen in a long time, if it was even that. I loved how he battered Orton. It’s a shame he won’t get a shot at the title, but he must. A giant, monster Henry as a face is BUYS! I legit marked out! Anyways, if Henry is going to be a face on Raw (which is already face heavy), he can’t be a jabroni to Legacy. He needs to start winning like he did on Raw. It’s a shame these ECW guys would probably be safer on ECW, but Raw seems like a step up… right??.. eh… maybe not.
Matt Hardy (From Raw to Smackdown): Peculiar. I can see them trying to continue the Matt vs. Jeff feud with Matt winning before Jeff leaves, but I really don’t know. I really don’t understand the reason for this move at all. I guess WWE realized he wasn’t going to be used on Raw and he definitely has a better chance on Smackdown. I can definitely see him replacing an Umaga as the mid-to-upper card heel who loses to the top faces.
Finlay (From ECW to Smackdown): Finlay was the veteran enforcer on the ECW brand, but methinks they’re just replacing that spot with Regal. Finlay on Smackdown is a decent move and another great worker to add to the bunch with Punk, Jericho, Edge, Hardy, Hardy, Taker, Morrison, etc. Lots of great matches coming.
The Hart Dynasty – David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd & Natalya (From ECW to Smackdown): Another good move. I think WWE realized this threesome is ready for a bigger spotlight. In addition, with no women’s title on ECW, there’s nothing for Nattie to do there. I can’t wait to see Morrison vs. Kidd.
Shelton Benjamin (From Smackdown to ECW): I honestly feel bad for the guy. He and Christian are the only people I give a damn about on this brand and they will probably be feuding for the ECW title for the next six months once the belt goes off Dreamer. He is such a good worker and been there so long and I was loving the tease of re-teaming with Haas on Smackdown. I see this as nothing but a demotion.
Goldust (From Raw to ECW): No idea.
William Regal (From Raw to ECW): He is obviously replacing the role Finlay had as the veteran to help Koslov and these guys out. I’m fine with the move. He and the aforementioned Christian and Shelton are the only good workers on ECW.
Brie & Nikki Bella (From Raw to ECW): They need improvement rapidly. No idea if this is a good move to learn that. They should both go back to developmental and get groomed. There is no women’s title on ECW, so I can see this as an early sign that the Bellas will be shown the door sooner than later.
Time will tell what these moves will mean for the talents involved. Still, such a bizarre turn of events with WWE and yet again I see the potential of something cool (like putting a new top babyface on Smackdown) being wasted.
But again – time will tell.
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