With SummerSlam fast approaching WWE should look to revitalize the rosters of both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live before we dive into the lull period of the Fall. Currently, Raw has around 50 active superstars (male and female) and SmackDown has between 40-45 so with that said, here are 5 trades WWE should do right after SummerSlam!
1) Raw to SmackDown – Bayley
It’s heartbreaking to remember that this year’s SummerSlam weekend will be three years removed from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn (1), where Sasha Banks and Bayley battled it out in what would later be called one of the greatest women’s matches of the past 25 years, and named on the top 100 WWE matches of all time by WWE itself. Why is this heartbreaking? It’s due to the fact that Bayley and Banks have regressed so much, so quickly.
While Banks has put on solid performances consistently throughout her time on the main roster, who can forget the feud with Charlotte. On the other hand, Bayley’s time on the big stage has resembled that of a fish on a dock – filled with life at the start, followed by slow and agonizing death. Bursting on the main roster the night after SummerSlam in 2016, Bayley was white hot, easily the most over babyface in the company at that point. Now, two years later, Bayley is not even on the same planet as those in the title picture.
Ok, maybe we’re being too harsh, but the fall of the Bayley character deserves its own article entirely. Whether you blame WWE booking her into the ground, her character being destined to fail from the start, or a mix of both, Bayley is lost and needs to find something new. WWE clearly doesn’t see too much value in the Banks/Bayley feud, so once its wrapped up (hopefully by SummerSlam), Bayley can then move on. Specifically to Tuesday Nights.
As noted before, Bayley is nowhere near credible enough to be in the title picture of the Raw Women’s Championship, however, she’d fill a perfect slot on SmackDown Live. She would have plenty of people to work with on the blue brand, while also being seen as a top level star, rather than a bit player.
With Carmella currently SmackDown Live Women’s Champion, a feud between the two can help bring back the fans love and admiration for the underdog they use to have.
2) SmackDown to Raw – Sin Cara
Ok I know what you’re thinking: Really? Sin Cara? Am I actually spending time writing about Sin Cara? And my answer to your questions would be a resounding – Hell yes!
I know that this will sound more like fantasy booking than anything else; after all, Sin Cara has been seen as less than valuable since…forever.
However, in his last feud with Andrade Cien Almaus, we were reminded of the type of performer that Sin Cara truly is. When given the proper dance partner, the guy is nothing short of a stud. Sin Cara has a unique style of Lucha Libre mixed with raw power. The guy can fly through the ropes and power-slam you like nobody’s business.
With his feud pretty much wrapped up with Almas, WWE could easily move him to RAW, and give him a couple of easy wins off the bat, reestablishing his credibility. If given the time to perform, talk on the mic, and show his intense and fast-paced style, he would not only fit in on Raw, he’d thrive.
3) SmackDown to Raw – Naomi
When it comes down to it, what more does Naomi have to accomplish on SmackDown Live?
Naomi is now a two-time SmackDown Live Women’s Champion, and the winner of the inaugural WrestleMaina Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMaina 34. She has feuded with nearly everyone on the roster, but it seems as though the neon warrior has hit a glass ceiling. She now feels like a side character – simply there to fill the void of a babyface.
She is far too talented in the ring to be slotted as such, as she has proven without a doubt that she can work with the best in the business. A move to Mondays could be whats best, and give the Women of Monday Night Raw a chance to “Feel the Glow.”
4) SmackDown to Raw – The Usos
To say that The Usos’ have done well on SmackDown is like saying that Tom Brady is a “good” quarterback – no ish.
The Usos completely redefined themselves as a tag team in the last two years, demonstrating how they are easily in the top 5 tag teams in WWE, and one of the best tag teams in professional wrestling today. They currently hold the record as the longest reigning SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions in WWE history – holding the belts three times for a combined 331 days.
The Usos had a long standing feud with the New Day, a feud that not only showcased both teams talents to the 100th power, but breathed new life into the New Day – as they had started to become stale, leading to their famous Hell in a Cell tag team match that easily stole the show last year.
The SmackDown Live tag team division is at the top of its game, and has more teams than it needs. Raw’s tag team division on the other hand is on life support and failing fast. Currently, The B-Team are the brand’s tag champs, with the former champs beginning to plant seeds of descent with one another. Other than that, The Authors of Pain (A.O.P) are the only legit team in the entire division – basically Raw would have two teams.
The move to SmackDown for the brothers makes sense on two levels. Raw needs the talent and SmackDown Live has it in spades and can fill the gap. Almost everyone has forgotten that The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro ) were traded to SmackDown not too long ago, and have barely been seen on TV since.
Overall, the Usos would provide an adrenaline shot to Raw and would make the tag team division more watchable. Additionally, SmackDown Live wouldn’t have to mortgage its talent to Raw.
5) Raw to SmackDown – Finn Balor
At this point, it’s clear that Finn Balor is plagued with the “Dolph Ziggler Syndrome.” While he could always be counted on to deliver stellar performances and is heavily favored with the crowd, the character has quickly become directionless. While he has achieved main event status before on Monday Night Raw – becoming the first Universal Champion – injury dramatically shortened his reign, thus making WWE hesitant to put major stock in him again.
With this said, Balor has nowhere to go on Monday Night Raw. He has been involved with midcard storylines for seemingly ever, and with the main roster getting more and more stacked, Balor is simply running out of things to do. An attempt at the Intercontential title would be to rise and repeat, and with the Reigns/Lashley/Lesnar trio involved in the Universal title picture the red strap is completely out of reach.
While truly anything would be better than his feud currently with “Constable” Barron Corbin, a move to the Blue Brand might be his next best bet.
SmackDown Live has a major lacking of top Babyfaces. As of right now, AJ Styles (WWE Champion), Daniel Bryan, and Jeff Hardy are the only major babyfaces that could conceivably be in the main event picture. While Styles is phenomenally constant, Hardy and Bryan aren’t.
It’s still not clear as to what exactly the direction will be for Bryan in the future. This past Tuesday night gave us a hint at the ever sought after Miz v. Bryan feud, but whether or not WWE wants Bryan in the WWE title picture at some point soon is unclear. On the other hand, Jeff Hardy is United States Champion but who knows for how much longer. It’s becoming clearer that the reports of Hardy’s struggle with injuries are very real; with a now newly turned heel Randy Orton, SmackDown has no other babyfaces left for the main event.
Balor would be a perfect fit for SmackDown. His wrestling abilities would be on full display, he’d add a boost to ratings, will always have a potential for a “Club’ reunion (with the Good Brothers being on SmackDown), and he would finally have the chance to rise on the card. Styles vs Balor for the WWE title is a program that writes itself.
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