If you look at your calendars, it has been over six months since the latest edition of the WWE Draft. That is more than enough time for the WWE Universe to form their opinions on Raw and Smackdown, both positively and negatively. Some prefer Raw, while others prefer Smackdown. Some take the rivalry very seriously, going so far as to refuse watching one while remaining a loyal weekly viewer of the other. No matter your preference, one thing is a constant... fans have been clamoring for some trades since the day after the Draft took place.
It's not like trades haven't been teased. We've had The Miz talk about wanting to head to Raw because of his displeasure with Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan. We've had people like Cesaro tweet about not being used properly on Raw and wondering if they would be better served to wrestle on Smackdown. Yes, they're all based in storylines, but it's hard not to think about what would/could/should happen if people got sent from one brand to another. With six months in the bag, why not look at that type of thing? Why not go over the rosters for Raw and Smackdown, see who could use something different, and talk about those who could benefit from new scenery? If you're ready, I'm ready, so let's get this going.
Rusev To Smackdown: I'm pretty confident in the fact that I'm not the only person who feels that Rusev is being completely wasted right now. When he was feuding with Roman Reigns, he was a dastardly heel that... didn't do anything wrong. All he did was stand up for his wife, who was constantly being insulted by Reigns. After that feud was over, people hoped for something different, but instead, they got a new feud with Enzo and Cass, where Enzo (the face, mind you) basically exposed himself to Lana, then proceeded to brag about how much she wanted him. In just about any walk of life, that's reason for a husband to beat the ever loving hell out of someone. In the world of WWE, it happened, but again, it was supposed to make Rusev even more hated. If you're a guy and reading these words right now, I want you to do something for me. The next time you're at some sort of large work gathering, I want you to choose the hottest wife of any coworker you have. Then, I want you to strip down butt booty naked, expose yourself to said wife, and then make some crude remarks about how much she wants you. After all that is done, report back and tell me how it went. If I don't hear from you, I'll just assume you're either in the hospital, jail, or the morgue.
At one time, Rusev was pushed as a monster. He should be pushed that way again. I think he needs a fresh start, and Smackdown provides that for him. The Intercontinental Title picture could use a fresh face. Even though the title is currently with Dean Ambrose, it feels like it was contested in a feud between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz that lasted for an entire decade. If you're feeling really froggy, you could just have Rusev eventually take the place of Bray Wyatt or Baron Corbin in the main event scene. There's always the possibility that Corbin's push doesn't pan out, and I feel Rusev is a much better worker. As for Wyatt, well... history isn't on his side when it comes to being booked competently. A hungry Rusev, with a fresh push and new motivation, could become a major player on Tuesday nights. I'm starting to think that he's merely damaged goods on Mondays now.
Cesaro To Smackdown: Kind of an easy choice, really. I'm aware that Cesaro is currently in a tag team with Sheamus, but like many of you, I think that's wasting Cesaro's ridiculous in-ring talent. Smackdown is the wrestling-heavy show, meaning you could have Cesaro involved in 15-minute matches every week without even batting an eye. Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, John Cena, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Apollo Crews, American Alpha... there's a solid list of people right off the bat that Cesaro could have good-to-great matches with. I think you would even see his excitement level rise if he were sent to Smackdown. Despite it being for storylines, it isn't difficult to assume he really meant it when he said he'd be better off on Smackdown. He knows his worth, and he knows his style. Smackdown could accentuate his positives, while helping to hide his negatives a bit. Raw, on the other hand, sometimes goes in the other direction. Raw is generally home to the bigger, larger-than-life characters. That just isn't who Cesaro is, and it never will be. That allows him to get lost in the shuffle sometimes, and a man of his talent should never get lost.
New Day or Enzo & Cass To Smackdown: Smackdown's tag team scene is weak right now. The bloom is off the rose, so to speak, with Heath Slater and Rhyno. The Vaudevillains were dead on arrival when they debuted on the main roster. Like them or not, Breezango is never going to pushed as any sort of legitimate threat. The Ascension should have been scrapped a long time ago. The Hype Bros lost the only reason to care about the team to an injury. It's just a mess over there.
Raw, on the other hand, has two teams that are very similar to each other and really don't have a reason to share the same show. Both New Day and Enzo & Cass are comedic teams, with a heavy focus on catchphrases and making fun of their opponents. They both bring star power to the table, and that's what Smackdown could use. I'm a huge fan of both members of American Alpha, but let's be real... the casual fan doesn't know either of their names, as good as they are in the ring. Even the most casual of current day fans probably knows all the words to the "MY NAME IS ENZO AMORE..." shtick, as well as the "AWWW *insert city here*, DON'T YOU DARE BE SOUR..." shtick.
If I had to choose, I'd send New Day over to Smackdown. They've had their chance at the top of the Raw tag division, while Enzo & Cass have not. Simple as that. Move Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston to Smackdown. It's a chance to "freshen" their act without actually having to do much of anything as far as changing it goes.
Apollo Crews To Raw: I'm an Apollo Crews mark. There's no denying that. However, even those who aren't marks for the guy are wondering what he's doing on Smackdown. He gets a mini-push, then disappears for a few weeks, only to return and get a mini-push again. A lot of that has to do with Smackdown having less time on the air than Raw, and giving away so much of their time to in-ring work. Longer matches on a shorter show generally means you're going to have a bunch of people who rarely get used on a regular basis. Moving Apollo to Raw, where there is an extra hour of television time every week, could allow him to be used more. Obviously, it doesn't guarantee that he'll become a main event player or anything, but at this stage in his WWE career, he could use any boost that he can get. Let him work Mondays, and have him work up into the United States Title picture. It should benefit him tremendously. It's a lot better than appearing on one episode of television a month, anyway.
Kalisto To Raw: Kalisto is one of the smallest performers on the main roster. He's also one of the highest-flying performers on the main roster. Naturally, he's on... Smackdown... instead of the brand that features the Cruiserweight division. There is a bit of a catch here. WWE painted themselves into a corner with the Cruiserweights, and then continued painting over their own shoes in an attempt to get themselves out of the corner. Why would you put your Cruisers exclusively on Raw, then give them their own show that airs after Smackdown, but continue to keep them on Raw?!? There are a few options that make more sense than that.
A) Have 205 Live on Mondays, keeping them all together on the same night
B) Send the entire division to Smackdown, keeping them all together on the same night
C) Have the entire division on its own night
D) Get rid of the division altogether, since you've botched pretty much everything about it from the beginning
The company teased moving the division to Smackdown once already, but they screwed that up, keeping them on Raw after The Brian Kendrick defeated Kalisto by disqualification at the 2016 Survivor Series. If you're absolutely, positively insisting on keeping the 205 crew on Raw, send Kalisto over there. He's more over with live crowds than pretty much the entire 205 roster, and could provide a spark that they sorely need right now.
What am I missing, folks? Who do you think should be sent from Raw to Smackdown, or vice versa? As always, hit me up on Twitter @HustleTheSavage or down below in the comments section and tell me what you think.
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