As we did with the new RAW roster, so too shall we do it with the revamped SmackDown offering. What do our writers think?
I think SmackDown picked up a few surprising additions to the roster-Kevin Owens, Charlotte, Sami Zayn-but I think comparing the two sets you up for a bummer. Look, once RAW began announcing the selections, it was somewhat obvious who else would be going where. For example, when Dean Ambrose arrived on RAW, you knew that Kevin Owens, or at least the United States title, was headed to the blue brand. But, for whatever reason, the blue show was not as great as the RAW show was. I think SD absolutely got the women’s division help it needed. A decent enough show, though perhaps something like this could have been done, aired on the Network, and independent of the shows. I just think it would have worked better, and maybe they would have figured out a way to avoid a number of matches on Payback where it’s RAW versus SDL, on a RAW exclusive PPV.
Like RAW, I’m going to take this one superstar at a time. Kevin Owens and Charlotte seem like great choices. Charlotte’s done everything possible on RAW and a switch was badly needed. Owens looks primed to be the top heel on SmackDown, especially after he beats Chris Jericho at Payback. Sami Zayn worked on RAW, but SmackDown seems like a better place for more and better opportunities. New Day were losing what made them special after over consuming our TV sets on RAW. SmackDown needs help in the tag division and New Day should be the answer; as will Epico and Primo now that they’ve dropped the Shining Stars gimmick. I don’t know what WWE will do with Rusev, but Lana looks be getting a big push and some possible in-ring time. Sin Cara will do nothing. I would say the same about Jinder Mahal, but now he’s the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship. Crazy times. If Tamina has improved in the ring, then she’ll be fine. It’s been a long layoff for Tamina, so she needs to reestablish her character to fans.