WWE just announced a BLOCKBUSTER (read: stupid, unnecessary) shake-up of each of its three rosters. Fifteen wrestlers, five from each brand, just finished a game of musical chairs or, in some cases, musical pink slips. Let’s see how the moves stack up, for the wrestlers, for the brands and for the fans.
MOVES TO RAW
Evan Bourne: Hard to argue with an exciting newcomer the company likes moving to the flagship show. Bourne spent a little time on Raw last year feuding with Mike Knox; look at how far each of them has come (*shed tear for Knox*). It’s not out of the realm of possibility, though, that Bourne will get lost in the shuffle. Who can he feud with? Miz? A face feud with Kofi Kingston? A lateral pass, feuding with Jack Swagger? He still gets a bigger audience to perform for, so that’s cool.
Jack Swagger: Same goes for Swagger: Small fish with a push moving to a big pond. I’ve said it a million times, but there are still certain aspects of his character and entire package that just don’t go well together: big, smiling doofus promoting his all-American status coming to the ring to Rage Against the Machine knock-off music, for instance. He’s a good wrestler and a good character, though, who could have stood a little more pickling in ECW. Possible feuds with MVP and… fuck, I don’t know, Kofi again, might not be shabby.
Gail Kim: The recently returned Kim vs. Beth Phoenix or Maryse has a lot more appeal than Kim vs. Michelle McTaker. Looks good to me.
Alicia Fox: Who truly fucking cares?
Mark Henry: Given the re-debut he made Monday night (decisively beating WWE Champion Randy Orton) and the response he received from the crowd (favorable for the first time in years), WWE must have big things in mind for this 13-year veteran. That’s fine, he’s earned it. He’s still not the best wrestler they have, but he’s much, much better than he’s ever been, and it looks like he’s shed that awful Tony Atlas, so he can talk for himself and sink or swim on his own. Let’s see what happens.
MOVES TO SMACKDOWN
Matt Hardy: Ouch. I guess if his brother Jeff is leaving for a while, Matt just dodged a bullet. A shadow-like bullet. Like, he’d be in his brother’s shadow? Anyway, between his boring character (brooding and sulking) and his piling injuries, Matt was treading water on Raw. Maybe when he heals and is able to sink his teeth into something better than “I’m sad because my brother is better than me” he’ll be a valuable addition to Smackdown. Too bad the world champ over there is turning heel, huh? Have fun feuding with R-Truth.
Finlay: Again? Eh. It’s a good thing Vince loves Finlay, because he’ll have a job for life. But he had good feuds going in ECW; he has pretty much nothing to look forward to on Smackdown. He’ll be jobbing to Edge, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler in no time.
The Hart Dynasty: Natalya gets to be a part of a women’s division again, and Tyson Kidd can work his way up the ranks from Kung Fu Naki to Jimmy Wang Yang before stalling out at Rey Mysterio. But what of David Hart Smith? ECW would have been a perfect place for the British Bulldog’s son to establish dominance before moving on to a bigger brand. Instead he’ll trade wins with John Morrison before realizing there’s no babyface higher than Morrison who will do the job for him. Sorry, don’t see a lot of money in DHS vs. Undertaker.
MOVES TO ECW
Shelton Benjamin: No offense to ECW or its wrestlers, but Shelton deserves so much better than this. However, if he comes in and immediately shits all over Tommy Dreamer, then takes his belt for a nice, long run, including a feud with Christian, things might not be so bad for the best pure athlete who couldn’t talk his way into a push. MAMA?!
William Regal: I guess since WWE doesn’t appear to be holding a King of the Ring tournament this year (sad), Regal had nothing else to do on Raw, so a move to ECW won’t hurt him. He can be the resident Finlay, teaching the newcomers how to wrestle on the clock. (And by young wrestlers, I guess I mean DJ Gabriel? Man, ECW’s roster looks like shit.) But according to WWE.com’s front page right now, tonight’s main event is Tommy Dreamer& Christian vs. William Regal &… Vladimir Kozlov. Really starting Regal off with a bang.
Brie & Nikki Bella: Fuck ’em.