It has been interesting that Smackdown (Live) hasn’t been in Columbus since March 16 2012. Brand Extension 2.0 happened two weeks after one of the two last year’s Raws emanating from Cbus so I have only officially been to one show since the split. I will still concentrate on the changes between the brands and what I will see tonight.
The Miz & Maryse – Roman Reigns is taking on Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins is tied up with Samoa Joe, Finn Balor seems destined to be tied up with Bray Wyatt after Smackdown’s PPV. The Miz and Dean Ambrose had a dust up on Smackdown Live but the WWE blew up their story line for whatever reasons so who is he going to take on with this many of Raw’s top baby faces tied up?
Dean Ambrose – After scrolling through the Raw roster, I could ask the very same question of Ambrose. All of the top heels are tied up and even if Strowman and Reigns go their separate ways after their match tonight, I’m not exactly clamoring for an Ambrose vs Strowman feud.
Curt Hawkins – I don’t expect his prospects to be any better on Raw than he was on Smackdown Live. He could be used as a veteran that loses to new up and coming talents but the WWE doesn’t seem to even want that from him.
Apollo Crews – I hope he shows up for one of the 205 Live matches on Raw. The division still needs some reinforcing and anyone who has been on the main roster first are viewed as more legitimate even if they didn’t get good pushes then. See Neville.
Kalisto – He has even more cache than Crews seeing as though he was pushed in a tag team with Sin Cara and had a couple of aborted US Championship reigns. The 205 Live brand could use him too.
Heath Slater & Rhyno – They got traded for Primo & Epico, do I need to say more?
Alexa Bliss – The home town woman is on the red brand. She has a new foils in Bayley and Sasha Banks to go against so long as the later doesn’t get turned heel. Though Dana Brooke seems to have a new baby face persona, she doesn’t have the game to match. So how can she lose in her home town?
Mickie James – I’m always confused when a returning star is cast as a heel. Mickie has been kind of a face recently but still has enough heel tendencies. She has also definitively lost to Bliss but could we see that re-match happen while Bayley, Banks and Nia Jax figure out the Raw Women’s Championship picture?
Kevin Owens – I may still get a dose of him since him and Chris Jericho still have a feud to blow off. He’s a tough one to miss because as much as I like Ambrose, I like Owens more.
Sami Zayn – I like Sami but I saw someone equate him to Dolph Ziggler. One could also compare him to Christian. Except those two both had WWE Championship runs and I don’t see that happening for Sami even on the Blue Brand. He is not a big one to miss.
Jinder Mahal – Am I going to see Finn Balor tonight since this buffoon decided to forearm Balor directly in the head? It’s not the UFC. You’re not supposed to do that, Jinder. I hope he doesn’t cost me a Balor appearance.
The Shining Stars – I am not going to miss them one iota.
Charlotte – One of the bigger losses to the Raw brand. She just put over Nia Jax, who has beaten Banks to a pulp and hasn’t been given a one on one shot at Bayley. Will Jax get a Championship match or will Banks turn on Bayley to get it? The Raw women’s division is just as confusing as ever.
Sin Cara – Did anyone else realize he was on the Raw brand?
Rusev & Lana – Rusev is on the shelf so even before getting shipped to SDL, I didn’t have any expectation to see Rusev hence no expectation to see Lana either.
The New Day – New Day is running with Big E & Xavier Woods while Kofi Kingston is on the shelf. They just lost clean twice to The Revival so who do Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder move on to? Matt & Jeff Hardy are the tag team champions but is it a good plan to go straight into a feud between them and the Revival? In my opinion, no. The tag team division seems to work that way though. Two teams are hot and no one is waiting in the wings to take on the winner so I could see that as the first feud back for the Hardyz.