The WWE held their annual Superstar Shake-up. Superstars moved between the brands and changed the landscape of each. We previously recapped the moves and chose our obvious winners. This time we take a different look at the post-shakeup rosters on each brand. The march to the next Wrestlemania has officially begun. Today we examine the three superstars whom have the most to prove moving forward.
This is an obvious choice. Amidst the turmoil and controversy surrounding Sasha Banks, Bayley was moved to Smackdown. The former NXT Women’s champion has often wandered aimlessly since coming up to the main roster. Her pairing with Banks was long awaited by the WWE Universe, with their eventual victory to claim the new WWE Women’s Tag Team title, seemingly sending them off to a lengthy run. However, after dropping the straps at Wrestlemania, the duo have been separated and Banks’ future with the company put in question.
Bayley must find a way to be more than just a fun-loving sidekick. The Smackdown women’s roster is stacked with talent. This puts Bayley in a deeper hole as she must separate herself from the rest of the pack. She has the in-ring ability that rivals any woman on the roster, but Bayley needs to show some type of character. Her close proximity to Banks undoubtedly puts a target on her bank in the eyes of the creative team. If Bayley is unable to carve out her own spot on the roster, we could be witnessing the beginning of the end for our favorite hugger in the WWE.
If you’re a subscriber of the WWE Network, take a moment and watch a few NXT episodes from three years ago. You’ll find a captivating and energetic Chad Gable. While teaming with Jason Jordan, the duo formed American Alpha and were one of the best in the industry. Those days are long gone. Gable’s partnership with Bobby Roode has also ended. Now is the time for Gable to step up and show he can do things on his own.
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Smackdown moves to FOX Sports in October of this year. There has been talk that the change means a more “sports” feel to the product. If this is indeed true, Gable could see some prominent time on television due to his inclusion in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Gable is talented in the ring and has shown enough personality to hold his own on the mic. The next few months is his for the taking. If he can show some promise as a singles competitor, big things could be in order.
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Heavy Machinery are an interesting tag team. The duo aren’t often seen competing on television. They’ve been used primarily for on-screen segments either backstage or playing off of someone like Alexa Bliss. Otis and Tucker are talented big men with surprising athleticism. However, Otis is the obvious pick when projecting who can be a successful solo act. Tucker, while fun and exciting in his own way, lacks the same level of charisma found in his partner. Whether social media or WWE programming, Otis is the crazy guy to Tucker’s more reserved character.
The tag team likely has much more road ahead together, so this is really more of a 18+ month projection. Tucker needs more screen time where he can share the spotlight, if not get the entire spotlight over Otis. A few singles matches to help move a tag team story along could be a major development. However, if Tucker isn’t able to do much moving forward, he’s doomed to be the Marty Jannetty of this team.
The Superstar shakeup allows the roster with the opportunity to start anew. Whether someone switched shows or not, superstars must find ways to stand out and build something. In the WWE, opportunities are at a premium, your first chance could be your last. Hopefully the story of Kofi Kingston and his sudden rise, has inspired the rest of the roster to be exceptional. Who do you think has the most to prove?