It’s that time of year again.
The brands are getting a much-needed shake-up as, starting Friday, WWE is having a draft.
Here are five superstars who need to move brands – not just from RAW or SmackDown, but also one or two superstars I think should move from NXT.
JOHNNY GARGANO AND CANDICE LERAE
With Gargano and Candice both coming up short at the recent NXT TakeOver 31 event, it would make a lot of sense for both superstars to get called up to the main roster. Gargano has done practically everything on the NXT roster, as he became the first NXT Triple Crown champion, as he’s held the NXT, NXT North American and the NXT Tag Team titles. He’s also wrestled the most matches at NXT’s TakeOver specials, even earning the nickname of Johnny TakeOver. Although many people think Gargano should stay on the NXT brand, if you look at the big picture, there isn’t much Gargano has left to do on NXT, if anything. Thinking about all the potential matches we could see if Gargano gets promoted just has me excited thinking about them. Matches against people like Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, the list goes on. Gargano has some top quality opponents waiting for him on either brand and the possibilities are endless.
With Candice LeRae, her being called up to either the RAW or SmackDown women’s division would give a much needed fresh face to either division and, with LeRae coming up short against Io Shirai at TakeOver 31, LeRae looks as though she won’t be challenging for the title anytime soon, with the re-emergence of both former NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon and Mae Young Classic Winner and former NXTUK Women’s Champion Toni Storm. Just imagine all the matches we could see, if LeRae got called up to either roster. Candice could have some great matches with Asuka, Mickie James and Ruby Riott on Raw, or matches with Bayley, Sasha Banks and Naomi on SmackDown. Candice is arguably one of the biggest names in the NXT Women’s division and moving her to either of the main roster brands would be a big coup and could lead to some top quality matches.
Since both Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have been sidelined by injuries, Big E has been given a much-needed singles run that should bring him the success he is destined for. He was originally in the #1 contenders match for the Universal title, which was later won by Jey Uso, but was taken out of it, due to an attack from Sheamus. Big E being drafted to the Raw brand could set him up for a WWE Championship match with Drew McIntyre, which could also lead to him being the second member of The New Day to hold that title.
Even if Drew isn’t the champion when Big E earns a title match, a match with Randy Orton does sound like a money match, especially with the run that Orton is on right now. We all know how serious Big E can get when he puts his mind to it, he just needs the proper booking and that much needed opportunity to really show what he has. This would also be the best way to break up The New Day without one member turning on the other two.
With Owens having recent rivalries with guys like Aleister Black, I believe Owens needs a brand change to put him against some new faces. As he’s currently in a feud with The Fiend, having both superstars on the same brand would, hopefully, put an end to this “brand invitation” thing WWE has tried to sell. If you’ve got two brands, you need to have both brands feature their own exclusive superstars. There’s no point of saying one guy is on RAW when he shows up on SmackDown every other week.
Kevin can also re-ignite his friendly rivalry with current Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, as Owens and Zayn always show how incredible their chemistry is, whether their friends or enemies. There are so many people on the SmackDown roster that Owens can reignite feuds with, from AJ Styles to Daniel Bryan, even possibly current Universal Champion Roman Reigns. I always thought his time on SmackDown was incredibly entertaining and him going back to that brand should provide more memories.
Since the break-up of the IIconics, both Billie and Peyton have been small-time players in the RAW women’s division. Since I saw them in NXT, Peyton has always seemed like a future star and I am still shocked to this day that she never held the NXT Women’s title, even with each title shot she had during her time on that brand.
Peyton would work incredibly well as a heel champion for SmackDown, as she just has a natural cocky charisma that most people can’t pull off. If Peyton does get drafted to SmackDown, I do believe that Billie should stay on RAW so both of them can try to forge their own solo careers. Billie and Peyton both pull off being heels so well so they can easily be thrown into a rivalry with a top face champion. They could easily contend, and possibly even win, a title when needed.
A women’s champion in both NXT and NXTUK, I believe Rhea Ripley should be drafted to either the RAW or SmackDown brand because she’s already proven in both developmental brands that she can be a star. She proved that she can put on great matches with some of the top stars from either division, just from her match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania and from the time, along with the NXT brand, she invaded RAW and SmackDown on the lead-up to Survivor Series.
Matches with Bayley, Sasha Banks, even a rematch with Charlotte Flair, would make Rhea a bigger star than she was on NXT. One match I would love to see, if Rhea moves to the RAW brand, would be against Asuka. That’s been one of my dream matches since Asuka was on the NXT brand. Rhea and Asuka could easily headline a pay-per-view and, if Rhea wins a main roster women’s title, she could be the first superstar to hold the NXT Women’s NXTUK Women’s and a main roster title.
I always love the draft and a shake-up on both RAW and SmackDown is much needed. New faces on both brands could be what WWE needs to reshuffle the storylines and put some new names in each title picture. I cannot wait to see who will be moving brands.