WWE: 7 Raw Superstars Who Should Be on SmackDown
With the active roster being thinner than ever at the moment, WWE should look to push more potential talent towards the top in order to fill in the vacated spots. However, even some of the company's most talented performers are limited in their abilities with their sparse television time due to being apart of the Raw brand.
Although the show's move to three hours next month may prove to be beneficial to those who don't receive as much television time as others, the concept could very easily backfire with the same familiar faces being featured more rather than introducing new stars to the Raw audience.
That being said, there's a handful of members of the red roster that can make their way over to SmackDown in the very near future in order to garner more exposure to the WWE Universe.
With the WWE Draft and rules of the Brand Extension now nonexistent, it's safe to say that a move to Friday night for any of the following seven Superstars is not allowed, but welcomed.
I know this has been stated numerous times over the past year, but this is easily the most obvious choice.
The Miz is in dire need of a change in character and scenery, and is now suffering of the same stale act he's had for the past three years.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a major Mizfit and hope to see the former Dirt Sheet star succeed, but he's been in a holding pattern lately that has only seen his career quickly dwindle. Miz has accomplished almost everything he set out to do when he first started out, but that does not at all mean it is the end of the line for the former WWE Champion.
Since dropping the WWE Championship at last year's Extreme Rules event, we've bared witness to The Miz's gradual downfall, from main eventing WrestleMania 27 to jobbing to the likes of Brodus Clay, CM Punk, Big Show, among others.
His star is slowly fading, and it's mostly due to not developing his character more in recent years. Personally, I believe a face turn can accomplish that, but there's bigger issues at hand.
With top draws such as John Cena and CM Punk headlining Monday nights, it's only a matter of time before Miz jumps ship back over to SmackDown. There, he can become one of the brand's top faces or heels (whichever you prefer) while carrying the show to an all-new level.
Fresh feuds with Sheamus and Cody Rhodes await him, while reigniting an old rivalry with Randy Orton could also do wonders. The possibilities are endless, and one can only hope that Miz can make his presence known on Friday Nights once he returns to television.
While on the subject of The Miz, let's analyze the down-spiraling career of his former NXT Season 2 Rookie, Alex Riley.
Shortly after Miz's WWE Championship loss last spring, Riley turned on his mentor after being fed up Miz's pushy and agressive antics. This saw Riley emerge as a breakout star on Monday nights, having being featured in numerous main event matches of the flagship show throughout the months of May and June.
However, following a loss to Miz in their blow-off match only 24 hours removed from the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Riley was hardly featured on television from that point forward. Sure, Riley was involved in a brief feud with then-United States Champion Dolph Ziggler that August, but took another hiatus from television following Night of Champions in September.
While he may never be a future WWE or World Heavyweight Champion, he can surely be utilized as a solid mid-card act on Friday nights. It's evident that the Varsity Villain can easily connect to the crowd wherever he's placed on the card, which goes to show that he deserves much more than what's he getting right now.
Speaking of Superstars who have entrance music performed by Downstait, Dolph Ziggler is yet another casualty of not being correctly utilized on Monday nights. While he has accomplished great things since moving to Raw last March such as capturing the United States Champion and headlining pay-per-views, those accolades can only get you so far on the flagship show.
Following his stellar performance against WWE Champion CM Punk at the Royal Rumble event earlier this year, Ziggler has been seen bouncing around the card as an enhancement to everyone from World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus to Brodus Clay. He's undoubtedly a star on the rise, despite his win-loss column not being all that evident of that statement.
In his most recent World title match against the Celtic Warrior at No Way Out, Ziggler once again proved that he's capable of hanging with the big league players if given the time to shine. Although he was able to score a victory over Jack Swagger this past week on Raw, it felt like they took one step forward and two steps back by having the bleached-blonde Superstar stick with Vickie Guerrero.
Nonetheless, it's only a matter of time before the former World Heavyweight Champion makes his way back over the blue brand to shine as its top heel. Maybe then Ziggler can enjoy a nice, lengthy reign with the golden prize.
If you asked me a year ago who I despised most on the roster, I would have easily responded with David Otunga. At the time, he was featured in a throwaway tag team with Michael McGillicutty, who also wasn't all that great in the ring or on the mic.
However, over the course of the last year, Otunga has certainly improved in all areas since breaking out as a singles star last fall. Although he was cast in the shadow of Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis, he was still contesting matches against top draws such as Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton.
Sadly, the only aspect that he still lacks is drawing heat from the crowd. Once you hear "Power" hit the arena, you can hear a pin drop with the the silences that emerges amongst the audience.
As much as I hate to say it, moving him to a taped show such as SmackDown can fix that small error by piping in boos for the crowd during his entrance. Sure, that won't help when he competes on live pay-per-view, but how often is that anyways?
Besides, now that Big Johnny has been relieved of his General Manager duties, it's time for Otunga to break out on his own and prove why it's all about him... and the power, of course.
Much like his former NXT Season One Rookie David Otunga, R-Truth is also in desperate need of a change in scenery. He's been apart of the Raw brand for over two years now, and besides his brief stint as a heel last year, his tenure on Monday nights has been nothing special.
Despite forgettable reigns as United States and WWE Tag Team Champion, Truth has merely been an afterthought on Raw. As previously stated, his heel run had potential to be something much bigger, but the ball was quickly dropped by the end of the year when it was determined that he'd be better off as a babyface.
While he may never be a top draw, it's disappointing to see him revert back to the signing and dancing character he played prior to his brilliant heel turn last April. Moving him to SmackDown might not change much, but it will at least separate him from his tag team partner Kofi Kingston so he can finally shine as the singles star he was destined to be.
Upon his return to WWE one night removed from WrestleMania 28, Lord Tensai's arrival was treated as a big deal amongst the commentators that night. Despite pin-fall victories over John Cena and even WWE Champion CM Punk in subsequent weeks, he was destined to fail when it was determined that he just wasn't getting over with the crowds in attendance.
Two weeks ago on Raw, Tensai's brief winning streak came to anticlimactic ending at the hands of Cena. The following week, the former Lord was once again defeated by World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, triggering him to ambush his manager Sakamato thereafter.
While it's been rumored that Tensai is in the midst of a repackaging at the moment, his main issue is very similar to David Otunga's: he just isn't drawing heat from the fans. As previously stated for Otunga, moving him to SmackDown could benefit him in a huge way as he continues to develop his character and hone his craft.
Given the stunning lack of heels on the active roster at the moment, Tensai could very easily rise up yet again and prove to be the rampaging monster that Mark Henry once was on Friday nights.
As I previously stated in my featured article on Zack Ryder yesterday, the Long Island Iced Z isn't going anywhere anytime soon due to the lack of direction his character currently has.
Although Ryder was built up to be an entertaining mid-card act late last year, his career took a turn for the worst heading into 2012 with the amount of beatings he suffered at the hands of Kane and then quickly being erased from television altogether.
He has absolutely no problem in providing solid matches or connecting with the crowd, but it all lies in the hands of those who make the decisions backstage. While Ryder could easily make a credible United States Champion on Raw, I honestly don't see that happening given the amount of support they've put behind Santino Marella.
That being said, a move back to his home turf of SmackDown could quite possibly elevate him back to the status he once maintained, or maybe even higher. There's more than enough fresh feuds he can engage in on Friday nights, especially if he were to be inserted into the Intercontinental Championship picture.
Could Zack Ryder, or any of the other listed Superstars for that matter, benefit from a move to SmackDown? Is there anyone who I failed to mention?
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with anyone else you believe should be listed. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, as well as listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show that airs every Tuesday night at 9/8c for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.