After watching WWE Raw last night, we saw Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, and Mark Henry make their debuts on Raw in a gauntlet contest against Randy Orton.
Each star in the match really proved themselves in different ways. Evan Bourne had gotten some solid offence in against Orton, Swagger solidified himself as a potential ally for Randy, and Mark Henry had turned face and had pinned the WWE Champion.
I was happy Raw got some solid talent and I'm interested in seeing where Mark Henry goes from here, despite the fact that I'm unhappy that he pinned the champ.
Anyways it was announced on WWE.com that each brand received five mid-card superstars and really Smackdown had benefited the most once more.
Raw did take a solid upgrade, but unfortunately for ECW, Tiffany looks like more of an idiot than before after all she got. Let us look at the men and women who switched brands.
ECW Receives: Goldust, Shelton Benjamin, The Bella Twins, and William Regal
Goldust: Are they serious here? Sure, Shelton Benjamin will be a solid star, but the rest of the moves leave me confused. Where does Hornswoggle go now that his partnership with Goldust is over?
Will WWE do anything with Goldust? He provides nothing to the table and I don't know what they can do with him.
The former Intercontinental Champion is by far past his prime and in reality, he is out of shape and should be nothing more than a comedy figure.
I think WWE should make him the comedy jobber because that is all he is worth, but if they decide to try and turn him into a more serious character, there is still no hope for him because whoever he can feud with (Zach Ryder, William Regal, Hurricane Helms) will be squashing him.
Ladies and gentlemen, expect more of the same nonsense we saw on Raw on Tuesday nights.
Bella Twins: Looking at the ECW Divas roster, the only divas on the brand are Brie, Nikki, and Katie Lea Burchill who we have not seen in a good while on ECW. We all know that both Bellas are more of eye candy Divas, so with no other competition, could we see a heel turn like we saw a few months ago?
I honestly doubt it, but what can WWE do with them now that they are on ECW? Interviewers? Wrestlers? No options really will benefit The Bellas because of the lack of competition and their lackluster skills inside the ring.
If we lived in a land where WWE Creative would care about ECW, we could have let Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly go to ECW for strict competition, because all I see for The Bellas is a comedy act with Goldust.
They could always be valets, but for who? They could always randomly join a feud between Regal and Helms or something, but they will not do much for ECW in the big picture.
William Regal: Maybe ECW's better picks, William Regal actually provides something that will benefit ECW. The former King of the Ring and Tag Team champion is a very well rounded mat wrestler/brawler, so I would have really enjoyed a feud with Finlay, but that is not going to happen with Finlay going to Smackdown.
After being completely buried on Raw, Regal should be slowly built up on the mid-card and then elevating himself on ECW.
He is really Finlay's replacement because I doubt he will hold the gold (silver) on ECW, but I do think he is a solid fit to the brand seeing as he has done nothing as of late.
Where I think WWE will go with him? Well I think they will follow my synopsis and treat him sort of like a heel Finlay because they are so similar. This was a solid pick for ECW, though I thought the purpose of ECW was to build younger talent.
Shelton Benjamin: One pick that I actually like, Shelton Benjamin will no doubt be placed right in the main event scene in ECW. The Gold Standard was very enjoyable to watch on Smackdown and I do wish they went somewhere with the continuation of his feud with R-Truth.
Benjamin will be really the replacement of Jack Swagger because they are both great in-ring wrestlers, but unlike Swagger who had gotten over with the crowd, I do hope Benjamin can get some serious heat before being moved to Raw or Smackdown.
I think Benjamin and Christian could have some solid feuds and some phenomenal matches. With all the stars ECW lost and after gaining almost nothing in return, this is Benjamin's time to prove that he is main event material. Hopefully he holds gold soon in ECW, and I do think that is where they will go with him.
Recap: After quickly viewing who ECW lost and gained in this trade, Tiffany is really no more than a dumb blonde. We basically saw Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, and Mark Henry in exchange for William Regal, Goldust, and The Bellas.
ECW has certainly taken a downgrade as their trade of Hart Dynasty and Finlay for Shelton Benjamin is no better.
ECW certainly is now the C show because now they just lack all the exciting talent that they had before this trade.
Raw Receives: Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, Alicia Fox, Gail Kim, and Mark Henry
Raw certainly lost out when Matt Hardy was traded away, but besides that Raw has taken a big upgrade in this trade that should provide a better quality show, from the mid card. A combination of young talent with a lot of potential will make Raw a much better program to watch.
Gail Kim: Maybe Kim's biggest regret is signing with the WWE, because she is sadly nothing more than a glorified jobber these days. She is the female version of Ron Killings and with all the talent she has, I hope WWE will build her back up on Raw.
Seeing as though we already have Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Maryse, and Beth Phoenix in the division, I do doubt we will see a whole lot of Kim, but if WWE treats her as TNA did, then we could see her have an excellent feud with any one of Raw's Divas.
I do see her more of a Kelly Kelly like role on Raw. She will win one week and lose another. But make no mistake that Kim is so much better than Kelly Kelly ever will be.
She is so deserving of a match with Maryse for the Divas championship and I do think she deserves the role, but I do think having her on Raw is a better option because the division is weaker.
Hopefully, Kim gets what she deserves and in time, I am anticipating that she will.
Alicia Fox: Well I never really liked her relationship with Michelle McCool, but at least she had some kind of important role on Smackdown. Fox will probably take the route of Layla, Eve, and The Bellas have, which is their beauty gets them some ring time, but that is about it.
Fox is a decent wrestler, but she is not much better than Layla or even The Bellas.
I was originally glad she was moved to Smackdown because we could have seen a continuation of her storyline with Edge, but seeing as WWE never pulled the trigger, I do not see much in her future, because she just lacks charisma and enough talent to succeed.
Jack Swagger: I was very fond of this move, mainly because I know WWE sees a lot in Jack Swagger, so I doubt he will be in the lower mid card. Instead, I think he will be taking Matt Hardy's spot as that upper mid-card heel, who will fight John Cena or Triple H from time to time.
He is really the gem in this trade that will eventually shine. I really did like this move and I hope Swagger can have a great career on Raw.
Like I said, Swagger will be like Hardy but I think he is an improvement. Swagger will one day be a world champion and he is so enjoyable to watch. Hopefully, they utilize him to his full potential.
Mark Henry: I was shocked when Mark Henry did not move to Raw in the WWE Draft a few months ago because he was a name that just needed a move. He was not doing anything productive on ECW and this face turn that is in the making will benefit Henry in my opinion.
I do think he should have stayed heel on Raw due to a good portion of Raw’s stars are faces. I do hope that Mark Henry’s apparent main event status on Raw does die out.
I was very upset that Henry cleanly pinned Randy Orton because that will make him an upper card babyface now. This means he is able to feud with Orton, who he really should not be in the ring with unless it is for the short term.
If indeed this will be only a short term rivalry, I am still upset because they could have had either Swagger or Bourne pick up the win last night and leave Henry in the mid card.
I am really not a fan of his in ring work, but I do hope he ends up like The Great Khali, meaning that he elevates younger Raw talent.
Will WWE go in that direction though? I highly doubt it due to the fact that Henry has more skill than Khali does in the ring, but I do not want Mark as a comedy figure by any means because that just does not fit his criteria.
I do think WWE will eventually have this man placed in the mid-card to feud with some younger talent, but I hope it happens sooner than later.
Evan Bourne: After what was more so a glorified job match last night, I do hope Evan Bourne will be in the upper mid card in his stint with Raw. It was time for a change because he did not do much since returning from his injury a few months back.
In the long run, I do not think that WWE will push him to be a world champion, but I think he could be a strong affiliate of the United States Championship division.
He is so exciting to watch in the ring and he could have some excellent feuds with Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, or even Priceless.
He is so capable of being the next Rey Mysterio, so I think WWE will give him a push, but I fear he will be stuck in the lower mid card.
If Evan were to be booked correctly, we could even see him feud with Big Show just for something fresh, but Bourne should be utilized to his full potential and I fear WWE will stick him down in the mid card.
Recap: As I stated, Raw certainly had an upgrade, but was this enough to make Raw the A show? I doubt it because Smackdown will be even better with who they got.
I find it hard to believe Tiffany would just trade away all of her talents and let us hope McMahon puts her on probation, because she has made ECW the worst show on WWE TV.
Smackdown Receives: Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, Natalya, Finlay, and Matt Hardy
With their only key loss being Shelton Benjamin, Smackdown took another upgrade that will make the show just that much better than before. With a new faction alongside the returning Matt Hardy (who never should have left in the first place) should provide more solid wrestling than ever before.
Hart Dynasty: A perfect acquisition for Smackdown as this upcoming faction certainly has all the potential in the world to be one of the best. There are so many possibilities and seeing as they joined Smackdown, they should be able to shine more than they ever could on Raw or ECW.
Natalya is an instant upgrade for the Divas division as she is one of the best women wrestlers today. With Melina, Michelle McCool, and now Natalya on one roster, we should see some very solid Divas’ contests every Friday Night.
On ECW, Natalya was more of a valet and that is great for a faction, but now she has competition, so I think she will be a major part of the Divas division.
As for Kidd and Smith, they are a perfect fit for Smackdown’s tag team division as now they can feud with John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, and Rated Y2J.
Hart Dynasty will be such a great addition to Friday nights as they will take advantage of every opportunity they can get. They are most certainly the future of Smackdown.
Finlay: The tough Irishman will be a forced to be reckoned with on Friday nights. Another perfect Superstar for the Smackdown brand because Finlay can either be the tough Irish bastard he was when he first debuted on Smackdown or he can still play the face role as well.
Finlay will be a great part of the lower mid card as he can have some solid feuds with R-Truth, Kane, or Dolph Ziggler.
Finlay can really elevate a Superstar's status and that is what I think he will mainly be used for unless WWE decides to give him a monster push and have him join the upper mid-card, though I think that is unlikely.
Finlay is a perfect fit for Smackdown and he will provide some solid mat wrestling to the show.
Matt Hardy: Smackdown’s best pick if you ask me, Matt Hardy should be able to garner major heat from the crowd and provide a solid heel from Raw. The only question I have with Matt is, why?
We have Jeff Hardy and I do think both Hardys should be separated so they can feud with other people, but I really think this signifies that A. Jeff will be leaving the company or B. Matt will have some kind of storyline in which he can not come near Jeff.
Also, his injury takes into effect as well. We now know that Matt Hardy will need surgery and be out for some extended period of time, so could we be waiting for Matt to debut after Jeff is gone from WWE?
Matt could also turn face after (IF) Jeff is gone, but it would be hard to give Matt a turn after all he’s done to a top babyface.
That would be like Triple H and Randy Orton forming Evolution together and pretending that Orton never took out the entire McMahon family. Matt literally tried to kill his brother, so I’m not sure that is entirely possible.
I want WWE to have Matt come in after or if Jeff leaves, but if Jeff ends up staying, they need to be separated. I think WWE will wait to see what happens to Jeff before doing anything significant with Matt.
But whatever happens, there are so many ways to go with Matt back on Smackdown and I think this was an excellent move by WWE.
Overall Synopsis: As I’ve been saying over and over, Smackdown got bigger, Raw got better, and ECW got raided. There is nothing to look forward on Tuesdays besides Benjamin vs Christian and I do think Vladimir Kozlov will make a much dreaded impact on the show now that the competition is minimal.
Raw will be a more solid show depending on how they utilize their new acquisitions and Smackdown will be bigger and better than ever. With all the possibilities that show has, it will be even greater to watch Smackdown.
I hope you enjoyed my piece and thank you for reading!