Smackdown: Where Midcarders are the Main Event!
Following some very interesting responses to my recent articles, I seem to have caught a bug for writing articles about the WWE Draft and its repercussions, I thought I should consider the Smackdown landscape, in general.
Smackdown was drained of much star power in the Draft, with the loss of Chris Jericho, Edge and, some would say, John Morrison.
The draft left Smackdown with zero full-time superstars, out and out main eventers.
This article considers the superstars who could be asked to headline Smackdown over the next twelve months.
I must point out that The Undertaker is not included here, as I'm not sure to what extent he will be involved this year. We all know he headlines whenever he participates. So lets get to it ...
The Master of 619 is one of the company's top guys, and will surely be a main player for Smackdown this year. He'll feud with all the exciting, young heels Smackdown presents.
Michael Patrick's recent article hotly debated whether Mysterio will capture the title, with most thinking he will instead be used to put youngsters over.
I believe Mysterio will consistently main event, and that one more title run is a strong possibility.
In the immediate future, however, I see him possibly joining the tag team ranks, either with Luke Gallows if, as I hope, Gallows loses at Over The Limit, or MVP.
I have always been a Swagger fan. While I didn't like his lack of build before he won the World Heavyweight Title, I think another title run could do him wonders.
If Swagger is built in the correct way, he could be the closest thing we will get to Kurt Angle. Swagger won't be as good, but he has all the ingredients to become the next best thing.
His true test will come from the organization handles Swagger after his title reign ends.
In the meantime, I love the new, "I have done it all" gimmick. I look forward to a 3-4 month title run where he shows his great wrestling skills against the likes of Big Show and ...
Get ready, peeps. It could FINALLY happen! Unfortunately, it looks as though we won't be getting the much anticipated Edge and Christian storyline any time soon.
But there is a silver lining. All signs point to Christian as the World Heavyweight Champion in the next twelve months.
Christian has already put over the Edge heel turn, and become a finalist in the Intercontinental Title Tournament, in his short time on Smackdown.
As other B/R commentators have said, it would ironically be a better push for Christian to lose to Kofi. I think a loss would leave him ready to pick up his promising feud with Jack Swagger over the title.
This worked on ECW, and I think it would work here.
Christian is a brilliant worker in the ring, and on the mic. Unlike other veterans, he is still being built as a winner. I think his time has come!
The Straightedge Saviour is the real deal. Smackdown will now be his yard, with the Society becoming ultra dominant by the end of the year.
The WWE would be wrong to have him lose his hair at Over The Limit. The only thing he lacks is a title.
I see this being rectified around Autumn with a long run, possibly even heading into Wrestlemania 27 as champion.
The lack of main eventers could help CM Punk secure his place as one of the best heels for many years.
The Straightedge Society could become one of the biggest stables, not been led by HHH, in decades. Think you have heard enough already. Bad luck!
I am struggling with what to make of the future World's Largest Athlete. He is being built up, at the moment, as almost the face of Smackdown.
This move, in my opinion, will eventually help put over Jack Swagger. However, by the very nature of his huge size, a main event push for the Big Show is never believable without a decent title run at some point.
With so many stars of the future on Smackdown, I think it would be a mistake to make this veteran any more than a transitional champion.
I hope, instead, they use Big Show to put over the likes of Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler.
Eventually, I would love to see the big man return heel and add a devastating element to the Straightedge Society.
The leader of the Boom Squad can make a fresh start over on Smackdown.
His rollercoaster highs and lows over the past six months have been well-documented. This crucial point in his career will determine whether his future is in the main event.
I am rooting for a Kofi win for the IC title, and not just for the reasons already suggested.
I believe Kingston's push last year really started with his dominant, and impressive, US Title run. He defended the title successfully on many occasions. I would like to see the WWE do the same thing here.
More long term, I think Kofi lacks a real personality, and his occasional sloppiness in the ring could him prevent from becoming a real top dog.
WHile the occasional main event flirtation is inevitable, Kingston's future lies in the exciting upper mid-card.
I recently wrote an article specfically on Cody Rhodes. I encourage people to read it, if they haven't already. I'll keep this brief.
The comments the Rhodes article received clearly indicated that fans were entertained by Cody's in-ring wrestling abilities.
I would like to see him used like Morisson was last year. Morrison regularly wrestled in long matches, which allowed him to show his skill, without actually thrusting the youngster into the main event.
I would love to see Cody as an Intercontinental Champion, feuding with Kofi Kingston along the way. That's as far as I see him going this year.
I have to say that I am really interested in following McIntyre over the next year. I think he has a very entertaining entrance theme, a good look and a potentially very exciting current storyline with his kayfabe "firing" last week.
This will be Drew's first opportunity to make a big impact return in a few weeks and I hope that that is handled correctly. The WWE obviously have faith in Drew having already given him a long title run and several personal angles in his short tenure in the company.
I am not sure exactly what journey Drew will take over the next year but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him ready to break into the main event by the next draft.
I cannot help but make comparisons between Dolph and Drew McIntyre. They are two of the promising young heels on Smackdown.
Both are desperately trying to force their way into the main event. Thus far, I think they are both doing well.
A lot of young midcarders have trouble finding a finisher, or signature move, that sets them apart and really connects with the crowd.
With the sleeper hold, I think Dolph may have brilliantly found his niche move.
Like Drew, I'm not sure about Dolph's future. I do believe he has the skills to make it very far.
This is man seems to be most at home on Smackdown. Over the last several weeks, MVP has found momentum with crowds that have wholeheartedly embraced him.
If, heaven forbid, Rey wins at Over the Limit, I think we could very well see these two work together. They'll fill out the struggling tag team division.
The commentators seem very keen on hyping up the teamwork shown between ReyRey and MVP recently.
I'm concerned that MVP may well be misused, or lost in the mix, over the coming months. I would rather see the two guys already mentioned fight over the IC belt.
He is not ready to jump to the main event. A transitional IC reign between two young heels is the most likely path for him.
Kane & Matt Hardy
I wont dwell on this issue, I agree that these two have been great workers for many years and arguably should have been given bigger pushes in recent years.
However, these two will not be World Heavyweight Champions. As of now, they are talent enhancement workers.
Thanks, once again for, reading my article.
Jack Swagger, Christian and Drew McIntyre are the mid-carders who are going to really break through over the next year to reach main event status.
CM Punk will reach a very exclusive, elite, level this year.
Big Show and Rey Mysterio will do their usual floating between the mid-card and main event, with an emphasis on putting over the talented readers.
The other wrestlers mentioned will support the strong mid-card which will be pivotal in make Friday Night Smackdown must see TV.