Smackdown: 10 Talents That Could Revitalize the Blue Brand
As of late, WWE seems to have very little interest in the happenings of Smackdown, and even the show as a whole, on some occasions. This is evident, by the fact that Smackdown has had the same main-event match for more than three Pay-Per-Views, and only once has there been a stipulation in the series.
I'm talking about Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship. Now, these two are good in the ring and put on a great match, but it's becoming very tiresome to watch. I'll say that Smackdown looks to be doing OK with what they have: playing on Randy's anger issues and turning Christian heel. All good things, but there's only so much that can be done.
Now, since the draft, Smackdown has been in a bad way with losing Edge to retirement, Mysterio to RAW, Alberto Del Rio and several rising names for the sake of giving RAW more people not to give airtime too, especially with the recent Punk/HHH/Cena angle, because that takes a lot of time.
Now, Smackdown has been doing what it can with what it has left, and despite giving Ezekiel Jackson the Intercontinental Title, it hasn't been too bad, with Mark Henry on a tear, Rhodes in the hunt for singles gold and The Usos finally becoming relevant, but I still think Smackdown needs a bit more help.
Now, this isn't going to be your typical list. There will be familiar names, but you'll see a few new ones on here when it comes to talk like this, so you'll have to bear with not seeing Chris Jericho on this list (though I would love to have him back on Smackdown.).
So, here I've compiled a list of guys who could fill out Smackdown's mid-card, NOT be sent to Superstars (if they know how to be used), and main-event scene. These guys are from all over the place, so bear with me.
"Big League" Byron Saxton
Former ECW Commentator and NXT Rookie Byron Saxton has recently been eliminated from NXT: Redemption. Can't say if it's a step up or step down, because I doubt too many people watch NXT, but hey, at least we know he has something to deliver in the ring.
With that said, I think WWE missed out on Saxton. He's not the biggest guy, and I don't even know what to call his finisher, but he's still not all that bad in the ring. Obviously, I can name a few guys who are worse, such as Otunga and McGuillicutty.
What stands out about Byron is his mic skills, which are probably the best of any rookie, except for Wade Barrett. Maybe his time at the commentary table is what helps, but whatever it is, it works. Now, a World Title is a long shot, but you never know. For now, though, I say he could fill in good in the mid-card on Smackdown as a heel or a face, or maybe as a manager for someone like Ezekiel Jackson.
Regardless, I think WWE should take a chance on Saxton, because in my opinion, he does have what it takes to be a star in WWE.
Granted, I don't believe Carly (the name I prefer for Carlito) left the WWE on the best terms, but I think, if given a good push, and maybe a program with someone, he could be a trademark name on Friday Nights for several reasons.
Carlito is one of those rare guys to step in the WWE and not only be an impressive mic worker, but also have a solid in-ring arsenal. Add that to his gimmick, which I always found entertaining, and you've got a certified Superstar on your hands.
Along with that, Carlito also has the benefit of versatility, which is always good in a superstar. That meaning, he can play the role of either the face or heel and still get a solid reaction from the crowd. Now, in the past, I don't think WWE were willing to put much effort into promoting Carly, but with a little push in the right direction, with the right guy, Carly could potential be a Smackdown main-stay.
And if that doesn't work, he's always got the tag team of himself and his brother Primo to fall back on, and nothing wrong with a good tag team getting back together.
They are the same person, but overall, I prefer Sangriento. He displays a lot more personality than Amazing Red on his own does, and I think would be a big draw for Smackdown with enough time and a little effort.
Now, he may be seen as a rip-off of Sin Cara, but really, I find myself liking Red/Sangriento more than Sin Cara. He doesn't botch as much as Sin Cara, if ever, can speak English so he can do promos (don't believe they ever said Sangriento couldn't speak English) and overall, is the better between the two.
Sangriento may not be a draw in Mexico, but I never said he could replace Sin Cara. I think WWE shouldn't put too much stock into Sin Cara, or perhaps, if they could acquire Red/Sangriento, the two could form an alliance (I say alliance cause that's what WWE has now, not tag teams.) and get the best of both worlds. Two great talents, one with appeal to the Latin demographic, and one that can deliver in the ring.
"The Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin
The Gold Standard was released from WWE last year. Since then, he's joined with his former tag partner, Charlie Haas, in ROH, where the duo hold the ROH World Tag Team Titles as Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team.
Shelton was always touted as a great worker with little to no skill on the mic, and that seems to be what kept him from ever winning the World Title during his run with WWE. That said, I think with Smackdown's current predicament, WWE could afford to let Benjamin into the main-event fold.
Benjamin is one of the best going right now, as far as pure skill goes, and presence on Smackdown, with other guys like Daniel Bryan, who can put on a show in the ring, he could prove once and for all that mic skills or not, you can still become a main-eventer.
"The X-Man" Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods, (better known to many as Consequences Creed) is currently chilling out in FCW, where he is a former FCW Tag Team Champion, but in mainstream wrestling, he's also known as a Two-Time TNA World Tag Team Champion, with Ron "The Truth" Killings (R-Truth) and Jay Lethal.
Woods is an interesting character to say the least, and I believe he could make a solid addition to Smackdown's mid-card and the I.C. Title picture. Now, I'm not going to sugar-coat it. He's not bad on the mic. He's about as good as Jeff Hardy was as a face in WWE, and about as good as Cena was when he was a heel on Smackdown. Maybe a bit better.
That said, that's not a bad thing. There's a chance Woods could help bring some prestige back to the I.C. Championship (how long has the IWC been barkin up that tree, I wonder?) and wouldn't, by any stretch of the imagination, be a bad champion. That being said, Ezekiel Jackson's character and Wade Barrett's run has have set the bar pretty low.
MsChif is one of the more impressive women wrestling right now, and with her look, there's a good reason for that. With her unique look and impressive arsenal of moves, it's no wonder why that is, and this can be seen in many of her matches.
MsChif is that rare combination of natural beauty (at least to this writer) and great in ring skill. Combine that with her goth girl gimmick, and you've got a truly unique character, especially for WWE's Divas Division, which is sorely lacking in real characters.
For MsChif to come in would open up a lot for her character, as she could play a lot of different roles from the bull to the protector and muscle, even in the vain of China. Adding her to the Divas Division would not only help the other girls in the back pick up their own game, but also show that WWE is willing to take women with more than just looks.
Now, this one is way out of left field, but I believe CIMA could be a very entertaining and interesting member of the Smackdown crew. For those that don't know, CIMA wrestles for the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate and around America on the Indy Circuit, and is one of the most decorated men in the promotion, with Ten Triangle Tag Team Titles, Two World Titles, and Three Tag Titles, and currently holds one of those titles with wrestler, Ricochet. Along with that, he is also leader of a stable known as Blood Warriors.
CIMA's got a lot of skill in the ring, but suffers from lack of English. While, I know he can type in English (and it's not THAT bad), I don't know if he can speak the language as well, but regardless, given the right gimmick and push, CIMA could play a big part in Smackdown's World Title picture.
CIMA's skill comes as no shock, being that he was trained by Ultimo Dragon and Dos Caras (father of Mr.Money in The Bank, Alberto Del Rio) and has the size and looks to be a World Heavyweight Champion.
The Brian Kendrick
Notice the "The" in front of his name. That is there because I think Brian Kendrick had a good thing going with his "The Brian Kendrick" gimmick. It was a really nice change of pace, especially compared from the old Brian Kendrick.
Save for size (an overrated tribute in the WWE), The Brian Kendrick seemingly had everything you need in the WWE. He was a character, he had mic skills, he had in ring skill and he was different for his time in the main-event on Smackdown.
Brian is not your typical cruiserweight/X-Division competitor. He has the ability to switch seamlessly between the style of a high-flyer, a brawler and a technical wrestler and make it look easy in the ring. His versatility can prove to be a great factor, and is one reason why he could make Friday Nights more exciting.
I'll be honest. I know no Japanese, but I love their way of doing professional wrestling, and the women are no exception. One of the women I think would be interesting to see in WWE is Ayako Hamada (known simply as Hamada, in TNA). Hamada is a second-generation wrestler, her father being Gran Hamada, who was one of the first to adopt the Lucha Libre.
In her time in TNA, Hamada won two TNA Knockout Tag Team Titles with Awesome Kong and later Taylor Wilde, before her release. Now again, I don't know if Hamada would be on WWE's radar, but she's certainly a talent to look out for. Very impressive high-flyer and technically sound woman. Not to mention I think WWE could use a few more Asians on the roster to help reach that demographic.
Hamada's also a talent to look at because again, she (to this writer) has that rare mix of natural beauty and in-ring skill. I would even say she could go with a lot of the men in WWE (but then again, most female Japanese wrestlers probably could.). The addition of Hamada would not only make WWE look good, but perhaps make a lot of other talented women take a run with the WWE seriously.
"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero
Surprised at this last pick, right? Well, you shouldn't be, because despite not having won any major titles as of yet, The Pope has shown that he can be a main-eventer, that he can get a reaction and that he has what it takes to deliver when needed.
This isn't the same man who debuted on Smackdown in 2006. This is a new superstar. Elijah never got a chance to use this character on TV, and it's a shame, because as popular as he was in TNA, he could be twice as huge in WWE, and with that said, I believe that with the right push, Dinero could be the face of Smackdown.
Simply put, The Pope has it all. He's got mic skills, the look, the size (I'd say he looks a bit above average) he's got the gimmick, the charisma and the ability to get it done in the ring. The only thing missing is the faith of WWE, which he didn't have in ECW, which I believe is a shame, because at the time, It could be argued Burke was the best in ECW (yes, I'm including Punk's time on the brand.).
Point being, that with this character, The Pope has the potential to be The Face of Smackdown, if he was still with the WWE.
So, what did you think? Now, I know some people will have differing opinions on who should come to WWE, and I'm always interested in hearing what people think from what I put down to who they'd like to see brought to WWE.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed.