Quick Takes on AEW Setting Up Kenny Omega's Return, WWE's Women's Division and More
It was just over two weeks ago that Triple H assumed creative control of WWE's main roster and already he has shaken up Raw and SmackDown to a significant degree.
Last Saturday's SummerSlam pay-per-view had a fresh feel to it and was largely well-received by fans. The subsequent editions of Raw and SmackDown also had a lot to like about them and left viewers optimistic about the immediate future of the product.
With All Elite Wrestling producing high-level content for some time now, both promotions are going to want to put their best foot forward creatively from here on out and the fans will be the biggest beneficiaries of that.
That was evident on Wednesday's edition of Dynamite when seeds were planted for Kenny Omega's upcoming return to television. Adam Cole officially severed ties with The Young Bucks and The Best Bout Machine is bound to play a pivotal role in that program.
This week's installment of Quick Takes will tackle the WWE women's division heating up, several stars getting a new lease on life, two AEW standouts who are primed to break out, and more.
Adam Cole's Young Bucks Betrayal Sets Stage for Anticipated Kenny Omega Return
The return of The Cleaner to AEW TV might be imminent if what went down this past week on Dynamite was any indication.
Undisputed Elite haven't had much success in recent months and it was more a matter of when than if the cracks would start to show. That said, Cole and reDRagon laying out The Young Bucks was a surprise because of how quickly it came together.
Instead of Omega's music hitting, it was Adam Page who stormed the ring and made the save for his former friends. Of course, Hangman's involvement in the angle may turn out to be a red herring so the timing of The Best Bout Machine's comeback is a little less predictable.
Either way, it's an exciting development in a storyline that has been stagnant for a few months. Hints of dissension within Undisputed Elite were teased, but injuries prevented AEW from furthering the angle in any meaningful manner until just this week.
All signs point to Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish colliding with Omega and the Bucks before long, presumably over the newly announced AEW World Trios Championship. The buildup and the bout itself have the potential to be outstanding.
Karrion Kross' Return Will Be Big Boost to WWE's Roster Depth Issue
When Dakota Kai and Io Shirai (now known as Iyo Sky) resurfaced at SummerSlam, it became apparent quickly that Triple H wasn't wasting time when it came to bolstering the roster with familiar faces.
Fans started to speculate who might be brought back next, and although Karrion Kross' name was floated in several circles, no one expected him to return as soon as Friday's SmackDown. Sure enough, he emerged at the end of the show alongside Scarlett, laid out Drew McIntyre and stared down Roman Reigns.
It was the exact opposite of his main roster debut just over a year ago, which was a complete disaster and later led to his departure.
Regardless of your thoughts on his work, it can't be disputed that The Herald of Doomsday was never given a fair shake during his initial stint with WWE. There's no telling what his ceiling is on the main roster because he was never afforded the opportunity to be more than a lower-midcarder with ridiculously goofy attire.
SmackDown was in desperate need of new blood and now they have it in the form of Kross. Now the key is following up on his newsworthy return appropriately and continuing to add more names into the main roster mix from NXT and free agency.
How NXT Cast-Offs Can Be Redeemed with Sustained Pushes
If you needed any sort of sign that Triple H was running Raw and SmackDown, look no further than the renewed pushes of Shayna Baszler, Ricochet and Ciampa from this week's shows.
All three NXT alumni were doing nothing of note prior to this past week. Ricochet hadn't been spotted on the blue brand since losing the Intercontinental Championship two weeks ago, Baszler was also missing in action, and Ciampa was merely The Miz's lackey in his feud with Logan Paul.
That changed when Ciampa won two matches on Monday night to become the No. 1 contender to the United States Championship this coming week on Raw. Meanwhile, Baszler earned a shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship at Clash of the Castle, and Ricochet took Happy Corbin to the limit before beating him in the opener.
The timing of these Superstars getting shown a little love is hardly a coincidence. They were fixtures of the black-and-gold era of NXT and still have so much to offer despite absurdly bad booking in the cases of Ricochet and Baszler.
The WWE audience isn't going to want to invest in any of them right off the bat due to being conditioned to not care for so long, but that's understandable. The only way they can be redeemed for the long term is if they receive sustained pushes and aren't back to being forgotten about as early as September.
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs Primed to be Breakout Stars with Right Booking
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs getting their time to shine has been long overdue. It's just a shame it took Team Taz breaking up for that to happen.
To AEW's credit, they've been on television a fair amount this year, though they always lost when it mattered most. Starks' lengthy reign as FTW champion also didn't mean much because the title was never recognized by the promotion as being official.
The demise of Team Taz was inevitable as a result, but on the bright side, both men have shown incredible intensity and fire since splitting up. Hobbs' attack on Starks on the July 27 edition of Dynamite was excellently executed, and Starks received a strong reaction upon exacting a measure of revenge on Hobbs a week later.
Both men have been overlooked for too long and this storyline should be what takes them to the next level as singles stars. Hobbs can be a dominant monster heel for AEW while Starks has all the tools to be a breakout babyface toward the top of the card.
AEW must ensure they aren't lost in the shuffle once their rivalry runs its course. There aren't too many exciting storylines developing on Dynamite at the moment, but Starks vs. Hobbs (and its aftermath) will be one to watch.
WWE Women's Division is Already Infinitely More Interesting
Perhaps the biggest indicator yet of true change being implemented into the WWE product thanks to Triple H is everything he's done to fix the faltering Raw and SmackDown women's division in such a short span of time.
The talent was always there and was never to blame for the lack of interest in the title pictures, but some minor tweaks have strengthened the scenes immensely, with Bayley debuting her own heel faction featuring Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky being chief among them.
Adding to that excitement on Monday nights is Becky Lynch turning face and reverting to her beloved persona as The Man. She'll be out injured for the foreseeable future, but her anticipated return sets the stage for some stellar six-woman tag team matches with Bianca Belair, Asuka and Bayley's new crew.
Over on the SmackDown side of things, Baszler is back in the main title mix while SummerSlam suggested Ronda Rousey is returning to her roots as a heel. Both are positive moves, along with the announcement that the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship is about to make a comeback and will hopefully be booked properly this time around.
There's a ton to be excited about in the women's division right now and there's no telling what else The Game may have in store in the weeks and months to come.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.