The SmackDown brand is gearing up for the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view event, and several of its brightest stars are at the forefront of the WWE rumor mill.
There is Daniel Bryan, whose contractual situation may well become the hottest topic in all of sports entertainment sooner than later.
There is The New Day, whose status for said upcoming pay-per-view extravaganza remains a mystery.
Then there is the duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, whose win-loss record on the main roster may be far from sparkling but whose status in the company has gotten much more intriguing thanks to an unlikely element.
WWE's Plans for Daniel Bryan
If you thought Bryan's feud with Big Cass was lackluster for an all-time great returning to the ring for the first time in years, you are right. And it seems there is a good reason why Bryan has not been tossed directly into the main event.
PWStream reported Bryan's lack of push is linked to his contractual status.
Bryan most recently competed in a Triple Threat Money in the Bank Qualifier against Big Cass and eventual winner, Samoa Joe.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. Like it or not, it does not make sense for WWE to heat up a Superstar only to hand him over to any number of independent promotions come September. As popular as Bryan is and as much as he has earned a spot at the top of the card, WWE cannot invest time and energy in someone that may not be around by the time the fall rolls around.
Would it benefit Bryan to re-sign and enjoy the fruits of his labors and WWE's trust? Absolutely.
If he does not, he cannot blame WWE for any creative frustrations that exist in the coming weeks or months.
Which Member of The New Day Will Compete in Money in the Bank?
The New Day will have an entrant in the upcoming Money in the Bank Ladder match. That much we know. What we do not is whether it will be Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods or Big E that battles the likes of Braun Strowman and Finn Balor in the hotly anticipated bout.
And we may not until the night of the show, according to Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats.
Kingston would make the most sense, but Big E's recent string of victories suggests the former powerlifter may find himself toe-to-toe with The Monster Among Men on June 17.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. The build to this year's ladder match has already been infinitely better than recent years, and an air of mystery as to which member of The New Day will suit up for the match is the perfect way to keep fans guessing.
We have seen Kingston in numerous ladder matches before. His athleticism alone makes him a fun possibility, but Big E is as athletic a big man as there is, and seeing him toss ladders around and throw caution to the wind would make for an intriguing addition.
Woods, though, has been one of the truly underrated workers in WWE over the last year. Adding him to the mix and letting him shine a bit would do wonders for any potential singles run the trombone-playing video gamer may experience in the future.
A Push for the IIconics?
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce made the jump to SmackDown Live in the post-WrestleMania influx of Superstars but have yet to get on any sort of roll.
According to Taylor Underwood of WrestlingNews.co, better-than-expected IIconics t-shirt sales and plans to turn the duo into a modern interpretation of LayCool have the Aussies in line for a push.
The mean girls of SmackDown Live were last seen on the May 22 episode in which Kay lost to Lana in a Money in the Bank qualifier.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. Kay and Royce are fantastic in their roles as heels. Given the fact that Carmella is the only real villain on the SmackDown side of the women's division with even the slightest credibility, pushing Kay and Royce as a genuine heel duo in championship competition is a great idea.
The IIconics are marketable, they have a great look and, most importantly, they have tremendous chemistry as a duo. Giving them television time and letting them get over is exactly what WWE Creative should focus on in order to maximize their overness.