Push or Bury: What Should WWE Do with Andrade After Superstar Shake-Up?

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

Of all the moves WWE made during the 2019 Superstar Shake-up, Andrade might end up being the biggest beneficiary of switching shows if his Raw arrival on Monday was anything to go by.

It didn't take El Idolo long at all to make an impact on his new home. His first match as a member of the Raw roster was a great one against intercontinental champion Finn Balor. And not only did he have a strong showing, but he also emerged victorious.

With the win, Andrade established himself as a force to be reckoned with on Raw, as well as a credible championship contender. His successful debut on the flagship show should mean that WWE has plans to push him aggressively going forward.

WWE should have taken this hard-and-fast approach with Andrade upon his SmackDown Live debut in 2018. Instead, he was forced to tread water for many months before settling into a meaningless midcard feud with Rusev and Lana in time for SummerSlam.

During his tenure on the Tuesday night program, Andrade had a handful of excellent matches with the illustrious likes of AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy. Although he always looked good in defeat, he rarely won whenever it mattered most, cementing his status as a background player on the brand.

That show ideally would have been the best fit for him in terms of opportunities available, but based off recent events, Raw will likely be where he finally breaks out and gets his first taste of main-roster gold.

Credit: WWE.com

Feuding with Balor and beating him for the intercontinental title would have been the perfect route for Andrade to take in his first few weeks on Raw. Unfortunately, Balor has since jumped ship to SmackDown, and with the status of the United States Championship unknown, there isn't much for him to fight for.

In order for Andrade to keep riding this wave of momentum, he must enter a program with a notable name as early as Monday's Raw. The show's roster is stacked thanks to the Superstar Shake-up, so there are several stars to choose from for his first feud, including Rey Mysterio.

Andrade and Mysterio never had the chance to wrap up their hot rivalry earlier this year, and now that they are both on the same brand again, post-WrestleMania season would the perfect time for them to finish what they started.

If not Mysterio, Raw has a slew of other babyfaces Andrade can set his sights on once they are free of other feuds, such as The Miz, Braun Strowman and AJ Styles. Victories over any one of them would help him to boost his stock and make him that much more of a threat in the main event scene.

Building him up to be a world championship-caliber competitor should be WWE's goal with Andrade. He has proven he has what it takes in the ring to be a top talent no matter what show he's a part of with the incomparable Zelina Vega doing the talking for him.

If Seth Rollins is still in possession of the Universal Championship later this year, those two would be capable of contesting classics together. There aren't many Raw wrestlers who would make as much sense as Andrade in dethroning Rollins, so when the time comes, WWE shouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on El Idolo.

The only issue Andrade may run into on Raw is getting lost in the shuffle considering the deep roster the show has coming out of the Superstar Shake-up, which is why he should be given direction out of the gate.

Far too often, WWE books people to debut with a bang before letting them fade into obscurity because of a lack of follow-up. That shouldn't be the case with Andrade, as he arguably had the best night of anyone Monday on Raw and should remain on the ascent in the weeks ahead.

After spinning his wheels for close to a year on SmackDown, Andrade is in prime position to be a big star on Raw. Regardless of what his immediate future holds, WWE must stay the course with him to ensure he fulfills his potential as a perennial player in the WWE Championship picture.

                  

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.

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