WWE Stars in Desperate Need of Makeover or New Direction After WrestleMania 36

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2020

WWE Stars in Desperate Need of Makeover or New Direction After WrestleMania 36

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Every year, WrestleMania acts as the unofficial end of the season for WWE. Most big storylines are wrapped up, some new champions change the landscape, and the roster is typically reset with the Superstar Shake-up.

    Unfortunately, not even the tried and tested traditions are safe in the current environment. No one knows how long it will take for things to get back to normal.

    However, Monday's WWE Raw had more than enough indications that the company will at least attempt to move on with business as usual, even in these uncertain times.

    With that in mind, let's look at some Superstars who could use some new direction, a change of scenery or anything else to freshen things up.

The Changes WWE Has Already Made

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Raw got the ball rolling with a few alterations coming out of WrestleMania 36 that we should see play out over the coming weeks and months.

    Bobby Lashley is already blaming Lana for his loss to Aleister Black and told Charly Caruso he needs a new manager, if not a new wife as well. This should be the beginning of the end of their partnership.

    Cedric Alexander and Ricochet were explicitly referred to as "an exciting new tag team" for the red brand. It's a shame their singles pushes fizzled out, but at least they may get a chance to shine in the tag team division.

    Nia Jax returned after a year on the shelf following knee surgery. And Kevin Owens appears to be finally moving on from his five-month feud with Seth Rollins, who should be searching for a new way to spread his gospel.

    NXT's Bianca Belair is now a babyface on the Raw roster, which may be an indication some other shake-ups are coming soon.

Apollo Crews

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    Credit: WWE.com

    One of the other changes WWE has already made was moving Apollo Crews to the Raw roster. The company provided a vague explanation, saying he was traded "based on draft picks that were about to expire" (whatever that means).

    He had a great performance against Aleister Black on Monday but came up short, as he often has since his NXT days.

    Now's the perfect time to make a few changes while he's on a new roster and after his most competitive match in some time.

    A heel turn would be a nice experiment. Despite a few minor teases over the years, he's never had an opportunity to fully tap into that kind of character.

    Crews has all the tools required in the ring but struggles to connect on a deeper level with fans when it comes to promos and character work. Perhaps that's because he'll be better as a heel than a smiling hero who puts up a good fight but loses all the time.

    Better yet, pair him up with MVP, who was looking for talent acquisitions a few weeks back with Edge and Drew McIntyre.

    MVP has the verbal skills to be a great manager and steer someone like Crews in the right direction by doing the talking for him. That could be all it takes to go from the lower-midcard to someone at least in contention for the United States Championship.

Shorty G

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    Credit: WWE.com

    When Chad Gable was picked on for his size, he tried to turn into the skid and embrace it under the new moniker Shorty G. It was a colossal failure from the start that hasn't gotten any better.

    His credibility has been on a downward spiral ever since he was transformed into someone who looks like he belongs in Space Jam or the 1990s Burger King Kids Club—both great for their time but not what professional wrestling in 2020 is all about.

    This was most recently illustrated by how often Sheamus destroyed him on SmackDown since his return, even with Apollo Crews fighting by his size.

    Now that Crews has moved on to something new, though, the same should happen with Gable.

    If WWE is never going to get serious about pushing him on Raw or SmackDown, he should ditch this persona and go back to NXT as Chad Gable. There, he can be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, work for both NXT UK and 205 Live and even fight for the Cruiserweight Championship.

    Best of all, since he's so good in the ring and has been in WWE for five years, he could work with younger stars and help mold them for the future.

Bayley and Sasha Banks

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE has teased a feud between Bayley and Sasha Banks for two years. Every time tension gets high, though, everyone backpedals and everything is fine between the best friends.

    Even in August 2018, it felt dragged out, and it's limped on ever since.

    Whoever is responsible for this program doesn't understand the difference between a slow burn and a story in which nothing happens over a long period of time.

    Bayley has had the SmackDown Women's Championship since May 19, 2019—outside of a four-day stint when it was on Charlotte Flair. She hasn't had one well-told feud for too many months to remember.

    That's why her title defense at WrestleMania 36 was quantity over quality, throwing as many women on the roster into a match instead of creating a one-on-one rivalry.

    The only interesting card that could have been played was if Banks had won the title and finally started their feud. But that didn't happen. They're still buddies. Any issues are still buried.

    Perpetually waiting for the initial incident to kick the story off is bad writing, as WWE can't get past the first act with these two.

    Imagine how bad Star Wars would be if it was two hours of Luke Skywalker wanting to join the fight, but never leaving Tatooine. Would anyone love Jurassic Park if the film kept teasing the dinosaurs breaking free, only to have everyone casually observe them in captivity with no escape?

    The worst-case scenario will be if a new challenger steps up to face Bayley, only for her to retain the title with help from her friend and keep this cycle going.

    WWE needs to do the deed with this feud. If Bayley and Banks aren't clashing by the end of Money in the Bank on May 10, the question will be: Why does The Role Model even have the title?

Elias and King Corbin

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Elias is fantastic for a comedy segment, cracking jokes on other wrestlers and getting the crowd to sing along. With no crowds, his gimmick is suffers immensely.

    King Corbin is an underrated heel who can get under anyone's skin, is justifiably hated by the entire roster and big enough to always add more accolades to his name by beating most other Superstars on any given day.

    Their WrestleMania 36 feud was uninspired and the type of filler content nobody will remember next year. They can't keep feuding if their story doesn't take new and interesting directions.

    It's probably best they go their separate ways, though. Corbin could be a worthwhile challenger for Braun Strowman's new Universal Championship or a major player in the Money in the Bank ladder match.

    Meanwhile, the musician could do some gimmicky bonus material in video packages and vignettes about his music to bide some time until the arenas are again packed with people who "walk with Elias."

All the Battle Royal Participants Missing in Action

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    Drake Maverick is great and is motivated to earn a spot at WrestleMania. He deserves it.
    Drake Maverick is great and is motivated to earn a spot at WrestleMania. He deserves it.Credit: WWE.com

    There were 18 matches this year at WrestleMania—the most ever—and dozens of Superstars still weren't on the card.

    Granted, a lot of that was out of their control. Travel issues, quarantines and social gathering regulations prevented plenty of names from wrestling, as well as the cancellation of the two battle royal matches.

    But anyone banking on getting on the card via the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal should look to change their position in the rankings fast. These matches are for the extras, not those who will be on posters to sell the event.

    If WWE considers someone worth investing in, they should get a featured spot on the show.

    It isn't even just the legends and main-eventers like Edge, Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch, either. Otis is a great example of someone lower on the card who got over well enough that WWE set aside time for him to face Dolph Ziggler. If it can happen to half of Heavy Machinery, it can happen to anyone.

    Whether you're No Way Jose, Eric Young, Sarah Logan, The B-Team or anyone who would have been lumped into the "everyone else" category, it's time to find a way to stand out and earn a true spot in the lineup for WrestleMania 37.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.