WWE and AEW Stars in Danger of Flaming out in 2020
Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, 2020 will go down as the weirdest year in WWE and AEW history. As a result, several Superstars are now in danger of being forgotten after shining so bright.
Whether it’s due to porous booking from creative—I’m looking at you, WWE—or just a lack of time and focus on television, former champions such as Aleister Black, SoCal Uncensored and Shayna Baszler have been put on the backburner.
Some of the wrestlers not being focused on every week could be part of long-term storytelling with a slow burn, but WWE and AEW could be at risk of losing the audience’s excitement about the performers if there is nothing to get excited about.
Here are the stars in both major companies at risk of flaming out in 2020.
After spending the majority of 2019 and the start of 2020 winning pay-per-view matches and dominating both Raw and SmackDown, Black has been playing a supporting role in a secondary storyline since April.
The focus of WWE Creative is on the feud between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio, which has forced Black into a secondary act as the story revolves around Mysterio’s vengeance and Dominik’s role.
Instead of fighting for a world championship, Black is barely mentioned on Raw each week.
When the former NXT champion beat Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania, the WWE Universe believed he would be at the top of the card moving forward. Instead, Black would be lucky to wrestle in a throwaway match on a random Monday.
When NXT stars make their debut on the main roster, it has become a joke among fans that it’s just a matter of time before they’re ruined. There is no better example than former women’s champion Shayna Baszler.
According to PWInsider (h/t Sportskeeda), Baszler has been reduced to working Main Event matches as Vince McMahon, “never really understood the concept of Shayna Baszler's in-ring style which resembled that of an MMA fighter and that she did not quite match the criteria that Vince McMahon was looking for.”
While there were reportedly plans in place for Baszler to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, WWE scrapped the idea and went with Asuka instead. The problem is the company let the former NXT champion win Elimination Chamber and built her to beat Becky Lynch for the title.
Now, Baszler is an afterthought at risk of being forgotten by fans.
There is no company in the world that keeps its talent as well-placed and fresh as AEW, but one team sitting on the sidelines who could be deeply hurt by the lack of attention during the coronavirus shows is SoCal Uncensored.
The trio of Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky was featured prominently on Dynamite each week throughout the early portion of the show’s existence, but have been seen sporadically since.
While each member of the group has been used in segments over the recent months, wrestling fans have largely forgotten the impact Scorpio Sky was making following his loss to Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship.
Now more than ever, Daniels and Kazarian should lean back on their Bad Influence days while Scorpio Sky starts chasing singles championships. If they don’t split up and move forward as two separate entities, they could be an afterthought by the end of the year.
When former NXT star Bianca Belair received the call-up to the main roster after being passed up for the women’s championship, the WWE Universe was both excited about the possibilities and skeptical of how WWE Creative would use her.
After wrestling in Main Event matches since April without making Raw or SmackDown programming, Belair is at risk of being cast aside and forgotten instead of utilized as the most physically gifted woman on the roster.
No one can watch Belair perform in the ring at just 31 years old and not see a bona fide star in the making. Not only is she the kind of performer who can match up with an opponent of any style, but she also has the charisma to be the face of a division and gain mainstream popularity.
If Belair isn’t feature prominently on WWE programming within the next two months, how the company handled her call-up will be the biggest botch of 2020.
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