Quick Takes on Miro in AEW, Mandy Rose to WWE Raw, Repackaging Carmella, More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2020

Quick Takes on Miro in AEW, Mandy Rose to WWE Raw, Repackaging Carmella, More

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    It was Miro Day on Wednesday's Dynamite when the former Rusev from WWE made his AEW debut.
    It was Miro Day on Wednesday's Dynamite when the former Rusev from WWE made his AEW debut.Credit: AEW

    Miro, formerly known as Rusev in WWE, is officially "all elite" following his shocking debut on Wednesday's AEW Dynamite.

    He and Tay Conti are among the company's latest signings and made memorable first impressions. Despite being underutilized toward the end of their respective runs in WWE, they are bound to go far in AEW if presented with the proper opportunities to shine.

    Cedric Alexander knows a thing or two about being overlooked himself, as he's been sitting on the sidelines in WWE with nothing to do creatively for the better part of the past three years. On Monday's Raw, however, he finally declared he had enough and joined forces with The Hurt Business.

    The group has had a fantastic past few months, and adding Alexander to its ranks will make it that much stronger.

    Raw also picked up a fresh face in Mandy Rose, with The Miz revealing on Talking Smack that she had been traded to the red brand. Although the announcement has had fans buzzing, it's important to note that it may not be a permanent move.

    Mandy's future on Friday nights will be discussed in this installment of Quick Takes along with the apparent repackaging of Carmella, Chris Jericho and Jake Hager entering AEW's tag team division and more.

Rusev, Tay Conti Are AEW's Latest Big Pickups

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    From Brodie Lee to Brian Cage, AEW has made a handful of smart signings in 2020, but Miro and Tay Conti could soon prove to be the best of the bunch.

    Both have plenty of untapped potential, as they weren't being used much prior to their releases from WWE in April. It would be silly for AEW to snatch up every free agent out there, but signing these two can pay dividends with what they have to offer.

    Aside from taking unnecessary shots at his former employer during his Dynamite debut promo, Miro's first appearance can't be considered anything but a success. He established an alliance with Kip Sabian and was named the best man for Sabian's wedding to Penelope Ford, which should give Miro a chance to show off how entertaining he can be.

    Eventually, he should break off on his own and be given a real shot at superstardom. Whether he will ever achieve world title glory remains to be seen, but there's no reason to think he wouldn't do well at the main event level.

    As for Conti, she has come a long way from when she first broke into the business a few years ago. She has a strong presence that will help her stand out in AEW's women's division.

    The women's scene has been a glaring weakness for AEW since its launch in 2019. With more seasoning and experience, Conti can be a major player in that division and will be worth building around in the future.

Is Carmella About to Undergo a Significant Character Change?

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    The latest vignette promoting the arrival of a mystery woman that aired on Friday's SmackDown led to a lot of speculation from fans as to who it could be. NXT upstarts Vanessa Borne and Chelsea Green were originally rumored for the role, but unless Summer Rae or Kelly Kelly has been re-signed and no one knows about it, it's safe to say that the unidentified blonde woman in the videos is none other than Carmella.

    A Twitter user by the name Mitch McLeod posted a tweet pointing out how the tattoo on the arm of the mystery woman is the same one Carmella has. The Princess of Staten Island would make sense considering she hasn't been seen for several months.

    If it is Carmella behind these vignettes, then all signs point to her being brought back with a new gimmick, similar to what Eva Marie was doing prior to her departure in 2017 or Emmalina around that same time.

    It's possible that the gimmick fails, but at least it's something different for the former SmackDown women's champion. She's already turned face and heel several times and has had the same shtick for years, so this will be a test as to whether she can change up her character and become a fixture in the SmackDown Women's Championship picture again.

    With Sasha Banks likely out "injured" for the foreseeable future and Sonya Deville gone, SmackDown's women's division could could use some additional star power. Carmella's return will be a step in the right direction.

Jericho and Hager Aren't Needed in an Already Bloated AEW Tag Division

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    Orange Cassidy soundly defeated Chris Jericho at AEW All Out, which left fans wondering what was next for the inaugural AEW world champion. He's lost virtually every major match he's had since February and hasn't been able to bounce back, even though his credibility has hardly been affected.

    There aren't any obvious opponents for him on the roster, so AEW felt it was best to have him form a tag team with fellow Inner Circle stablemate Jake Hager and enter the tag team division. They picked up their first win together by beating Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela on Wednesday's Dynamite.

    While it isn't a terrible idea (not to mention that it's been years since Jericho last held tag title gold), the AEW tag team scene doesn't need another tandem to take away from those who have been there since Day 1.

    Best Friends have done well for themselves this year, but the same can not be said for others such as Santana and Ortiz, The Hybrid 2, The Lucha Brothers and Private Party. All four of those teams have largely flown under the radar this year and haven't gotten many—if any—opportunities to compete for the AEW World Tag Team Championship because of the abundance of teams in the division.

    Tag team wrestling is obviously a top priority in AEW, and it's been refreshing to see, but the promotion has reached a point where it has too many teams than it knows what to do with. Throwing Jericho and Hager into the mix will only take away from those aforementioned teams even more.

    FTR are an obvious exception because of how they're a tag team through and through and have done fantastic work since signing with AEW in May. But given that they are heels, it doesn't make sense for Jericho and Hager to be chasing them.

    Unless this experiment is short-lived and leads to Inner Circle splitting up, then Jericho and Hager may do more to hinder the division in the long run than help it.

Mandy Rose May Not Be Long for the Raw Roster

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    The announcement of Mandy Rose's trade to Raw on Saturday morning was met with confusion from fans, as it abruptly spelled the end of her pairing with Otis. The timing was also odd considering Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported a draft could take place as soon as October, so sending Rose to Raw on little notice was highly questionable.

    Rose's reaction to being moved to Monday nights was telling in that it was clearly done for storyline reasons, not because WWE is looking to switch up the women's roster ahead of an eventual draft. The Miz revealed on Talking Smack that he had Rose traded off the blue brand to ensure Otis was no longer distracted as Mr. Money in the Bank.

    Although Rose could have a permanent home on Raw, she has a better chance at succeeding on SmackDown with so many women out of action. She has yet to face Bayley, so that would be a fresh feud over the SmackDown Women's Championship, whereas she would get lost in the shuffle on Raw.

    As for her relationship with Otis, it obviously doesn't have the same momentum it did coming out of WrestleMania 36, but it should be blown off properly and not because of the Brand Split. It's way more likely Otis agrees to give up the briefcase to ensure she stays on SmackDown.

    If that does happen, it would confirm what many already believe that having Otis win it in the first place was a waste, but it might be better than him cashing in unsuccessfully against Roman Reigns before falling back down the card. Either way, don't consider Rose to be a permanent addition to the Raw roster just yet.

Cedric Alexander Joining The Hurt Business Was Exactly What He Needed

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    Cedric Alexander is too talented to be underutilized any longer, and Monday on Raw, WWE finally showed some signs of giving him a renewed and long overdue push by putting him in The Hurt Business.

    This development has been in the works for some time. The Hurt Business attempted to recruit Alexander weeks ago, and he declined at every turn. But after coming to realization that being friends with Ricochet and Apollo Crews was doing him more harm than good, he decided to join his enemies rather than continuing to fight them.

    His interaction with Shelton Benjamin backstage afterward seemed to send the message that his time with the faction will be short-lived, but it would be much smarter for him to stay in The Hurt Business for the long term. He's primed to pick up more victories, score more television time and, hopefully, hold more gold.

    That should begin with him and Benjamin becoming the next Raw tag team champions.

    Bobby Lashley already has the United States Championship in his grasp, so Benjamin and Alexander entering the tag team title scene would be beneficial for everyone. They have worked well as opponents in the past and would have even stronger chemistry as partners.

    The Hurt Business is obviously on the ascent on Raw, so having Alexander join in on their success is a positive sign for his future. Four is also the perfect number of members for the stable to have—anything more than that could be excessive.

    Expect Alexander to make the most of this opportunity and reach new heights as a heel.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.