Quick Takes on Big Show in AEW, Belair vs. Banks, Rhea Ripley on WWE Raw, More
Big Show was known for his many turns throughout his 22-year career in WWE, but none were nearly as shocking as his decision to leave his longtime employer for All Elite Wrestling this past week.
As a commentator, Paul Wight's worth to the burgeoning promotion remains to be seen. At the very least, he's another notable name with star power who could bring in new viewers to its upcoming YouTube show, Dark: Elevation.
Meanwhile in WWE, Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair was made official for WrestleMania 37 on the latest episode of SmackDown. With how big that bout is bound to be, there's a decent chance it could main-event one of the spring spectacle's two nights.
Raw's women's division, on the other hand, has unfortunately been in a state of flux for months and the apparent program between Charlotte Flair and Asuka won't do much to change that. The debuting Rhea Ripley has the potential to shake things up on Monday nights and bring some much-needed excitement to the Raw Women's Championship picture.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle The World's Largest Athlete joining AEW, why Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan should be saved for after WrestleMania, Lance Archer working his way toward AEW World Championship contention and more.
Paul Wight Signs with AEW: Will He Bring Value to the Company as a Commentator?
Paul Wight's 22-year stint with WWE came to an end when the former Big Show announced he had signed with AEW on Wednesday. His departure went unnoticed by fans until the news broke because he hadn't wrestled a match for the promotion since July 2020.
Going forward, he will be serving as a color commentator alongside Tony Schiavone for AEW Dark: Elevation, Monday nights on YouTube. AEW CEO Tony Khan's press release said that Wight will also compete for the company, though it wasn't stated how often.
Although Big Show hasn't been a main event attraction in more than a decade, he was a huge help to WWE in a variety of ways during his final few years there, specifically when it came to elevating younger talent. He could take on a similar role in AEW behind the scenes and keep his time in the ring limited so it feels more special whenever he wrestles.
AEW's commentary team is already excellent, so Wight's addition feels like it was a move made simply for the sake of getting another notable name on the roster. The company shouldn't be criticized for signing one of the most recognizable wrestlers of all time so long as he's handled the right way and isn't overexposed.
As a seasoned veteran, Wight brings a wealth of experience to AEW and could end up being a valuable asset. It's too soon to tell what his worth will be to them long term, but the focus must remain on the current crop of competitors and building up the stars who will carry the company into the future.
Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan Would Be Best Saved for After WrestleMania
Daniel Bryan earned a Universal Championship match by virtue of his victory inside the Elimination Chamber on Sunday, only to be immediately defeated by Roman Reigns. It should have been obvious at that moment what would follow: a Fastlane main event pitting the two against each other for the universal title.
Bryan was one of the first people fans thought of when it came to opponents for Reigns when The Tribal Chief turned heel last year. He was even the odds-on favorite to win the men's Royal Rumble at one point, but his loss that night didn't change the fact that it was more a matter of when and not if a collision with Reigns would happen.
WrestleMania would have been the perfect place for them to go one-on-one, but because Edge is getting the shot at The Show of Shows instead, Reigns vs. Bryan would be best saved for SummerSlam season, if not right after WrestleMania.
Interestingly enough, Fastlane was where they had their first major singles match on pay-per-view in 2015. Reigns went over as expected, but the outcome wasn't as predictable as it would be if they collided a few weeks out from WrestleMania 37 with Reigns vs. Edge essentially set in stone.
Adam Pearce teased that if Bryan failed to beat Jey Uso on SmackDown and advance to face Reigns at Fastlane, then Edge would get a tag team match against Reigns and Uso at the event instead. That would be the better bout to go with, especially if Edge's partner was the returning Christian.
Could Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair Main-Event a Night of WrestleMania 37?
Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the Universal Championship is virtually guaranteed to main-event one of the two nights of WrestleMania 37, but the other main event is still up for grabs.
Last year, Night 1 was headlined by the Boneyard match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, though that was likely because Reigns vs. Goldberg had to be changed because of Reigns pulling out of the pay-per-view. Although it would make sense for the Universal Championship and WWE Championship matches to go on last both nights, this is as perfect of an opportunity as there could be to feature women in the main event.
It wouldn't be for the sake of doing it, either. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, whose clash for the SmackDown Women's Championship was announced on Friday's SmackDown, are two of WWE's biggest stars going today and are more than capable of carrying that spot.
Provided the story heats up in the coming weeks, Banks vs. Belair can be a show-stealer and would cap off the evening on a high note. They would also become the first two Black WWE stars to contest a top title on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Regardless of what the WWE title matchup ends up being, Banks vs. Belair deserves top billing. Not only is anticipation is through the roof for their encounter, but it almost doesn't matter who wins because fans are sure to be satisfied with the outcome.
The Raw Women's Championship Picture Needs Rhea Ripley
After weeks of speculation, Rhea Ripley's destination on the main roster was confirmed when a vignette aired on Monday's edition of Raw.
The former NXT Women's champion was last seen in the women's Royal Rumble match, nearly winning it all before being eliminated by victor Bianca Belair. She has been main roster-ready for a while, and with Belair being positioned as the face of SmackDown's women's division, Raw was a logical landing spot for Ripley.
Not only should she booked like a star from the get-go, but Ripley should also be involved in the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 37.
It may feel like too much too soon for some fans, but Ripley is established with the audience to a certain extent thanks to her WrestleMania 36 feud with Charlotte Flair. She is the shot in the arm that the division needs with nothing else exciting going on.
WWE hinted at Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair on Monday when the two teased tension, but having been done to death over the past three years, that isn't an interesting enough attraction for WrestleMania. Ripley has unfinished business with Flair from last year, and getting her immediately involved in the mix would allow her to avenge that loss.
There is a ton of talent in the division WWE hasn't quite figured out what to do with, but Ripley must prove to be the exception.
Lance Archer Should Be Next in Line for an AEW Title Shot After Revolution
It was almost exactly one year ago that Lance Archer signed with AEW following a successful stint in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and his run has been filled with ups and downs, to say the least.
The ultra-talented competitor was involved in the first AEW TNT Championship match at Double or Nothing 2020 and came up short against Cody Rhodes. His role on Dynamite was then drastically reduced, and although he went on to win the Casino Battle Royale at All In, he lost to Jon Moxley when the AEW World Championship was on the line.
AEW has only recently figured out how to properly book Archer: as a dominant tweener monster. He's lost here and there to the likes of Eddie Kingston and Kenny Omega, but for the most part, he has come across well in all of his outings and has momentum on his side for the first time in a year.
His victory over Rey Fenix in the main event of Wednesday's edition of Dynamite qualified him for the Face of the Revolution ladder match at the Revolution pay-per-view March 7, and the winner will earn a shot at the AEW TNT Championship.
It isn't imperative that Archer comes out on top, especially since he's already contended for the title and lost. Rather, it would make more sense for him to set his sights on Omega and the AEW World Championship.
The two showed terrific chemistry when they collided in tag team action earlier in February, and there isn't anyone else waiting in the wings to challenge Omega post-Revolution. AEW can't continue to have Archer lose whenever it matters most and expect fans to still take him seriously, but a high-profile program with Omega would keep him on the right track to superstardom.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.