Alexa Bliss and 5 WWE Stars in Need of a Raw or SmackDown Brand Change

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2022

Alexa Bliss and 5 WWE Stars in Need of a Raw or SmackDown Brand Change

0 of 5


    The abundance of talent on WWE means there will always be Superstars who struggle to find television time or to make an impact on Raw or SmackDown.

    These are talented individuals, some with championship pedigrees, but they are unable to break through the logjam that has occurred on their current rosters.

    However, a switch to the opposing brand can open up chances for fresh matchups and the rekindling of unsettled rivalries.

    Headlined by multi-time women's champion Alexa Bliss, here are five Superstars who could benefit most from a change sooner rather than later.

Finn Balor to SmackDown

1 of 5

    Finn Balor is the United States champion on Raw, but it becomes clear with every passing week that he is a transitional titleholder tasked with putting Austin Theory over in his first title match.

    The Irishman deserves so much more than that, but it doesn't appear he will be anything more than an upper-midcard competitor with the red brand. The arrival of Cody Rhodes, the elevation of Bobby Lashley as a babyface and AJ Styles' recent turn have clogged the top of the roster, making it more difficult for Balor to excel at the level that reflects his talent. 

    Raw still needs midcard talent, but Balor feels lost in the shuffle there as well. He is hardly given anything interesting to do. Instead, he comes to the ring, has a banger of a match and disappears back into the irrelevancy. That is an indictment on the creative team.

    Switching Balor back to SmackDown may not solve every problem but at least he was a headliner there as late as last September when he challenged Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Considering nothing ever came of the controversial finish to their pay-per-view clash, there are grounds for a rematch.

    With only Drew McIntyre to overcome on the babyface side of the roster, it is a much better match for Balor than his current placement as an afterthought on Monday nights.

Tommaso Ciampa to SmackDown

2 of 5

    Like Balor, it seems Tommaso Ciampa's upward mobility on the Raw roster is limited, even this early in his run.

    Barring a heel turn that sees him join Edge and Damian Priest or become his own man on Monday nights, there does not appear to be a spot for The Blackheart on the red brand. He's at least behind Balor in the hierarchy, making him the fifth or sixth most important babyface on the roster. Throw in Ezekiel and he is even further down the line.

    His first appearance with the brand as a full-time member of the main roster comes on this week's Main Event, where he clashes with fellow Ring of Honor alumni, T-Bar. That's not the most promising roster call-up.

    Ciampa's departure from NXT took place on a grand stage at Stand and Deliver, so there's no going back to NXT. His best chance to enjoy a quality run is on SmackDown, where the shows are shorter but there is more opportunity to carve a niche for himself on a roster lacking quality babyfaces.

Jinder Mahal to Raw

3 of 5

    Jinder Mahal is a former WWE and United States champion.

    You might be hard-pressed to remember that given how steep his fall has been over the last four years.

    Still a quality wrestler with an on-screen persona that can generate heat, The Modern-Day Maharaja would be best suited to a return to Raw, where there's at least enough screen time to appear regularly from week to week.

    On SmackDown, he is competing for airtime with The Bloodline, Happy Corbin, Sami Zayn and Charlotte Flair, all top-level heels who have built equity with fans. Raw has its own fair share of villains, but at least the three-hour run time makes it possible for someone like Mahal to do something on TV.

Xia Li to Raw

4 of 5

    Xia Li made an explosive debut on SmackDown in December, but she barely appeared after that and has not appeared since the February 25 episode, where she defeated Natalya.

    A talented performer who waited her turn for a main roster call-up, she has floundered on the blue brand and would benefit from making the jump to a show that has more time and opportunities like Raw.

    On SmackDown, Li is overshadowed by the likes of Ronda Rousey, Sasha Banks and Naomi. On Raw, she faces a similar scenario in which she would have to battle for a chance to showcase her abilities with the likes of Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan.

    The red brand, though, has that three-hour runtime that allows for stars to get on TV and potentially break out in a way SmackDown does not.

    Li is in an unenviable position in that her call-up to the main roster coincides with one of the strongest women's rosters in recent memory. Perhaps a longer run in NXT, where she could have made the jump later and found success, would have better suited her.

    For now, she would be better suited to move to Raw and hope for the best.

Alexa Bliss to SmackDown

5 of 5

    Alexa Bliss is a multi-time women's champion, Money in the Bank winner and hugely marketable on top of it all. She is a great personality, a solid professional wrestler and has worked with every top star in the company.

    She is a valuable asset for WWE, but it feels like Bliss has become lost in the shuffle.

    Yes, she took time away for her wedding to pop star Ryan Cabrera, but her performance in February's Elimination Chamber and the vignettes that aired ahead of it are indicative of a talent who should not be left out of the mix to the extent that she has been.

    As a member of the Raw brand, Bliss is stuck. There's no upward momentum for her because the women's champion is a babyface, as are the tag team titleholders.

    Barring a heel turn or a return to her Little Miss Bliss persona, the best option available to the NXT alum is a move to SmackDown, where she can resume her rivalry with Charlotte Flair after The Queen wraps up her program with Ronda Rousey.

    The former UFC star is going to win the blue brand title, and Flair will need someone to feud with in the wake of that feud concluding. Enter Bliss, who has equity with fans and chemistry with Flair, making that matchup one that WWE should revisit.

    Secondary feuds with Shayna Baszler or even Natalya should not be ruled out, either. 

    Bliss is too talented to keep off television, and Friday nights are a better fit for her, given SmackDown's greater opportunities at this point.