Yesterday, we broke down the WWE Draft changes on the RAW side, but you didn’t think we would leave you hanging with Smackdown, did you?
Culture Editor Murjani Rawls and Staff Writer Nick Simon return to TESTIFY (New Day voice) their thoughts on the newly constructed Friday Night Smackdown roster. Let’s dive in.
Full Smackdown Roster
- Men’s Singles
Karrion Kross with Scarlett
Cameron Grimes (from NXT)
Grayson Waller (from NXT)
- Men’s Tag Teams
The Street Profits
Pretty Deadly (from NXT)
- Women’s Division
Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn (from NXT)
- Free Agents
Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin
Von Wagner (from NXT)
Xyon Quinn (from NXT)
Initial thoughts on the Smackdown roster
Murjani Rawls: There are three sure things in life; death, taxes, and Roman Reigns dominating the Smackdown brand. Thankfully, there is some freshness as far as oppponets when he’s around for him – Bobby Lashley, A.J. Styles, and maybe even LA Knight. With Damage Control, you have to do something different and perhaps break them up. I think there is a lot more money in Bayley vs. Io Sky and Bayley vs. Dakota Kai than them being a collective at this point.
Nick Simon: The Bloodline are still the sun, moon, and the stars of Smackdown, and their story will still be the centerpiece of the show moving forward. Now that they’ve finally separated them from Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Cody Rhodes (for now), it will be interesting to see who steps into their orbit. We haven’t seen Reigns vs. Lashley during this entire Tribal Chief run, and I can see them going toward a program right out of the gate.
What stands out on the women’s side is that Smackdown got the star power. Bianca, Charlotte, Asuka, Bayley, Iyo, and Dakota are established names,; you can get a lot of mileage out of that group.
Potential breakout stars
Murjani Rawls: Cameron Grimes is the person I’m looking to make some noise on the men’s side. It’s be wrong for me to call A.J. Styles a breakout star (this man is a legend), but with him rested up – look for him to be invigorated. I want a Roman vs. A.J. program. With the women, I’m going with Io Sky. The title match with Bianca Belair is going to show everyone what most of us were raving about during Io’s NXT run.
Nick Simon: On the men’s side, I think we’re in for an LA Knight face-turn real soon, and now that the rosters are settled, you’re going to see him rise soon. On the tag front, Pretty Deadly has the chance to strike a perfect blend of wrestling and comedy similarly to what Breezango did a few years back.
Also, don’t sleep on Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn. I can easily see them getting in a program with Damage CTRL, and you know Bayley will do everything she can to put them over.
A potential feud that I’m looking forward to seeing: You know that a Bloodline vs. LWO feud is coming. I’d like to see what a Rey/Santos vs. Usos match looks like.
Murjani Rawls: This isn’t so random, but we’re getting Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte Flair either at Summerslam or Wrestlemania. It’s Bianca’s final boss and Charlotte comes through in huge matches.
Nick Simon: They’re totally throwing Austin Theory and Grayson Waller into a tag team. Their characters are kind of redundant on the same show, and you might as well pair them as the most obnoxious tag team in the company.