Last week, we looked at 5 things that WWE need to start booking on Monday Night RAW following the 2020 Draft. Admittedly, the blue brand didn’t come out so well after losing the likes of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Braun Strowman and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt, but did happen to gain some ample superstars to help fill the gaps left behind. Friday nights have now gained some heavy-hitters in the form of Seth Rollins, Rey Mysterio, Kevin Owens and Bianca Belair, it’s time that they’re whipped into shape and utilised in the ways that the fans want to see.
In this piece, we’re going to run down 5 things that need to happen on SmackDown Live with their fresh roster, certain feuds or angles that need to be put directly under the spotlight in order to draw the fans lost to the likes of RAW, NXT and AEW. SmackDown Live was once known as the ‘Land of Opportunity’, the place to wrestle rather than entertain. It’s about time they reclaim that moniker.
1. Bayley vs Boss
WWE have already put plans in place for the big payoff match between bitter rivals, Sasha Banks and Bayley. The two will clash at Hell in a Cell next Sunday, but something feels a little off about the match we’ve been waiting well over a year to see.
Personally, I’d say that both women have excelled throughout this entire storyline, keeping fans on the edge of their seats waiting for the big betrayal. Not only that, but we know the history these two have had and how instrumental they have been in progressing women’s wrestling. They can hang with the best and give even the top male superstars a run for their money in match quality.
It’s time these two show everyone how it’s done on the main roster and headline Hell in a Cell. Bayley vs Boss is a marquee match, especially now that PWI have labelled the SmackDown Women’s Champion as their number 1 ranked female wrestler in the world today. For it to take a back seat to the Roman/Jey Uso sequel, or whatever else WWE happen to book for the main event, would be a huge discredit to their efforts.
Bayley/Banks should be the ace in the hole for SmackDown Live, keeping this feud rolling for the latter part of 2020. I’m sure nobody would turn their nose up at a 20-30 minute war between the two former Women’s Tag Champions in the main event of next weekend’s big show, and should they bring it like they did in Brooklyn, this could be the springboard the blue brand needs to become the A-Show.
2. Fight Forever
Once again, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are sharing the same battlefield. It’s been a long time since we last saw the former BFFs battle against one another. Now that the two have gone their separate ways and embraced their reversed babyface/heel roles, it’s about time they meet once more on the new season of SmackDown Live.
‘The Great Liberator’ has finally reclaimed the rightful title of Intercontinental Champion, having defeated both Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles at Clash of Champions. At the 2020 Draft, both of his challengers were sent packing to Monday Night RAW, along with fellow budding mid-carders Matt Riddle and Sheamus, so it’s time for some fresh blood in the mix and there’s no better rival for a heel Zayn than the babyface Kevin Owens.
These two have had some of the greatest singles bouts in recent WWE history, getting them to once again batter one another over the coveted mid-card title – perhaps with an added hardcore stipulation – could make for some magic on the blue brand. Plus, if WWE are looking to once again present SmackDown Live as the place for wrestlers rather than entertainers, then a gritty feud between two of the best athletes on the roster today could absolutely be the right way forward.
3. Father/Son Bonding
Both Mysterios were traded to SmackDown Live during the 2020 Draft, confirming WWE’s intentions to proceed with the first-ever Father/Son Tag team. I’m sure it means the world to both Rey and Dominik to have the opportunity to compete alongside one another in a WWE ring, especially now that they’re entering the fray of the SmackDown Tag division, which has been in dire need of a boost for several months.
The Street Profits remain on top of the Tag roster as newly christened SmackDown Tag champions, defeating Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler to retain their titles on the most recent season premiere.
Once a heel tag team takes over and the Mysterios finally rid of Seth Rollins & Murphy, then the Father/Son duo can refocus on capturing the titles and putting together one heck of a feel-good story in time for WrestleMania.
Dominik has really impressed me since debuting at SummerSlam, seeing him win his first gold under the WWE banner would be well-deserved, but possibly made ever sweeter seeing him do it alongside his legendary pa. This is what wrestling is all about.
4. Daniel Bryan Emerges
Remember Daniel Bryan? Yeah, that guy that used to point his fingers up to the skies and scream “Yes”? He was cool, wasn’t he?
It’s a shame because it seems like WWE forgot about DB until the most recent episode of SmackDown Live, where he suddenly re-emerged to instigate a feud with the ‘Friday Night Messiah’. Of course, Bryan’s absence can’t be criticised too much, what with there being a global pandemic and all, but SmackDown Live has been sorely missing their former World Champion. It’s good to have him back!
Hopefully Daniel Bryan can pick up where he left off in the mid-card and start working his way back towards championship glory. Fans are still enamoured with the indie darling and WWE have a lot of faith in him as a top babyface star. I certainly wouldn’t be against seeing Bryan tussle with the likes of Rollins, Aleister Black and the newly-turned heel Roman Reigns.
There’s a lot left for Bryan to accomplish on SmackDown, so why not sooner than later?
5. The Rise of Big E
The most controversial of all Draft picks this year was Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods being sent to Monday Night RAW shortly after reforming and winning their sixth tag titles.
Big E has been exploring the singles division as of late, feuding with Sheamus and building quite the fan following in his partners’ absence. There’s no doubt that Big E has what it takes to eventually reach the top of the ladder, however now with Woods and Kingston parting ways, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.
As I’ve previously mentioned, Big E as a singles star relies a lot on the success of the New Day stable. KofiMania was groundbreaking work and that wasn’t simply down to just Kingston’s efforts, both Xaiver and Big E were instrumental in building that programme. The same could have been achieved with E at the helm of the team effort.
With him now dubbed an individual, it’s going to be tough for WWE to not allow Big E to falter and fall into mid-card obscurity, much like he was when first breaking out onto the main roster. But I applaud their confidence in E’s ability to stay over, he’s charismatic and entertaining, which should be enough to keep him in the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe.
A lot of wrestling fans have already penned Big E as their favourite to win the 2021 Royal Rumble match and WrestleMania challenger to ‘The Tribal Chief’. Let’s see if that comes together like we expect on SmackDown Live.
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