The recent WWE Superstar Shakeup has not only seen current WWE superstars switching brands, several NXT superstars have also made their much awaited main roster debut last week.
Ricochet, Aleister Black, EC3, Lacy Evans, and of course who would forget the Vikings Experience (formerly known as the War Raiders) are all now on Monday Night RAW. Lars Sullivan, Kairi Sane and the Heavy Machinery have also officially landed on SmackDown Live, giving the Blue Brand a boost in talent.
While it’s true that these people all came from WWE’s developmental brand, many of them were already big names in the independent scene before they jumped ship to WWE.
Ricochet was a three-time IWGP junior heavyweight tag-team champion, two-time Lucha Underground champion and the 2014 winner of the Best of the Super Junior. Black held numerous championships in Pro-Wrestling Guerilla and Progress Wrestling, while Kairi Sane was universally recognized one of the best female wrestlers in the world before she won the first ever Mae Young Classic.
The bottom-line is this incoming group of guys measure up really well talent for talent with top WWE veterans. The stakes are now higher for them to perform better, and we have no inkling of a doubt that they can surpass expectations unless WWE creative keeps screwing their careers over and over again.
With all the oohs and aahs that happened in this year’s Superstar Shakeup, there’s something in this latest batch of call-ups that doesn’t feel right. The uncomfortable reality is that it’s missing few superstars who would have bigger impact on the main roster. We are talking about potential game-changers on the RAW and SmackDown brand. Who are they? Let’s know them one by one.
The Undisputed Era
The Superstar Shakeup doesn’t only make someone’s career. Unfortunately, it breaks up tag-team partnerships and stables as well. Now that Sanity, Riot Squad and the Shield are no longer a thing, it’s evident that WWE is left without a power-tripping stable on the main roster.
The Undisputed Era, a WWE NXT stable that consists of Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Rodrick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly, would have been the perfect group to fill that void. Their edgy, unapologetic characters have some striking resemblance to the Attitude Era’s D-Generation X, not to mention their leader, Adam Cole, is as charismatic as the prime Shawn Michaels.
Gargano has been with WWE’s developmental brand since 2016. In four years on NXT, he captured the NXT Tag-Team championship, NXT North American Championship and the prestigious NXT World Championship, making him the first and only NXT Triple Crown champion. That’s how accomplished Gargano is.
His ability to produce five star matches with basically anyone would have been a huge addition for either RAW or SmackDown. Just imagine what kind of matches Gargano would produce if he goes one-on-one with the likes of Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Finn Balor. There’s a reason why he’s called Johnny Wrestling. That reason is that he’s just too damn good with his craft.
Velveteen Dream reminds us of the 1990s version of the Goldust, only that he’s a lot more athletic and entertaining.
Ever since his NXT debut in 2017, Velveteen Dream was involved in one of the most acclaimed matches in WWE’s history. At 23-years-old, the Dream already has plenty of four to five-star matches around his belt, including the six-man ladder match for the North American Championship at NXT Takeover: New Orleans in 2018 and his singles match with Aleister Black at NXT Takeover: WarGames that won NXT feud of the year in 2017.
Everybody knows that Velveteen Dream is blessed with unworldly wrestling skills, but what makes this character clicks is his overflowing charisma. He has an uncanny way of bedazzling fans, whether it on the mic or in the ring. That would bode well for him whenever he makes his main roster debut.
For someone who decided to transition from MMA to pro-wrestling four years ago, Shayna Baszler has done very well in just a short span of time. After a runner-up finish in the first Mae Young Classic, Baszler has become a dominating force in the NXT women’s division right from the get-go. She won the NXT Women’s Championship five months after her TV debut. She then defended the belt for the next 133 days before losing it to rival Kairi Sane at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. At WWE Evolution, Baszler defeated Sane to become the first ever two-time NXT women’s champion.
With Ronda Rousey taking a hiatus from wrestling, Baszler would be a fitting replacement to antagonize Becky Lynch and other babyfaces in the women’s division. As a matter of fact, we feel Baszler would be a better match-up for Lynch than Rousey, because she would be already more seasoned coming in. Then again, WWE’s plan might be to hold off Baszler’s main roster debut until around October, where they can set up a four horsewomen vs. four horsewomen matches at Survivor Series.