9 min read October 24, 2020
Hey everybody, it’s Sam, and today I’m taking over the book to give my take on what WWE SmackDown’s creative direction and storylines should be in the wake of the 2020 WWE Draft.
We saw a lot of Superstars switch brands, and I have to say, I was a little disappointed that NXT wasn’t involved in the draft. But with SmackDown looking so strong anyway with its roster, let’s take a look how WWE could make the most of it.
SmackDown’s New Roster
So let’s start with WWE Smackdown’s new roster. Fox is still pushing for a little more in terms of ratings, especially with the younger demographic, because they are going up against repeats and Friday night is a slower night.
SmackDown drafted Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, Jey Uso, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Dominik, and Rey Mysterio, The Street Profits, Big E, Lars Sullivan, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, Apollo Crews, Carmella, and Otis.
Here’s what I think could be done to make the most of them on the blue brand. It starts with a few necessary changes…
Changes That Must Happen On SmackDown Immediately
First of all, I was shocked that they considered Dominik and Rey Mysterio to be a tag team. I guess I don’t really consider them as one. Rey has been hurt and Dominik has been doing great alone. I hate that they and Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy were all drafted to the same brand. I’m ready for this feud to be over.
Second of all, I think they have to find a way to get the Money in the Bank briefcase off of Otis. Vince McMahon is the only one that thought this was a good idea. It was horrible. Rumor is that he still likes Otis with the briefcase, but is starting to listen more. They just can’t figure out a way to get it away from him without looking stupid. The other thing to consider is that Otis was drafted alone. Tucker was picked by Raw. WHY? Why break up ANOTHER tag team when you don’t have many and your competition (AEW) is making it work so well.
Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso
Yes, I know many of you are saying, “Now Sam, you are cheating. WWE is already doing this storyline.” You’re right and they are actually doing it well. Probably because Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns are writing it. I’m just shocked they agreed to do it. I love how they are painting Jey as this lovable, funny underdog and that Roman always beat Jey up in childhood and Jey was always in his shadow. WWE is doing a great job playing on the fans’ heartstrings.
So where do they go though? Can Jey win at all? WWE wanted this as a one and done match, but the fans wanted more of this storyline. The second match- I Quit in Hell in a Cell. The problem is you usually want the second match to go to the babyface. Will they let Jey beat Roman? I think so.
I think Jey wins with help, either from his brother, Jimmy, or his father, Rishiki, or his cousins that are in wrestling, but not ready for primetime. If it was closer to WrestleMania, I would say The Rock helps out. But this is leading to Survivor Series or TLC for the Rubber Match which Roman wins. Roman becomes unbearable as the Samoan Tribal Chief. The Rock then steps in to tell Roman he isn’t the true chief…The Rock is. This leads to their WrestleMania match that finally annoints Roman Reigns as the true Tribal Chief of WWE.
Backup Plan for Roman
I think if they don’t do this, then they will run a Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns program for WrestleMania instead. It will be after he comes back from his break. He will come back as the SmackDown Savior to go against Roman’s heel. I know the rumor is that they may bring Goldberg back. I can’t even think of a storyline that makes this even remotely good.
SmackDown Savior Seth Rollins vs Big E
Seth Rollins needs to be allowed to go all the way with this. He wasn’t on Raw. He needs to be able to punish and attempt to “clean” up SmackDown. Seth should say that Fox wanted him and he is going to raise ratings. He should affect the outcomes of matches to teach people the right ways. I’d let Buddy Murphy continue the Mysterio storyline, which will free up Seth Rollins to start a feud with Big E, especially since WWE wants to make him a big star. This is the push he needs. We all know they are not giving him the championship anytime soon until he’s built up enough to seem a legitimate champion.
Big E has been portrayed as a locker room leader and as a great guy. He is supposed to be getting more serious in his new role, so let him be serious about stopping SmackDown Savior Seth Rollins. It will be a nice 6-8 week program before Seth leaves for his break to be with Becky Lynch while she has their baby.
Bayley vs Sasha Banks
Well, this is about what I want. Not what WWE or Vince McMahon wants. I’m telling you what I would do. We shouldn’t be having Bayley vs Sasha Banks right now. I think they’ve pulled the trigger on it too soon. Bayley was just getting comfortable in her heel role. Sasha, I believe, is a true heel and is more comfortable being a heel. WWE had a golden goose with Bayley and Sasha running roughshod over everyone and everything. Bayley and Sasha had the tag team belts that allowed them to go to every show. You could have created feuds with different angles on different shows to make new stars until Charlotte and Becky Lynch get back. Plus, Ronda Rousey and Tessa Blanchard are apparently making decisions about joining WWE (or re-joining, in Ronda’s case).
WWE have made Sasha into The Alpha Dog, the hunter of Bayley the heel. Fine, but why have they almost turned Bayley into a chicken heel? Why is she wanting to run and not stand up to things anymore? Even as the Hugger she stood up for herself. I thought after she beat Sasha with a kendo stick and Bayley put Sasha’s neck in a chair, we should have seen a change in Bayley and that she was becoming almost a female Randy Orton that she was going to become cold and calculating. We didn’t. That’s more Sasha’s style.
They need to get out of this as soon as possible. They’ve laid the groundwork by having Bayley NOT sign the contract for the Hell in a Cell match with Sasha. Plus, Sasha talked about their friendship and how much it means to her. So have Bianca Belair attack Sasha Banks because she is the BEST and will be the boss of SmackDown. Have Bayley come to save Sasha and tell Bianca that she, Bayley, can beat up Banks, but she’s not letting anyone else do it. They then have a three-way Hell in a Cell match with Bianca.
Afterward, Sasha asks Bayley if the only thing she thought was that Sasha was after her belt. Bayley says yes. So have Sasha say, ‘I want your friendship more than any championship and I’m not coming after your belt. Let’s go get OUR tag team championships’. You put their storyline on hold until whenever the crowds are back. Like WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks vs Bianca Belair
We’ve got Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair on SmackDown while the tag team championships are on Raw. They can have two things going on at once, and I think these two could be absolutely awesome together. Bianca Belair has been running her mouth all over Twitter and all over Instagram whenever she can. She is a cocky personality that is “the EST.” She doesn’t care about showing it off and she’s new to the main roster. So, I feel like somebody should put her in her place. Who better than Sasha Banks?
Carmella vs Bayley
I think that we can also do storylines with Carmella and Bayley, especially since we don’t 100% know Carmella’s character. She has just come back as the mystery woman. We know that her catchphrase, that she wrote on the mirror, was “untouchable” and then she said, “I’m untouchable unless I want to be.” I think Bayley can do a lot with that, especially with her being obnoxious and cracking jokes. I can see Bayley pulling some heel pranks on her as far as her coat and her heels, like maybe snapping those. She needs to push her around and tease her about her clothes.
Of course, she would need to be a solid babyface. One of the untouchable, gorgeous babyfaces that the Bella Twins played in the beginning. Carmella can act like she’s almost too good to deal with Bayley. She can still be fabulous and a princess, just not a Staten Island princess. She won’t want to get down and dirty with Bayley. Almost like old A-List Miz.
Now, if Carmella comes back as a different kind of character, more like Cruella de Ville, who also had the coat, then she can come back and order people around, especially when she needs something. She’s a veteran wrestler, so it rubs Bayley the wrong way because she’s the champion. Bayley should be being the boss and Carmella should be listening to her. She should be respecting her and following wrestling etiquette of how to treat champions.
That builds a natural conflict between these two different kinds of heels. Carmella is more authoritative than Bayley. She almost is still trying to be the role model, whereas Carmella doesn’t make any bones about it that she could care less whether she’s a role model or not for the new girls.
Daniel Bryan vs Kevin Owens
It doesn’t even matter who’s the babyface and who’s the heel because Daniel Bryan proved that he could be a heck of a heel when he wants to, with that evil devilish laugh that he can do. Bryan can go back to his tree hugger self that wants to save the planet, and Kevin Owens would be the perfect foil with his ‘eating pizza’, fat slob self. He doesn’t want to do anything green or save the planet. You could flip it. Daniel Bryan can be a total babyface. Kevin Owens is an awesome heel. You could have a two to three-month program just with those two if you want. They are that good.
Lars Sullivan vs Baron Corbin
I don’t know a whole lot about Lars Sullivan. They say that he is a freak of nature as far as some of the things that he can do in the ring. They’ve shown him twice now, and I haven’t seen him do anything freaky. I have, though, seen him be big, strong, and beat people or try to destroy them.
Baron Corbin or King Corbin is supposed to rule things with his King of the Ring. I can see Sullivan having a problem with that and wanting to beat him down. Let’s turn Baron Corbin into a babyface. He has never really shown the range to be a babyface and a lot of people can’t stand him. So let’s see how good he is. Can he turn himself into a babyface against Lars Sullivan? Can he use his personality to be the good guy in this program? They are both ex-football players and big and strong.
Sami Zayn Using Aleister Black As An Associate on SmackDown
Sami Zayn has always been calculating, no matter his character. So, what if Sami uses Black as an associate or enforcer to help him with his championship. We know that Aleister Black has an evil streak in him. We saw it in NXT. He can do all of Sami’s dirty work while Sami remains squeaky clean. I could see Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn having a great program, especially if Black is also used.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
These two have been fabulous friends from the indies for years. The last time we saw them they were enemies, but then KO texted Sami and posted it on Twitter like they are now friends. Can you imagine them going against the Mysterios or Rollins or Bryan? Plus, Aleister Black is coming after Kevin Owens the very first chance he gets. Maybe Sami Zayn gets involved that way.
I just can’t understand how WWE doesn’t have unbelievable storylines that make you want to watch, what with the wealth of characters and athletic talents they have. You may not agree, so let’s hear your ideas for Friday Night SmackDown. I dare you to write to me about your ideas—see if you can beat me in the ratings!