When the WWE decided to bring the brand split back to television, many were skeptical of how it would pay off. Fortunately, the distinct rosters have done both RAW and SmackDown Live wonders.
When it comes to RAW, the main event players have stayed the same but they've experimented in edgier programming, something that has fans reminiscing about the Attitude Era.
On SmackDown, the creative team has done a tremendous job in creating new stars. Whether it's AJ Styles, The Miz, Bray Wyatt, or Baron Corbin, they've gone from wrestlers with potential to legitimate main event players who can carry the show on a weekly basis.
But just because the brand split has worked out for some, that doesn't mean it's worked out for everyone. Cesaro would greatly benefit in moving from RAW to SmackDown Live. Luke Harper, too, would be in a better position if he were to switch shows. In some cases on this list, it's also that some stars have simply done it all on their respective shows and they need fresh rivalries. That can only be accomplished by switching brands.
But that's not all...let's take a look at 15 wrestlers that would benefit from switching shows in 2017.
15 The New Day
For the better part of a year and a half, it could be argued that The New Day was the WWE's best overall act. When it comes to in-ring ability, the trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods all possess top notch skills. What sets them apart from the rest, however, is what they do outside of the ring. The New Day are amongst one of the funniest acts in company history and are a constant hit with merchandise opportunities.
Unfortunately, ever since they dropped the Tag Team Championships, it appears as though the creative team can't figure out what to do with the trio. One way to get them back on track is by switching them to the blue brand, as a feud with American Alpha could be great. While The New Day would have their way with the young tandem on the microphone, their matches would be second to none.
14 The Miz
Thus far, the brand split has done a strong job at bringing new stars into the spotlight — but it's hard to argue against the notion that The Miz has benefitted the most the separation of rosters. Before the WWE Draft, The Miz was floundering as a lower card act and found it hard to pick up any traction as a legitimate superstar. On SmackDown Live, he's taken his "A-List" persona and made it more serious, which catapulted him into the most hated heel on either show. But when it comes to his current brand, The Miz has done everything except win the WWE World Championship.
If he were to make the switch to Monday nights, he could help revitalize an upper mid card scene that's in serious need of shuffling. And with the United States Championship in a state of flux, The Miz can do what he did with the Intercontinental Championship and attempt to restore prestige.
13 Apollo Crews
When looking at Apollo Crews, he truly has it all. Whether it's his look, skill inside of the squared circle, or athleticism, it's obvious why he was called up so soon into his NXT run. Unfortunately, however, his charisma and mic skills aren't on par with his physical attributes, making it hard for fans to get attached to him. Crews is currently positioned in a program with Dolph Ziggler — but even though he's portraying the good guy, it's Ziggler who is getting cheered. Switching brands won't be the end-all, be-all for Crews — but because RAW is three hours long, it would give the promising talent a chance to get more time on television on a consistent basis. And that's something that will only help Crews become what the company hopes he can be.
12 The Usos
The Usos were one of the WWE's top tag teams for years but their gimmick of two smiling Samoans grew old on the WWE Universe. It got so bad that when the team would do their "When we say Uce, y'all say oh" slogan, the crowd would chant "no!" When they continued this trend during the brand split, The Usos made a much-needed character change that saw them not pay any attention to the crowd and have become more serious. They've been revitalized on SmackDown Live — but with the shape of the RAW tag team division, they could move to the red brand and re-energize the product. Their physical style would match up well against teams like Gallows and Anderson and Sheamus and Cesaro, and could become RAW Tag Team Champions without missing a beat.
11 Mickie James
She hasn't been a part of the Smackdown Live brand for long, but Mickie James has done a tremendous job ever since she returned to the company. Using the lack of respect that the women of her generation get as her motivation, James has worked with both Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss in an attempt to pass her experience on to the up-and-coming female superstars. On the RAW side of things, the women's division has been largely dominated by Charlotte and Sasha Banks and has now started to feature Bayley in the main program. But three of the Four Horsewomen can only get so good working together — if James were to switch sides in WWE programming, she has the ability to put on top notch matches with all of the superstars on the show and provide a much-needed shakeup atop the women's roster.
10 Sami Zayn
With Seth Rollins out of action, Sami Zayn is positioned as the number two babyface on the RAW brand, firmly behind Roman Reigns. While it looks like the creative team tries to book him in a Daniel Bryan-like underdog role, it's been far too inconsistent for the fans to truly believe that Zayn can be a main event caliber player. But with the way SmackDown Live books a majority of their talents, The Underdog from the Underground could be a consistent force in the WWE World Championship picture. With wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, and The Miz getting a consistent shot at the top of the card, it isn't out of the realm of possibility that Zayn, too, would be mentioned in that category if he was to switch shows.
When Kalisto and Sin Cara were still working together as The Lucha Dragons, it was clear that the former was destined to be something more than a player in the tag team division. The creative team agreed as well, as Kalisto ended up winning the United States Championship in a strong series of matches with Alberto Del Rio. But ever since the luchador was moved to SmackdDown Live, he hasn't hit his stride. But instead of moving Kalisto to RAW, the best solution would be to send him to 205 Live. The cruiserweight exclusive program is in need of someone who knows the WWE style to a tee. Because Kalisto does — and because he would be arguably the best wrestler on the program — moving him to the show is a no-brainer.
8 Luke Harper
Speaking of people who have benefitted greatly from the brand split, Luke Harper is certainly one of them. The career-long Wyatt Family member has always possessed the unique ability of having a large frame and athletic skill set, but it's his time on SmackDown Live that has showcased his talents on a larger scale. Currently a part of the main event feud of Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, many believe it's Harper who will force his way into the championship match at WrestleMania. But if he really wants to take that next step, he must completely remove himself from the Wyatts. Harper has drawn the adoration from the crowd over recent weeks, and with RAW lacking in that department, a career overhaul could be just what the doctor ordered.
Ever since Cesaro debuted on the WWE roster, many fans have begged and pleaded for him to get a main event push. While he has received a strong push, it's really only come in the tag team division, as he's won the tag team championships on two separate occasions. And when he has been positioned to succeed as a singles star, injuries have crept into the picture. Cesaro, however, is unmatched as an in-ring technician and his charisma is off the charts — and one way to capitalize on his popularity is by moving him to SmackDown Live. The blue brand has done a great job at making stars, and Cesaro could — and should — be the next one that gets that opportunity.
When it comes to criminally underutilized talents, Rusev ranks atop the list. Once the biggest heel on the roster, the Bulgarian Brute has been relegated to lower mid-card status. That in and of itself is a crime, as like Harper, Rusev has a great combination of a big body but super athleticism. Combine that with the fact that he's charismatic and a strong promo, and it's even more obvious that the WWE is missing the boat with him. Switching shows would give Rusev a new focus and direction, which would bode well for both the talent and the company. Like Cesaro, Rusev could automatically join the main event ranks — and if the creative team can reignite the spark that made him so popular two years ago, they could have a new star on their hands.
5 Enzo Amore
When watching Enzo Amore compete inside of the squared circle, one thing is blatantly obvious — he's not much of a wrestler. But when it comes to the WWE, wrestling is only a part of the equation, as being charismatic is just as important as been a great in-ring worker. When it comes to Enzo, he's probably the best wrestler on the microphone — and because of that, he's found a ton of success. But with Cass looking like a potential main event player, he will eventually move on from teaming with Enzo. And if that happens, he — like Kalisto — should move to 205 Live. Not only does he fit the weight limit of the show, but he would give the program some much-needed entertainment and would make it a must-watch on the WWE Network.
4 Sasha Banks
As mentioned in the Mickie James slide, the women's roster on Monday nights has been run by Charlotte and Sasha Banks. There's no denying that Banks doesn't deserve to be in the spotlight, as she's a tremendous worker and has a connection with the audience that many don't have. Unfortunately, however, her feud program with Charlotte has gone on for far too long, and making the switch to SmackDown Live could benefit her career greatly. On Tuesdays, Banks could work tremendous programs with Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, and Naomi, and could be atop the depth chart as either a face or a heel. And unlike on RAW, she could become the legitimate top star of the show — and at this stage, it's something that she deserves.
3 Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns will never be fully accepted by the WWE Universe — that's already been established. But it's hard to deny that The Big Dog isn't one of the better wrestlers on the entire roster and is deserving of his main event positioning. But on RAW, he's already feuded with everyone in his path, making his potential switch to Smackdown Live even more anticipated. If Reigns were to make the move, everyone would love to see more matches between him and AJ Styles. In addition to that program, another feud with Bray Wyatt and matchups with Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose could be something that grabs the fans' attention. Whether heel or face, Reigns would bring a completely new dynamic to SmackDown Live and that could help the show out.
2 John Cena
John Cena may be a part-time wrestler at this stage of his career but he still plays a valuable role on WWE programming. As a member of SmackDown Live roster, the surefire WWE Hall of Famer and all-time great is far from the man that used to bury all talents that used to stand before him. But nowadays, he's done an outstanding in putting wrestlers over, including AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, and Luke Harper, among others. If he were to move to RAW, he could play the same role and that would help the show greatly.
Imagine Cena facing and losing to talents like Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, Cesaro, and Big Cass, among others? That would help make new stars and that would continue to make Cena one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history.
1 Brock Lesnar
Like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, too, is a part-time superstar. But unlike Cena, Lesnar is someone who is positioned to look as strong as possible nearly each and every time he's featured on WWE television. But Lesnar's contract is on the downswing, meaning it may be time to have younger superstars pick up victories against The Beast Incarnate. And instead of having that happen on RAW, Lesnar should be moved to SmackDown Live, which would make the show even more popular due to his drawing power.
The WWE could try and re-do the Lesnar/Dean Ambrose feud. They can finally put together the Lesnar and Bray Wyatt match that almost happened last year. They can even do AJ Styles vs. Lesnar, a matchup that can only be categorized as a dream one. Either way, moving Lesnar to Tuesdays would be beneficial in all aspects of the WWE.
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