With rumors of Kevin Owens leaving SmackDown Live, we look at stars that can replace him, Recently, there has been a lot of speculation that the feud between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon could lead to The Prize Fighter returning to Raw. While that will further solidify Smackdown Live as the B-Show, we’ve always known that WWE’s flagship show is its bigger priority. Still, this would likely be a terrible move, as Owens would likely get lost in the shuffle on Raw, unlike on SmackDown where he is currently one of the top stars. So who should replace Owens on SmackDown Live? It’s silly to think that WWE wouldn’t send someone to SmackDown in exchange because they would be taking one of the show's top stars, so if this does indeed happen, here are our top five choices for the stars to replace him on Tuesday Nights.
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Samoa Joe has been on the shelf for the past few months, but before that, he was booked perfectly as a destroyer, but with the main event scene on Raw looking too full at the moment, a switch to SmackDown would be perfect for the former Samoan Submission Machine. He may have been presented as a heel, but hardcore fans still absolutely love Joe, so he would certainly be a contender to Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship, or maybe he could face an old foe for the United States Championship. No matter what they do with him, adding Joe to the SmackDown roster would be a great move, and would give the fans plenty of fresh, exciting matchups.
Jeff Hardy was recently injured and will be out several months, and currently, all Raw has Matt doing is teaming with Jason Jordan. While that’s not bad for now, they need to give him something to do, so a switch to SmackDown—and maybe a character change—could help bring back the excitement that was surrounding him at the time of their WrestleMania 33 return. It’s not going to be the ‘Broken’ gimmick that reinvigorated his career in TNA, but he has just teased another change on Twitter, so he would be a very valuable addition to the Smackdown Live mid-card.
Neville has been the shining star of a struggling cruiserweight division since it began, but that’s the problem. He has been so good that he deserves more. Now with Enzo Amore and Kalisto entering the division, it could be time for Neville to enter the main roster properly. Neville is quite possibly one of the best heels on the roster today, and he is being wasted on 205 Live. Having a heel Neville vs. AJ Styles would be absolutely incredible to watch, and with time, he could potentially be battling for the WWE Championship. This is probably the least likely out of anyone on this list, as Austin Aries already left the WWE because he couldn’t get out of the cruiserweight division, so the WWE could likely force Neville to stay, but this is certainly the best move for his career.
When Tommy End was announced as the newest WWE signing, fans of his were worried that his satanic gimmick would be completely changed in the WW. While it’s definitely been toned down, he has become a star since becoming Aleister Black, and it seems like a matter of time until his main roster promotion, and there’s no time like the present. It’s likely he will be pushed to the NXT Championship over time, but with Johnny Gargano, Andrade Almas, and others pursuing that, a star of his caliber may be better on the main roster, and if he was put on Smackdown Live now, he could become a worldwide star. There is a worry that his aura will be hurt on the main roster, but he’s going to be promoted eventually, so why not now when there is a clear spot for him in the upper mid-card.
Chris Hero is one of the greatest independent wrestlers of all time, and despite failing his first time in the WWE, he returned and is now doing good things in NXT. With Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and others in the NXT Championship picture, it’s time for him to move on because he has nowhere to go in NXT. The Knockout Artist is a great wrestler, and you wouldn’t expect him to again return to the indies, so a promotion to Smackdown Live makes sense, as he would fit in well with the rest of the roster. We don’t know much about his character, so that could be explored much more on Smackdown Live, but he could be an upper mid-card star for years to come, and would no doubt put on some great matches with everyone on the brand.