FanPost

6. The ABCs of WWE - The Boys of the Blue Brand

Another post here, inspired by this post by my good friend, WilloBlog. This time, I'm talking about the Smackdown men's roster.

Let's get to it.

Aiden English - Well, I would be wrong in saying that I have always cared about English. He wasn't even my favorite member of the Vaudevillains, to be honest. However, his work with Rusev lately has really helped both of them shine. I think that he's been able to show some great character work lately, but a part of me always has to wonder if he was kept around because of his ties to the Guerrero family.

A.J. Styles - I remember when he debuted for WWE at Rumble 2016. I remember the music playing and not recognizing it, as I realized slowly that the reason why I didn't recognize it was because it was new and for the NEWEST MEMBER OF THE WWE ROSTER A.J. STYLES. As a big fan of NJPW, I was both apprehensive and excited for Styles to make the jump over. I am glad that he's getting the respect he deserves as truly one of the best in the business.

The Ascension - Someone pointed out not too long ago that they had forgotten what the Ascension's music sounded like. I had too, more or less. No longer seen as the spooky Road Warriors/Demolition of this generation, they've been relegated to a joke tag team. Not even Corey Graves trying to sell them as a huge intimidating force from his time in NXT was enough to be able to give them an edge.

Baron Corbin - Ugh. I want to leave it at that, but I'll try to be nice and write something about him. I don't know a whole lot about how he's received within the company outside of what we are allowed to learn about, but I've never really been a fan of his. He's never seemed that interesting, and always seemed to have an inflated sense of self-worth, to the point of outright cockiness. While I will acknowledge that he has improved a lot since his days in NXT, I still just can't figure out why he's supposed to be important to fans.

Big E - Little known fact about me: I once made a sign for Big E that read "Big D Langston" but I lost it years ago. He has always been entertaining to me, and I was so glad that he was able to join in the New Day to enjoy the huge success they've had over the past few years. I do miss that old entrance music of his, where three wasn't enough and he needed five. I've always seen him as hugely charismatic as well as insanely talented as a big man in the ring. He is able to straddle the line between being hilarious and intimidating really effectively.

The Bludgeon Brothers - Harper and Rowan are two dudes that just know how to work together very well. They've been tagging together for years now, in and out of the Wyatt family, and they have real potential to be a memorable team. I'm not crazy about this gimmick of theirs (though I do love their music), but I really hope that this is something that works out for these two dudes, who have been with the company for quite some time now.

Bobby Roode - My grandpa thinks Roode is hilarious, just because of his entrance. My aunty hates him for the same reason. I was glad that Roode was as well-received as he was on the main roster when he debuted, because I was really worried that he would go nowhere. I was surprised by them making him a face on the main roster when he absolutely ruled as a heel in NXT, but I don't write for them. Either way, I'm very glad that he makes the U.S. title GLORIOUS!

Chad Gable - I could never really get into his whole "Ready, Willing, Gable" thing in NXT or on the main roster. I liked him as part of American Alpha as faces (because I loved Jason Jordan so so much). I have to acknowledge his skills in the ring, I guess, but there's just something about him that annoys me. I will admit that they've turned that annoying factor up to help solidify this heel turn with Shelton Benjamin, so at least it's good for something. I still will never forget him actually using the word "bicker" to describe an argument. I just couldn't deal with it.

Chris Jericho - I mean, he's still listed as part of the Smackdown Roster sorta, so let's do this. Over the span of this past year, I've really grown to respect Jericho in ways I never have in his entire career. Maybe it's hearing more of his podcast, maybe it's because he's worked with many people who I've always really liked. Who can really tell? All I know is this: Jericho is a true Renaissance man who is able to understand wrestling from many angles and play each and every one of them well to help whoever he may be working with. I never liked him because he was always a heel whenever I watched and I realized over the past year that it was totally because i was getting worked.

The Colons - I like Primo and Epico much more than I liked Los Matadores. That being said, where are they? Seriously. I get that the tag team division of Smackdown is pretty stacked, but I'm sure you could find a place for them. Maybe move them to RAW where they are in desperate need of tag teams. They've had so little to do, and I wonder if they keep them in contract because if all three of the Colons were free agents, they would be on fire. I do miss Carlito, though. So so much.

Dolph Ziggler - He's here to show the world, he's here to sh- Okay. I like BigZiggs (that's my nickname for him, pass it on) and I wish that he could do more. I was absolutely stunned when he won the U.S. title at Clash of Champions, and I was looking forward to him working a program with whoever gets to go to Rumble to compete for it. That's not exactly what happened, but at least we're seeing him do...something? Even if I don't totally understand what that something is. He's come to Hawai'i twice (he teamed with Baron Corbin last year and I tried to get a "Dolph Ziggler deserves better" chant going, but it didn't work) and I've been pleased watching him as both a face and a heel. He may not be the most awe-inspiring, spectacular wrestler that you'll watch, but I've honestly been able to care about the matches that he's been in. I don't know if that's because I personally like him or if he's able to make routine matches seem interesting, but it's true.

Fandango - Faaaaaaaaaaan-daaaaaaaaaan-gooooooooooo. Okay, so I didn't care about Fandango at all until he started teaming with Tyler Breeze, who I LOVE. Looking back on it, though, man he can play a great heel that you just want to punch in the face. It's also funny how as of late, both himself and Tyler Breeze have been coming up more face. I do hope that they get a chance to show some sort of skill in a ring soon. Fandango beat Jericho at Wrestlemania, forfuckssake.

Harper - Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! My co-host has been a big fan of Harper for a long time now, and I've come around to him over the past few years also. An insane talent for such a huge guy, it's a real shame that he hasn't gotten that main event push that he deserves. He was a great Intercontinental Champion for the short time he had to reign, and he has the potential to be really big. He had a huge following as Brodie Lee, and it's been a shame that he hasn't been able to channel the comparisons to Bruiser Brody into something bigger.

Jinder Mahal - So, when he came to Hawai'i as part of Smackdown Live, I was able to help start some 3MB chants, which I'm pretty proud of. I gotta say, for someone who was saddled with an absolutely awful foreign heel slightly racist gimmick, he did the best he could with it. Some of the stuff that happened with Nakamura had me rolling my eyes with Mahal basically saying that they wouldn't accept Nakamura as champion because he's Japanese. It was pretty ridiculous, though the sentiment was not lost on many people of different ethnicities who don't get to see themselves represented as much. Jinder was given the title, but not much else, and it's disappointing that they weren't able to do more with him, since I really honestly felt that he did the best that he could do with what he was given. It's a shame that now that he's lost the title, he's more or less back to square one. I do hope that whatever he has going with Bobby Roode and Randy Orton can pan out for him; I feel like he's proven that at the very least, he's a character that can elicit emotions.

Kevin Owens - Fight Owens Fight. Kill Steen Kill. I've been a fan of KO since the beginning of his career in NXT. I've been a fan since before then when he was Kevin Steen in ROH. He's had a meteoric rise to stardom, having breezed through developmental faster than almost anyone else. He's proven time and time again that he is able to carve a place out for himself with our without the help of creative or anyone else. His work with Jericho has shown that he's capable of being comedic and his work with Zayn has shown his ability to influence and corrupt. His current feud with Shane as well as the revival of his friendship with Sami Zayn could really solidify both KO and Sami as top stars. I hope that they aren't turning them against each other too soon, because I think there's still so much potential in their friendship.

Kofi Kingston - The member of the New Day with the longest tenure. I'm almost certain that the New Day was purposely kept out of the title picture during this time so Kofi could have one of his typical Rumble spots. Though not as charismatic as his teammates, he is definitely the most decorated and experienced out of the three, and it's nice to see that Xavier and Big E routinely acknowledge that.

Mike Kanellis - I'm sad to say that I totally called that they would give him his wife's name. I was even sadder to be right. It's such a shame that they haven't given him the respect that he really deserves for his talent. It's even more of a shame that he's been shafted because his wife isn't there to act as the main charisma behind the Power of Love!

Mojo Rawley - I haven't been too keen on his heel turn. His music is weird now. I haven't been sold on it and I don't know if I ever will be. That being said, I do think that this is probably best for him considering the hype gimmick wasn't really doing much for him, and he needed something to separate himself from that old persona.

Randy Orton - Who knows what's going on with Orton right now. He's gunning for...the United States Championship? He's also grown his hair out, which looks weird, but my dad is more entertained with Orton now as the smartass veteran wrestler than he has ever been in Orton's entire career, so that's some points his way.

Rowan - The other half of the Wyatt Family, Bludgeon Brothers. I get that the sheep mask is an iconic part of his look at this point, but we need to do more with him, I mean seriously. I'm glad that the Bludgeon Brothers are taken more seriously now as a team than either of them have been in a while, but the gimmick as a whole seems...very one dimensional. I don't know if that's intentional or not.

Rusev (Day) - Man, if there's anyone that has been a star lately, it's Rusev. I don't know when or exactly how it happened, but he's had one of the best and most organic rises in stardom among fans that we've seen over the past year. He's proven himself to be engaging and believable as a babyface. Especially after his win in the mixed-match challenge last night, I think Rusev has proven that every day really should be Rusev Day. Rusev is the best. Rusev #1.

Sami Zayn - Yet another person I've written an entire fanpost about before. I love this heel turn. I love Sami and everything that he does, frankly. I think he's definitely shown that someone who doesn't have the typical look of a professional wrestler can still be pretty genius in the ring. I won't rant and rave about his career right now as much as I have before (and as much as I probably will again), but I've been pleasantly surprised by how well this heel turn has impacted his career. His psychology with it has been pretty clever.

Shelton Benjamin - I was glad for his return, but was disappointed for it to be as part of a tag team, rather than having him as a single competitor. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was perfect for him, and for SMACKDOWN, whose tag division frequently overshadows the rest of the show. Chad Gable needed him, and he was more likely to shine while in the brand's flourishing tag division, rather than struggling to keep the audience attention as a single's star. I would love to see him as a tag champ, even if that means I have to see Gable as a champ also.

Shinsuke Nakamura - I have a fanpost I'm working on about this guy who I refer to as my cousin. He's been a wrestler that my dad and I have bonded over, partially because we share the same name, but also because my dad has gravitated more towards the strong style of wrestling and usually prefers Japanese wrestling as far as how hard they usually hit. While it's been a questionable road as far as Nakamura's career path in the WWE, I've been pleasantly surprised as of late that they would give him the Rumble win. I hope that they treat him like the King he really is.

Sin Cara - Someone else that we haven't seen in a while. It doesn't appear that he's out on injury. He's probably being used more at house shows than anything else. As far as this version of Sin Cara in Hunico, I personally am glad that Hunico is still performing within the WWE. It's a shame that they are not doing more to incorporate him into the 205 roster, whether it be as a guest that sometimes appears (similar to Goldust, who is most certainly not 205 or under), or even having a story arc where he tries to cut the weight to qualify (similar to Buddy Murphy now).

The Singh Brothers - Though they will forever be the Bollywood Boyz in my heart. I kept screaming for that butter chicken beatdown when they came to Hawai'i. Harv Sihra laughed at me and it made me smile so hard. They're HUGELY entertaining and I have to say were so charismatic throughout the Jinder Mahal world champ run. I am so sad that they've been split in half due to injury, but I would love to see them compete as a tag team; they're former tag team champions for GFW, ECCW and around the world. Come on!

Tye Dillinger - My grandpa shouts "TEN!" every time Dillinger comes on-screen. My grandpa really started liking him close to the end of his NXT run, and when he debuted at 10 at Rumble 2017, both of us were so stoked at the possibility of a strong face push. Dillinger has been mostly used, however, as a combination of enhancement talent and gatekeeping, it seems, with him picking up some surprising wins at times, but still mostly being used as someone to for the next big heel to beat. It's a shame, because he has such a great natural charisma.

Tyler Breeze - So I've been a pretty big Tyler Breeze mark for quite some time. I thought he was a great pretty boy heel in NXT, and I was always entertained by how he would flip out on people occasionally in sort of like a tantrum or a hissy fit. I had a lot of hope that it would translate well to the main roster, sort of like an updated version of pretty boy heels in the past. Unfortunately, it didn't work quite that well, but I'm hoping that things turn around for Breezango Fashion Files. I think they have potential, though it must be hard for them to find a place in the crowded and extremely competitive Smackdown tag division.

Xavier Woods - I'm pretty proud of the fact that I made Xavier Woods kind of uncomfortable at a WWE Live event, by screaming "we're keeping it tight for you!" It was a reference to UpUpDownDown, but obviously could get weird. I like Xavier's ability to be the brains behind The New Day (as Big E is the brawn and Kofi is the experience). I think that he has so much potential and, like many other people have suggested, would be a great addition to 205 Live. I do think that many people would think that he's too big, not just as far as weight, but also as star power. Xavier hasn't ever been very close to much individual championship success, but he was great with reinvigorating the career trajectories of himself as well as the rest of New Day.

Zack Ryder - His Run in NXT really won me over. I think that going down to NXT really helped to get him recognized and noticed again. He was the best part of the Hype Bros, and I'm a little disappointed that he couldn't go further with it. I understand their desire to push Mojo through Zack, but I felt like if they had a longer and more meaningful onscreen partnership, they could have done more to advance their feud. That being said, I would like to see one more good run out of Ryder; I did mark pretty hard when he won the IC strap at Mania.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.