They’ve done their time in the ‘WWE Bubble’. Now it’s time to reward them.
Photo Credit: WWE
This is not a drill. He’s one of the best in-ring performers time in, time out. After sulking in the mid-card through much of 2019 and 2020, Cesaro made a huge impression on both fans and company officials heading into 2021. The Swiss Superman put in a classic match at WrestleMania with Seth Rollins that had the crowd on their feet. On top of that, he cashed in on a huge opportunity by facing Roman Reigns at WrestleMania Backlash that was also stellar. If those weren’t evident enough, then perhaps the company should feel out how the crowd reacts to him when they resume touring this summer.
9. Liv Morgan
With the recent wave of releases, it was interesting to see Liv Morgan still under employment with the company after having a lackluster run on the main roster since 2017. Still tagging with Ruby Riott before her release, Morgan still has a massive following on social media that could help propel her to a more prominent role as a singles competitor. Despite the emergence of Bianca Belair as the Smackdown-featured star and the presence of a dangerous Bayley lurking around the division, Morgan could add something different to the show as a solo wanderer looking to stake her claim as the next superstar of the company.
8. Keith Lee
Depending on the recent rumors surrounding his health and status with the company, Lee is a perfect fit for a surprise return as the company returns to live events. His agility in the ring is nothing short of impressive, so to see him return as an answer to Sheamus’ US Title Open Challenge would be the best fit for both him and the title. He can go with anyone on the roster, whether a smaller wrestler or a hoss like his match with Dominik Dijakovic at Takeover: Portland. To see him back in the ring again would also be a good sight to see for fans wondering what has transpired since he was pulled from TV in February.
7. Alpha Academy
Vince McMahon has always had a weird insight on how he views tag team wrestling. It’s never a heavily-featured aspect of the company unless he wants to showcase two singles stars in a doubles format. That’s the case in 2021. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles and Omos, even Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin when they were in The Hurt Business. If they want to try something different for their tag team division, then push what could be their next big tag team. Gable and Otis were in the Olympics, THE OLYMPICS. Put Kurt Angle as their manager and you have your next “World’s Greatest Tag Team” that can talk the talk AND walk the walk. Additionally, this would be a good forefront for WWE to rebuild their division with hungry tag teams wanting more shine on TV.
6. Shayna Baszler
The most dominant NXT Women’s Champion in history, Baszler has suffered enough in the disappointing tag team that she started with Nia Jax. She went from being a certified threat to Becky Lynch’s title to a pre-show feature in about ten months. She needs that fire again, especially with burgeoning dominator Rhea Ripley heading the Raw Women’s division. Her matches with Ember Moon, Kairi Sane and even the triple threat at Survivor Series 2019 showcased her ability as someone who can legitimately destroy you in the ring. She’s a chess piece that could be a good ‘check’ to Ripley’s reign.
BRO. Although his recent teaming with Randy Orton has provided some interesting elements to Raw, Riddle’s tenure on the main roster has been up and down. His run as US Champion ended too soon despite the smash-mouth fest he had with Sheamus at WrestleMania, so here’s to hoping him and Orton get championship gold to help re-establish Riddle as a featured star on TV.
4. Sasha Banks
The Boss managed to main event her first WrestleMania in style, helping fan favorite Bianca Belair shine in front of the rabid crowd that first night. Her absence since then has made Smackdown a two-women show: Belair and Bayley. A return match between her and Belair would be beneficial for both stars heading into Summerslam. Depending on what happens at Hell in a Cell, it will be interesting to see what Banks’ new role post-championship run will look like if she comes back in time for Summerslam.
3. Seth Rollins
The “Drip King’s” presence on Smackdown has been a force to be reckoned with since he returned to TV in early 2021 (congrats to both him and Lynch on their new baby). Putting in another solid performance at WrestleMania with Cesaro, he has managed to once again re-brand himself from ‘Monday Night Messiah’ to the ‘Drip King’. Suits or not, he is an important cog in the WWE machine who can deliver on the mic and in the ring no matter the scenario. Facing Roman Reigns for the Universal title seems like the best case.
2. Alexa Bliss
The Fiend’s 2020 campaign included turning Alexa Bliss into his own Harley Quinn. Banking on cinematic-style wrestling, the company entered new territory with The Fiend and Bliss’ run against Randy Orton…despite what happened after WrestleMania. Her current presence on Raw could be something more post-Thunderdome, perhaps even entering a program with Charlotte that could lead to her own version of a “Firefly Funhouse Match” involving Flair’s family heritage and her perception by fans.
1. The Usos
Acknowledge this: they are the best tag team WWE has had in the last decade. Roman Reigns’ current run as “The Tribal Chief” has led to an interesting dynamic to the overall product on Smackdown, including his cousins’ roles. Jimmy’s return has reignited the tension within Reigns’ camp about where he stands. A feud with The Mysterios has recently started, which can hopefully lead to a seventh reign as tag team champions. Summerslam seems like the perfect place for that, and maybe even seeds for the final straw for Roman Reigns’ patience.