This ‘New Era’ is about new brands so we’re theorizing the decisions looming for the WWE.
While not much was mentioned about the impending draft on Raw, we can’t stop thinking about it. Who would we pick? Are we going back to two world titles? Is WWE going to raid NXT of assets? Let’s get to it!
Coast 2 Coast is co-written by Josh Rebuck.
1) What do you think of the AJ Styles pump-fake total heel-turn from this week?
Corey: I’m pretty split. On one hand I’m glad that they have something for AJ to do, but I don’t want this to be another one of the Cena Trilogies where the opponent gets one win and then Cena gets the next two Pay Per View wins. Also I’m curious to see how this is going to affect the inevitable Styles/Balor feud.
Josh: I thought it was slick as hell. This little swerve made Raw this week and I’d much rather see The Club vs Cena than AJ vs The Club. Also we’re going to get some peak heel AJ. And these are two guys that have spent the last year making other superstars look amazing! The matches between AJ and Cena alone make this feud worth watching.
2) Let’s say this brand split draft is totally legitimate. If you had control of one of the brands who would be your No. 1 pick and why?
Corey: My first draft pick would be Dolph Ziggler. Not only because he’s one of my favorites, but because with all of the new talent along with his in-ring ability, he could easily put on countless great matches with almost anyone.
Josh: Ah the choose your franchise guy question! I’m taking Apollo Crews. He’s young (28), has loads of talent, is about as babyface as you can get which is surprisingly hard to find, and is capable of carrying a brand’s identity. He’s what I think of as a blue-chip prospect. While established veteran talent is important, I want to start my franchise/brand with the guy who will be here for the next 10-15 years.
Would Dolph Ziggler be your No. 1 pick?
3) Does the brand split signal the return of two world titles?
Corey: Unless they are going to have the champion do double duty on both brands, which would be a little dumb considering all the injuries last year which could be attributed to overworking.
Josh: I really hope not. The one world title makes significantly more sense from an overall perspective. Elevate the IC to greater prominence if you really want two major titles, one for each show, but don’t add titles to the product when they can’t make the titles they do have important. As an alternative, why not build two guys at a time on each brand as challengers for the world title and that way there’s theoretically five different superstars all in the mix? There’s better options than just sticking an extra world title on Smackdown.
4) Who are the surefire call-ups from NXT to the main roster come July 19 and what does this mean for the future of NXT?
Corey: Finn Balor without a doubt. Nakamura definitely has a high chance of getting called up in which I would be beyond excited! Also I’d definitely look forward to an Asuka call up, but I don’t think they will bring her up until Sasha Banks gets the title.
Josh: Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka, Bailey and Nia Jax I think are all very likely call-ups. I think Mojo Rawley is also a definite possibility to do the Hype Bros thing with Zack Ryder. The Revival of Dash and Dawson are also options to make main roster debuts pretty soon. As far as what’s left in NXT it’s surprisingly a lot, there’s a new crop of female talent starting to make some moves and the Cruiserweight Classic will add a bunch of new talent over the summer. Also older stars like an Aries – 38, Joe – 37 and Finn – 34 (though I would never call mid-30s old for fear of death) should make the move soon if they want any significant time on the main roster.
5) When should the New Day run come to an end?
Corey: As soon as they have the draft for the brand extension. Let them go out while they’re still ahead. Don’t let it drag on too long that the fans eventually turn on them. *cough* NWO *cough*. End it soon so that way when there’s an eventual reunion the fans will still care.
Josh: Probably pretty soon, maybe just after Summerslam. The tag division is the strongest it’s ever been and it really doesn’t need the New Day to prop it up anymore. I’d also really like to see what these guys can do on their own for a change. I mean surely Kofi Kingston has proved he’s a capable main event player.
Will the New Day’s reign as champs and as a group come to an end soon? Photo courtesy of wwe.com.