The WWE has had a problem with their network products for a few months now, mostly since WrestleMania at the beginning of April. TV ratings begin to spiral into the ground from what they were at a year ago and fans are continuously giving up on the product until something changes. As someone who recaps Raw and SmackDown LIVE on a weekly basis, the problems and solutions can be shown on the same episode continuously. More Shane McMahon is not the answer to better television. The answer is using the underutilized talents you have on your roster to create the best show possible.
That brings us to the problem at hand inside the WWE. It is a good problem, believe it or not. They have so much high-quality talent that in all ways they should be able to make an incredible show. But instead, they create a “Wild Card Rule’ to have their biggest stars on both shows. When there is five hours of live wrestling by one company on network television, plus a five-hour PPV some weeks, it should not include the same eight stars.
Bring in the solution. While simple to us fans, it proves to be difficult for Vince McMahon and company. The solution is to use your underutilized talents who haven’t been seen on TV for weeks or even months. Each brand has that problem, and here is how each of those wrestlers being on television can help WWE overall and more importantly, allow talented individuals to shine.
Land Of The Underutilized: AOP
Akam and Rezar are considered one of the most dominant tag teams in the history of NXT. When they were called up, many believed they would become the powerhouse team of the WWE tag team division but have instead disappeared following their one tag title at the end of last year, but it only lasted just over a month. Akam then went down with a knee injury in January of this year and has been cleared since WrestleMania. The only appearances this team has made has been being apart of the WWE Super Showdown Battle Royal and this week trying to become the Special Guest Referee for Baron Corbin. SmackDown LIVE needs tag teams, there is no reason these two talented guys should be held back from being on TV. Time to let the Authors of Pain write their history once again, this time their way, through destruction.
Land Of The Underutilized: Cedric Alexander
What is the point of putting the guy on Raw if you are not going to use him? Cedric Alexander was the soul of 205 Live, helping put the brand on the map when the WWE did not give them enough credit. No matter if it was a normal 205 Live show or on the biggest stage of WrestleMania, Alexander proved he was one of the best pure in-ring talents in that company. He finally got the move many fans hoped for at this year’s Superstar Shake-Up when he was moved from 205 Live to Monday Nights. Since being moved there, he had one kickass match with Cesaro on the April 22nd edition of Raw. In a losing effort, Alexander showed that this could be the start of something real but has not had a match on Raw since. With Ricochet now as the United States Champion, it would be incredible to see him take on Cedric in a possible open challenge. Those two could put on a show and prove that it may truly be the “Age of Alexander” because Cedric deserves to be on television and show what he has got in the tank.
Land Of The Underutilized: EC3
The question has been answered in recent weeks as to why “The Top One Percent” has been in the gutter since his debut. Jon Moxley (FKA Dean Ambrose) made it clear on the Chris Jericho Podcast Interview that EC3 has been blamed since their first match for Moxley being cheered and EC3 being booed besides being in the opposite roles. EC3 has now been relegated to holding a red solo cup and being a laughingstock on WWE television. A shame really, as EC3 is one of the best all-around talents this company has. He can carry himself in the ring while being magical on the mic. EC3, since being announced as a call-up at the end of last year, has had three televised matches. Two against Moxley, which they split 1-1, and getting squashed against Braun Strowman. Before you lose him to the depts of never coming back, EC3 can be a vital part of Monday Night Raw. There is a reason he was such a huge deal coming into NXT. He showed what he could do as part of IMPACT Wrestling, beating the likes of Sting and Kurt Angle while working wonders on the microphone. An open challenge showing or a single promo may be his opportunity to get back on track… and on TV.
Land Of The Underutilized: Eric Young
Remember SAnitY? Yeah, neither does the main roster. Last year, SAnitY was called to the main roster and never had an opportunity to shine. All they really did that was memorable was take out The Usos then lose their first match. Now, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe have moved to NXT and NXT UK respectively to find a fresh start as solo competitors. Eric Young, on the other hand, has not been as lucky. Besides chasing the 24/7 Championship and getting hit in the back by Seth Rollins for even considering the Special Guest Referee spot, Eric Young has really been MIA since joining the main roster. The former TNA World Heavyweight Champion has proven that he can be a serious solo star, and the WWE should utilize him in a mid-card role. The man can work, allow him to prove that instead of giving time to Shane McMahon.
Land Of The Underutilized: Sarah Logan
Breaking up the Riott Squad may never make sense considering none of the three talented ladies have been a part of TV since then. Unfortunately, with Ruby Riott injured, she cannot make the list but does deserve to be on TV with all the talent she has on the mic and in the ring. This time, however, it is about Sarah Logan. The former “Crazy” Mary Dobson on the independent circuit has proven to be an overall unique performer as a part of the Riott Squad. Her incredible power, quickness, and ability to be herself makes Sarah Logan a wrestler worthy of some time. It looks like Lacey Evans is not out of the picture, but with the current buzz Logan has created on Main Event with Dana Brooke due to difficult injury, it sparks a good chance for the living Viking to leave her mark on Monday Nights.
Land Of The Underutilized: Viking Raiders
Calling them up is fine. Having them dominate is great. But having them off TV for over a month? Not ideal. The Viking Raiders (fka War Raiders) gave up their NXT Tag Team Championships as they prepared to move on to Monday Night Raw and never look back. With the Revival as the tag team champions, the Viking Raiders should be built up to be the guys to take those belts from them. Thinking ahead to the possible matchups can only excite fans and make tag team wrestling a centerpiece of Raw moving forward. Time for the Viking Raiders to let war come down on the rest of the Raw tag teams.
As we head into Monday Night Raw tonight, there is hope that maybe, just maybe, the wrestlers named above can slowly become parts of the show and prove their worth. Be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon as we take a look at the underutilized talent of SmackDown LIVE next.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.