Steve Cook has some advice for the WWE Universe when it comes to unhappy Superstars…let them leave!
Now that WrestleMania 35 has come & gone, we’ve entered the time of year where WWE shakes everything up. The Superstar Shakeup took place on Monday & Tuesday this week, and we saw some major names change shows. AJ Styles has been identified with SmackDown Live since the most recent brand split, and now he’s on Monday Night Raw. Roman Reigns made the move from Raw to SmackDown. The Miz continued his trend of going back & forth from show to show while the Usos & Naomi went over to Raw. Finn Balor took the Intercontinental Championship to SmackDown, and we still await the fate of the under the weather US Champion Samoa Joe.
Some NXT talents finally found official main roster homes. Ricochet, Aleister Black, EC3 & Lacey Evans were taken by the red brand while Lars Sullivan, Otis & Tucker went blue. (Well, Lars went red then he went blue.) We also saw the split of the Riott Squad, Roode & Gable & Sanity. Kairi Sane & the Viking Experience were the most recent NXT call-ups, while Buddy Murphy & Cedric Alexander emerged from 205 Live purgatory.
It was all big time stuff. However, there may be more moves on the way, moves which weren’t really discussed on Raw or SmackDown Live. Luke Harper, a man who has only been seen twice on WWE-related programming in the past several months, has asked for his release.
— Luke Harper of WWE (@LukeHarperWWE) April 16, 2019
Alexander Wolfe, one of the members of Sanity that hasn’t been featured much on-screen since their main roster call-up, bid WWE farewell in a social media posting.
— Alexander Wolf[e] (@TheWWEWolfe) April 17, 2019
Then we have Sasha Banks’ current saga. Is she staying? Is she going? Depends who you ask!
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) April 9, 2019
There’s been all sorts of speculation concerning Sasha’s situation, involving reports of temper tantrums & Wendy Williams & Alexa Bliss that I’m happy to let other people delve into. I don’t know what’s going on there, and I’m not going to act like I do. All I know for sure is that if/when Sasha does come back, the Boss will be on Raw & Hug will be over on SmackDown. It might be a blessing in disguise for Sasha. But then again…
Harper, Wolfe & Banks are hardly the first to express their discomfort with their place in the WWE machine. Dean Ambrose is on his way out of the company. Tye Dillinger already left. The Revivial are waiting to find out if WWE cares about tag team wrestling or not. I guess your feeling on that depends on your feelings on the name “The Viking Experience” & your level of goodwill towards Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.
If nothing else, Dash Wilder certainly proved he deserves more with his actions at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
Here’s the thing.
The state of WWE is strong. The company is wading in more money than it knows what to do with. The stock price is good. The TV deals are strong. If you’re a WWE investor or a member of the WWE Universe, you have every reason to be pleased with the direction of the company.
That doesn’t mean that your favorite WWE Superstar is obligated to feel the same way.
The roster is bloated. WWE has attempted to sign nearly every professional wrestler in captivity in order to stock Raw, SmackDown, NXT, NXT UK, two Performance Centers & any other projects they may have in the works. They’ve signed a pretty good percentage of them. People are bound to get lost in the shuffle. It happens. No matter who’s getting good spots & being pushed to the forefront, there’s always somebody else being cast aside.
Some people work through it, collecting the money and not asking any questions. Others bust their butts to improve their game, eventually gaining the attention of the higher-ups. Look at Buddy Murphy. Dude wasn’t figured into anything WWE was doing until he dropped a ton of weight, went cruiserweight & impressed the right people. His old tag team partner, Wesley Blake? He’s lucky to get a match on an NXT taping.
Then of course, there’s Kofi Kingston, who was able to work his way up the card from an already prominent location. Even with success stories like Murphy or Kingston’s, there’s never going to be enough spots to keep everybody happy. Harper can’t get on television even if the boys & girls in the back respect what he brings to the table. Sanity was dead on arrival, called up for no reason seemingly other than to clear up some space on NXT.
As for Sasha? She’s been passed up by a couple of her fellow Horsewomen. Some might argue she deserves a higher spot than Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch, but they would be the minority. Banks seems like the type that’s not going to be happy unless she’s the top woman on Raw, SmackDown & anything else related to WWE. That’s not a bad quality to have if you want to be successful. Shoot for the moon and you’ll at least land in the stars.
If she wants to move on and seek her fortunes elsewhere, who are we to stop her?
Sure, it would be sad for Sasha’s fans to see her go, just like it’ll be sad for Dean Ambrose’s fans when he exits, or any other WWE Superstar hitting the road. At some point, you have to find what makes you happy. If you’re not happy with your lot in WWE, why not move on?
Take a look at the former 3MB members. Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre left the company while Heath Slater stayed. Jinder is now a former WWE Champion, while Drew seems on the path to a major title of his own. They used their time outside WWE to up their games & get better.
Last time I saw Heath, he was trying to be a referee.
Fans, you need to let your favorites go. If Luke Harper wants to go back to being the Big Rig Brodie Lee and kicking ass on the indy circuit, let him. If Alexander Wolfe wants to go back to Germany and resume dominating there, let him. Or if Sasha Banks wants to go somewhere where she’s the unquestioned top star, let her.
They’ll be happy. And you’ll move on to something else anyway. You always do.