How to Fix Cold WWE Superstars as SummerSlam 2023 Approaches
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An attitude change and a fresh team-up could make Bianca Belair better than ever.Credit: WWE.com.
WWE SummerSlam 2023 is shaping up to be one of the hottest shows of the summer. Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso, Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar, and Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Finn Bálor are must-watch fights with the feuds to match.
Arenas are selling out nearly every week while Raw and SmackDown get big TV ratings. Everyone wants to experience the company’s new era.
However, not everyone is riding WWE’s momentum to greater heights. The Bloodline and The Judgment Day run the show while Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Xavier Woods cannot get much screen time at all.
Bianca Belair and Natalya may be established names in the women’s division, but they are barely featured at the moment.
This can be corrected quickly with the right focus. Here, we look at what needs to be done to ensure some of WWE’s coldest acts get back on track.
The Way: Bring in Tommaso Ciampa and Create a Series of Vignettes for the Stable
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WWE NXT fans know The Way, a group that carried the brand through some dark years.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae are funny and talented performers with chemistry to spare, and they brought in Indi Hartwell, Austin Theory and eventually Dexter Lumis to create a fascinating family dynamic that worked with both a heel and face focus.
However, the group members have barely registered on the main roster as individuals. Gargano has looked ordinary, Theory has separated himself from the family, and LeRae and Hartwell can barely get TV time.
The best way to sell this dynamic again is to start over. Let Johnny Wrestling begin from scratch in telling his story with Tommaso Ciampa and bring an unforgettable tag team to the main roster. And add in the fun comedy that made Hartwell and Lumis fan favorites.
WWE has relied too much on fans remembering The Way’s NXT run, but that magic does not feel the same outside of Tuesday nights. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up once more.
Bianca Belair: Team Up with The Street Profits (and Maybe Bobby Lashley)
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Bianca Belair has fallen into a common role in WWE: She is too dominant for her own good. Some fans have turned on her after an all-time title reign because it went just a little too long.
The EST of WWE needs to find a fresh story and showcase her personality as more than the unstoppable babyface. She has recently teased a heel run, but it’s not completely certain if that will come to fruition.
What matters most is that Belair gets involved in a fresh angle in WWE. The best option would be putting her with The Street Profits, including her real-life husband Montez Ford.
The Profits have also recently lost direction in the tag team division but have too much talent to hold them back. Belair, Ford and Angelo Dawkins have so much personality that would be let loose if working together.
There have been recent teases of Bobby Lashley forming a new stable including Dawkins and Ford. Bring in The EST as well, and this would be a group that could look unstoppable in every WWE division.
The OC: Book a Win Streak for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
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Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are two of the most decorated tag team wrestlers in the game. However, they have done nothing since returning to WWE and have been left far back in the shadow of AJ Styles.
They have the talent to succeed at a high level, but they have lacked a strong central push. In a men’s tag team division devoid of strong challengers to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, The O.C. could easily become contenders.
The first step is to get them in the ring. In their first seven months back, Gallows and Anderson have competed just three times on SmackDown and just once on Raw.
The team has felt so inconsequential in WWE that it has been difficult to care about it. That can change by letting The O.C. build up a winning streak.
This will also help Styles and Mia Yim, who will look better with a strong tag team behind them. The whole stable can begin rising up the ranks to championship glory as is worthy of its talent.
New Day: Build Around Xavier Woods While Kofi Kingston and Big E Heal
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The New Day may stand as one of the most influential groups in wrestling history when all is said and done, but it isn’t time for the story to end yet.
Injuries have played a major role in the group’s disappearance from television. Big E’s scary neck injury in March 2022 has sidelined him ever since, and he told TMZ Sports a year later that he will continue to take it slow with his recovery.
Five months ago, Kofi Kingston suffered an ankle injury that required surgery. He told Battleground Podcast in June (h/t Wrestling Inc) that he was ahead of schedule with his recovery but had no promised timeline for return yet.
With both Big E and Kingston still out, WWE should continue to rely on the charisma and athleticism of Xavier Woods. He may not be seen as a world title contender like his fellow stars, but he can still do so much more than he has.
With a concerted effort to push him, he could easily work his way into a title picture. He would be a memorable contender to Gunther or Austin Theory. Moreover, he can tell a story beyond gold.
Woods is the one member of The New Day who has never truly gotten his moment, and his King of the Ring win in 2021 was quickly forgotten. If he can find success now, it would make bringing back Kingston and Big E all the easier when they are ready.
Natalya, Xia Li, Emma, Nikki Cross, Piper Niven: Create New Women’s Stable
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When Bayley formed Damage CTRL, the purpose was to build fresh stars in the women’s division. It didn’t fully work out, but at least Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky are both viable championship contenders.
The same cannot be said of the women WWE has struggled to even book on television recently. Natalya was inserted as a temporary contender to Rhea Ripley recently but has barely appeared on TV otherwise this year.
Emma, Xia Li, Nikki Cross and Piper Niven can no longer get any television time. This is the right time to get at least some of them involved in a story that can keep them on air.
The best option may be to put them all together. The women’s roster has no established stables, and it would make an instant impact for these underused names to work together for a common purpose.
Even if not all are involved, they could form a new version of Damage CTRL as Bayley slowly moves away from working with Sky. Create the stable that The Role Model wanted when originally envisioned her group.
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