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Between the Dirt Sheets | Summer shake-up is coming

John Cena inducts Kurt Angle into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the WrestleMania 33 weekend during a ceremony on Friday, March 31, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for WWE)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for WWE

The WWE really wants you to believe that SummerSlam is a major point of demarcation. It has always lived as the company’s second-biggest show of the year — the WrestleMania of the summer, if you will — which has meant mega-cards and big storyline shifts heading into autumn.

For the first time in over a decade, the period in between WrestleMania and SummerSlam was chock full of single-brand PPV events. Some worked, some didn’t. The superstar shakeup was attempted in order to keep rivalries that had developed over the past year fresh and in working order.

Now, the WWE is considering a whole slew of changes soon after Brooklyn.

Another superstar shakeup is coming:

So soon, you ask? As opposed to a yearly annual draft, or just one big trade every 12 months, the company is weighing the decision to mix the rosters up after the two biggest shows of the year. Although it may be convenient, just having stars from another brand appear on the show isn’t exactly the most organized way to run things.

Unfortunately for the timing, SummerSlam is just four-and-a-half months after WrestleMania. Whether this shakeup would be as wholesale as the first is anyone’s best guess, although such a massive switch would seem counterintuitive.

Chances this rumor takes place: 4 out of 5.

Will it take place? It’s likely. Does it need to take place? Not really. The fact that the company is considering a second roster change in a year means that there’s something amiss with the rosters that needs fixing. There’s no way that creative could feel good about going ahead for the next eight months if it didn’t have confidence in the respective brands.

ROH stars will form a faction while at NXT:

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly have both already debuted with the promotion, prompting rumors that upon his arrival, Adam Cole could become a member of a former ROH stable within NXT. Should Cole officially join, all three men would be relatively new members to the company, who may actually still be unknown to some subsections of the fan base.

Fish and O’Reilly have teamed together to create reDRagon, having won the ROH Tag Team Titles on three separate occasions. O’Reilly would go on to become a one-time ROH Champion, while Fish became a ROH World Television Champion in his own right.

The money star of the group would be Cole, whose long-rumored debut in NXT could be unveiled at TakeOver: Brooklyn III, in the now traditional ringside appearance. There’s no denying his star power; it’s just becomes a matter of getting all three men to work on the same page.

There’s also the Roderick Strong factor. Obviously, having been with NXT for a longer period of time, he has removed himself a bit from the three new stars. But if anyone is ROH to the core within NXT, it’s Strong. It’s hard to see him taking a “lead” role over Cole, but if he were added to the stable, the company could be on to something.

Chances this rumor takes place: 2.25 out of 5.

It would certainly be something for all to do immediately, especially while NXT clamors for a stable to take on SAnitY, but the star power each possesses as an individual wrestler may outweigh the decision. A similar decision was made to package Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns into The Shield together, and that birthed wrestling history. But doing so with wrestlers just because they came from the same promotion may be a hard sell. It would be a treat to watch, although it seems to be a decision that would need copious amounts of conviction to work.

Dolph Ziggler could be in line for a character rebranding:

The never-ending saga of figuring out what to do with Ziggler continues. The WWE has famously botched multiple superstars in the past, leading to their departure, yet Ziggler may be the biggest tragicomedy due to the fact that he has remained. Again, the company sounds like it is going to try and salvage him; not that he should need it in the first place.

Ziggler was a member of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match just two months ago. Then, the last you saw of him, he was eliminated from the July 4 battle royal, which just so happened to make him the first man thrown over the top.

We’ve done psycho-heel Ziggler. We’ve done uber babyface Ziggler. We’ve done Ziggler with cronies. We’ve done male cheerleader Ziggler. After over a decade, Dolph is still here. For whatever his character has left, it may be on it’s last legs in WWE, especially with the emergence of other promotions as a safe haven.

Chances this rumor takes place: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s unlikely at this point that Ziggler just casually saunters back onto TV, as if he has been absent for over a month. Last year at SummerSlam, he fought for the WWE Championship; this year, he sits on the sidelines, not having been on TV in over six weeks. He’ll need a repackaging, and need it fast.



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