Tossing Salt Presents:
Stay or Go: An In-Depth Analysis of the Full Rosters of AEW & The WWE
Men of WWE Smackdown
November 13. 2022
Over on YouTube on the Jim Cornette podcast, The Jim Cornette Experience, the esteemed wrestling historian and legend, Mr. Jim Cornette, along with co-host Brian Last, took a very detailed look at the entire roster of All Elite Wrestling. They went down the entire AEW roster and made comments on each member of the roster and if Jim, if given the book at AEW, would keep or dismiss each AEW talent. It was a very insightful and interesting listen and you should go check it out.
And it got me wondering. I’m no Jim Cornette, but I’ve been told I’m a good judge of talent and have a good mind for the business. If I was to take a look down the line at the AEW roster and each talent, what would I do with them? Keep them? Fire them? Teach them how to drink adult beverages. Well, there is only one way to find out. So I did exactly that. I did four columns over the past few days and dissected the talents that are AEW. Be sure to check that out.
But why stop there? AEW may be in the books, but what about the WWE? What about the talents that wrestle every Monday and Friday night for the world’s largest wrestling promotion? Who would I, if given the choice, keep on the main roster? Who would be sent back to Developmental or given one of those “We wish you best in future endeavors” moments? Well, we’re preparing to find out. I did the roster of RAW. Now it’s time to lay the smackdown on the roster of Smackdown. Let’s start with the men. And as Triple H would say, “Are you ready?”. Let’s do this.
The Men of WWE Smackdown
Angel Garza: As part of the tag team with Theory, Garza was really starting to show me something. The nephew of former WCW star Hector Garza, he’s got great love and a mind for the business and was really turning into a strong player. And then, Vince happened and he vanished. He needs to be rebooted, but he’s safe for now.
Ashante “Thee” Adonis: I haven’t been impressed yet by anything I’ve seen of this guy. He’s gone.
Big E: If Big E wasn’t injured, I’d probably be wishing him well in future endeavors. He’s okay and is great as part of the New Day, but as a solo act, he just didn’t work. He’s gone.
Braun Strowman: Why is he back? He’s okay for a big guy, but that mouth and that tendency to speak before thinking. He’s not as good or important as he seems to think he is. He’s gone.
Bray Wyatt: We’ve waited a long time to get him back. Now he is and I think the party has just begun. A talented guy who knows how to work is a third-generation talent and sells merchandise. He’s safe.
Butch: Change the name back to Pete Dunne and push this guy to the moon. He is that damn good and is money sitting on the table waiting to be made. He’s safe.
Cruz Del Toro: He’s good, but this is not Mexico or the Lucha Wrestling Alliance. He’s gone.
Drew Gulak: I like Drew and he’s an amazing wrestler and personality. I’d probably move him from the ring to more of a managerial role to really capitalize on his personality and character, but he’s safe regardless.
Drew McIntyre: Very safe. Drew is a top guy who deserves to be a top guy and is among the best and most talented men on the roster.
Erik: He’s a good wrestler, but that whole Viking Raider gimmick just doesn’t work for me. I have trouble taking him seriously. He’s gone.
Giovanni Vinci: He’s a good sidekick and a solid worker, but he doesn’t really stand out or impress me. He’s gone.
Gunther: A future World Champion that the fans can and will get behind. He’s the modern inclination of WWE’s version of Goldberg, except that GUNTHER has skills, talent, and ability. Definitely a keeper.
Humberto Carrillo: He’s got a good look and is decent in the ring, but the ship has sailed with this one. He’s gone.
Ivar: He moves well for a big man and he’s a talented guy, but that whole Viking Raider gimmick has ruined any chance to take him seriously. He’s gone.
Jey Uso: As part of the Bloodline, he’s a great worker and talent. He’s safe.
Jimmy Uso: Look at what I just said about Jey. Wash, rinse, repeat! He’s safe.
Jinder Mahal: I like Jinder and he’s a personal favorite of mine, but the ship has sailed with this one. Maybe a reboot could help, but I think that for the most part, he’s too far gone. He’s gone.
Joaquin Wilde: I remember this kid as Zema Ion in TNA and he’s got that “It” about him. A good worker with a ton of charisma if used correctly. He needs some repackaging, but he’s money waiting to be made for WWE. He’s safe.
Karrion Kross: I wasn’t sure about him at first when he came to the main roster, but he’s growing on me. He’s a big star just working towards his big moment. Safe.
Kofi Kingston: I’m not really a big fan of Kofi, but the fans like him and as part of the New Day, he makes money. He’s a solid worker so he’s safe.
LA Knight: Now that he’s dropped the Male Model garbage and is being his obnoxious self, the one we know from NXT, I’m actually excited to see what’s next. He’s safe.
Ludwig Kaiser: He’s okay, but as the sidekick of GUNTHER, he really isn’t showing me anything special. He’s just kind of there. His future would be in jeopardy. He’s gone.
Ma.çé: He’s gone. This Male Model garbage has destroyed any credibility he may have had. A good worker, but I’ll never be able to take him seriously again. Bye bye.
Madcap Moss: This guy has impressed me. He’s out now due to injuries, but he’s got a good look, is good in the ring, and his character is well worth watching. He’s safe.
Mån.sôör: Read what I said about Ma.çé. The same applies here. He is good in the ring and had a good look and feel about him, but the Male Model gimmick has destroyed any chance to take him seriously ever again. He’s gone.
Rey Mysterio: Give Rey a retirement match and then make him an Ambassador or backstage agent. Keep him around as part of the WWE family, but no more matches or in-ring action. He’s safe though.
Rick Boogs: I liked what I saw of him, and he was a star on the rise before getting injured. Once he returns, I think he’s going to be doing well. He’s safe.
Ricochet: A good wrestler and talent, but his star has fallen and he’s kind of lost in the shuffle these days. He’s gone.
Ridge Holland: Read what I said about Ricochet. The same applies here. He’s gone.
Roman Reigns: The reigning WWE Universal Champion and Tribal Chief. He’s definitely worth keeping around.
Sami Zayn: A good worker and one of the best reasons to watch WWE right now. He’s really found his niche and is on fire these days. An absolute keeper for sure.
Santos Escobar: Not a bad worker, but he doesn’t stand out for me in the slightest. He’s gone.
Shanky: I had forgotten that he was even still on the roster. He’s history. Bye!
Sheamus: A solid worker who can do anything and work with anyone. He’s well respected, credible, and absolutely worth keeping around for as long as possible. Safe.
Shinsuke Nakamura: I like Shinsuke, but he has been booked badly and neglected for so long, I can’t see any reason to keep him as part of the roster. He’s gone.
Solo Sikoa: Part of the Bloodline and Roman’s cousin, he’s very impressive, very talented, and safe.
Top Dolla: Who? Oh yeah, I remember him now. I’m not impressed. He’s gone.
Xavier Woods: In my opinion, the most creative and interesting part of the New Day. Xavier should be pushed hard and would be a big star with or without his partners in the New Day. Great on the mic and he has charisma to spare. Safe.
And there you go, my analysis of the men of WWE Smackdown and if they should be kept on the roster or cut loose to explore other options. Coming up next, are the Women of WWE Smackdown, along with other on-air talents and announcers, so keep an eye out.
And with that, it’s time to close up shop for a bit. My thanks for reading. Any comments, thoughts, or questions are welcome and appreciated. Tell me what you think. I really do want to know. Until the next time, take care and be safe, my friends. Watch out for foreign objects and I’ll see you at the matches.