Tossing Salt Presents:
Stay or Go: An In-Depth Analysis of the Full Rosters of AEW & The WWE
Women of WWE Smackdown, Announcers & Other On-Air Personalities
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 rest of the roster of Smackdown. It’s time for the women, the announcers, and other people who show up on television regularly. And as Triple H would say, “Are you ready?”. Let’s do this.
The Women of WWE Smackdown & Other On-Air Personalities
Aliyah: An attractive woman to be sure, but has she even wrestled on Smackdown more than once? She doesn’t stand out from the crowd and hasn’t shown me anything memorable. She’s gone.
B-Fab: Who? I remember seeing her in NXT and I wasn’t impressed. Since coming to the main roster, I’m still not impressed. She’s gone.
Charlotte Flair: One of the best talents, male or female, currently in the business. Charlotte is definitely a keeper and safe.
Emma: She just returned to the WWE and I’m happy to see her. A good worker with a good personality and character. She adds to any roster she’s a part of. She stays.
Lacey Evans: I liked Lacey and her character during her first run with the company. Since her return, she seems to be missing something. I’d try to get her back to the way she was before she took time off. She’s safe though.
Liv Morgan: For her in-ring skills and matches, she’s on the edge of being let go, but with her personality and the way she relates to fans, not to mention the passion she has for the business, she’s safe.
Naomi: Naomi is a great example of who you know matters a lot. She’s not a bad wrestler, but she’s not anything special either. She just is there. Being married to a Uso has kept her safe and in a job for a while, plus she’s a nice person from all indications. Based strictly on terms of ability and believability though, she’d be gone.
Natalya: A solid veteran who has good matches, works well and is a leader for the Women’s locker room, Natalya is safe.
Raquel Rodriguez: She seems to have vanished since coming to the main roster, but based on what she repeatedly showed us in NXT, I think she has a big future ahead of her. She’s definitely a keeper for sure.
Ronda Rousey: It’s Ronda Rousey. What do you think? She’s safe.
Sasha Banks: As a performer and in-ring talent, Sasha is absolutely a keeper. But that attitude and the now multiple times she’s walked away when she wasn’t happy? She doesn’t seem to want to be a part of WWE and also seems to believe her own hype. She’s gone.
Shayna Baszler: She’s the real deal and a potential main-event star for many years to come. Safe.
Shotzi: People like her, but I haven’t been impressed yet. She’s just generic to me. She’s gone.
Sonya Deville: She’s the real deal as well with a legit background in combat sports, but WWE just hasn’t really shown that side of her in a long time. She’s a good talker too and a solid talent, both in and out of the ring. She’s sticking around for as long as she wants to. Safe.
Xia Li: Is she still even part of the roster? I had totally forgotten about her. She’s gone.
Zelina Vega: I loved her in the role of manager when she was with Andrade, Garza & Theory and now, she’s back doing that with Legado Del Fantasma. She’s a solid in-ring talent as well. She’s safe.
And now, let’s move on to the talents that don’t wrestle, but that we see on the screen on a regular basis.
Maxxine Dupri: She’s part of that stupid Male Model gimmick. She’s gone.
Paul Heyman: Paul should be running the creative teams, as well as working on-screen. He’s a great talker, one of the most creative people in professional wrestling, the former owner of ECW, and a true legit legend in every sense of the word. Keep this man happy. He’s definitely safe.
Scarlett: She adds so much to the Karrion Kross character with her presence alone. She’s also a good wrestler and talker as well. She’s safe.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield: One does not fire a “wrestling god”. He’s safe.
MVP: MVP adds so much to the product with his presence, as the manager of Lashley, Omos, The Hurt Business, or anyone he’s associated with. He’s safe.
Byron Saxton: What does Byron actually do? He’s just the 2022 version of Coach. He’s a nice guy and all, but if he was gone, who would really notice? He’s gone.
Cathy Kelley: Which one is she? I’m sure she’s talented and good at what she does, but she doesn’t stand out in any way in my opinion. Just bring back Lilian Garcia or Renee Young and get rid of these posers. She’s gone.
Corey Graves: Corey is a good announcer who stands out and is fun to listen to. He’s safe.
Kevin Patrick: The British guy, right? He’s not great, but he’s not bad either. We’ll keep him, but only because Joey Styles isn’t available. Safe.
Mike Rome: Who? The guy from The Bump? He’s not awful. He’s safe.
Kayla Braxton: I like Kayla and she stands out a bit from the crowd. Her on-air chemistry with Heyman is amazing. She’s safe.
Megan Morant: Who? I don’t recognize the name. Just another face in the crowd. She’s gone.
Michael Cole: I never liked Cole’s announcing very much, but since he’s been cut off from Vince and allowed to be a real announcer, he’s gotten really good. This is what we’ve been missing for the past twenty years. He’s safe.
Samantha Irvin: Who? She’s gone.
Wade Barrett: I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for Mr. Barrett. Just kidding. He’s been really good on Smackdown, does good analysis, and adds to the product in so many ways. He’s staying.
Pat McAfee: McAfee is all personality and he has so much energy and enthusiasm. he’s a definite keeper.
Peter Rosenberg: Why is that clown even there? It’s good P.R. and he has a radio show, but he adds absolutely nothing to the product in my opinion. He’s gone.
And there you go. The WWE roster is finished and in the books. So what do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I totally insane? Let me know what you think. I’ll do a recap summary of all eight of these Stay or Go columns later today so you don’t have to read every one of them to know which talents get the thumbs up and which ones get, as Matt Hardy would say, DELETED from their respective rosters. Watch for that.
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.