Apollo Crews Will Shine on WWE SmackDown Live


Apollo Crews will rise to the challenge and be must-see TV every Tuesday Night

SmackDown Live is being touted as the brand that will feature Superstars while focusing on in-ring competition. Since there will be no Stephanie McMahon or her fellow Authority figures looming in the shadows, we should be able to take Daniel Bryan at his word. This change of philosophy really bodes well for Apollo Crews since he happens to be one of the most athletically gifted Superstars on the WWE roster. He has shown the ability to effortlessly deliver in the ring but has up to this point struggled to establish himself. A few missed opportunities resulted in him being lost in the shuffle shortly after being called up to the main roster. This will all change now that he is on a brand that will reward his in-ring ability and not limit him due to a perceived lack of character.

Prior to leaving NXT Apollo Crews was flying high and putting together a pretty impressive list of wins. This winning streak eventually earned him to a match with the then reigning NXT Champion Finn Bálor.

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The match with Bálor had demonstrated the tremendous growth that had occurred since Crews debut back in August of 2015. He was hanging with the best of the best and had the full support of the fans down at Full Sail. Crews would spend the rest of his time while at NXT besting “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin as wells as “The Drifter” Elias Samson. Overall his stint at NXT was an impressive one and the momentum built had him destined for great things upon arrival to the main roster.

Apollo burst onto the RAW stage less than a year from his debut on NXT and delivered a stellar performance against Tyler Breeze.

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For whatever reason instead of cashing in on his early success and crowd support, Crews was relegated to dealing with The Social Outcast. This immediately stunted his progress and did not benefit either of the parties involved. In a failed attempt to get someone over who was already over, each member of the Social Outcast took a beating from Apollo Crews. The only thing that resulted from this feud was that Apollo Crews was handed the lacking personality label.

Carrying almost no momentum at this point, Crews was booked against Chris Jericho in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Unfortunately, Crews botched a “Kip Up” attempt and his in match apology to Jericho was heard over the broadcast. This misstep did not do him any favors as this was his first big match opportunity since arriving on the main roster. Before the Jericho match Crews was the victim of a backstage beatdown at the hands former WWE Champion Sheamus. This led to a feud that drew very little interest since Sheamus himself was also in a slump. To top off this difficult transition to the main roster, Apollo Crews was drafted with the 45th pick in the 9th round of the WWE Draft right behind Summer Rae.

The WWE Brand Extension has created two distinctive opportunities on which Superstars could potentially reestablish their careers. Apollo Crews lack of character never was an issue while in NXT because he delivered in the ring at a level very few could emulate. His debut match on RAW was a perfect example of what he could do when matched up with talent that isn’t entrenched in a jobber role. He has proved the ability to go back and forth with Elite Superstars in a convincing fashion which had earned him the support of the WWE Universe. His athleticism allows him to thrive in the ring and he demonstrates his personality through raw emotion.

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Despite his not so desirable draft position, it’s not hard to see that Apollo Crews is a diamond in the rough. Fortunately, a hot start on SmackDown will allow the WWE Universe to forget the most undesirable early moments of his young career. The support of the two most over WWE personalities in Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan will earn him a “get out of WWE purgatory free” card which he will undoubtedly not waste. He is in a prime spot to benefit greatly in the post-WWE Draft world and I have no doubt that he will shine on SmackDown Live.