How to Fix WWE’s Roster Imbalance Caused by the Cruiserweight Division


The cruiserweight division is an exciting addition to WWE Raw, but it creates some roster issues for both brands.

It was obvious after the draft in July that Smackdown got the short end of the stick. However, it made sense for Raw to have a deeper roster since it had to fill a three-hour show. Now that the cruiserweights have arrived, Raw has an overabundance of talent. Meanwhile, Smackdown suffered the departure of Alberto Del Rio and will soon lose John Cena once again. In short, Smackdown needs top level talent to create intriguing main events going forward. This past Sunday’s Clash of Champions was so loaded that Enzo and Cass did not have a match on the show, despite being one of the most popular acts on Raw. So what should WWE do to fix this imbalance?

First off, Sami Zayn needs to go to Smackdown. He is a remarkable talent that could be thrown right into the title picture. Since the brand split, he seems lost in the shuffle on Raw. He lost clean to Jericho at Clash of Champions and doesn’t seem to have anywhere to go. With Rollins on the verge of a full face-turn and Reigns stubbornly being kept in a top spot, Zayn gets moved down the proverbial bench. Think of the fresh matchup possibilities with Styles, Ambrose, and Orton that Zayn could have on Smackdown. Have Sami lose to Kevin Owens with his job on the line. That way, Zayn can move on and Owens has something else to brag about like the arrogant heel that he is.

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Next up, let’s make a trade! What fun is it to have General Managers if there’s not going to be any wheelin’ and dealin’? So how about this, Neville gets traded to Smackdown and Kalisto goes to Raw. But that’s not all, both GM’s agree to have these two compete in a match. The winner of this match would allow their brand to receive another superstar in the trade. So during the match, Cesaro comes down and helps Neville win.

Cesaro then confesses to Daniel Bryan that he wants to go to Smackdown and he is added to the trade. This would be a play off the recent twitter back and forth between the two; while making interesting television that fixes several roster issues. Cesaro is another top tier talent for the Smackdown mix. Not to mention, Neville gets away from the cruiserweights and gets the opportunity to shine on the thinner roster. In addition, Kalisto is added to the Raw cruiserweight division to mix-in a familiar face with all the new talents.

Speaking of new talents, Smackdown should bring up Samoa Joe. It’s time to get him out of NXT. Joe provides another versatile performer is a great fit for the top level talents to work with. After his rematch with Nakamura, there’s no strong option for Joe in NXT. The likely program would be Roode or possibly Aries, but is “NXTNA” really the best way to go? As great as he is in NXT, Joe needs time to be built-up before a high profile WrestleMania match (Lesnar!). He also provides star power to a Smackdown roster that could use it.

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These subtle adjustments to the rosters would serve both Raw and Smackdown in a positive way. Each superstar involved would be in a better position than they are currently. Smackdown would gain flexibility at the top of their card while creating multiple main event caliber matchups for future shows. Plus, Raw would have more television time to devote to the cruiserweight division. This will be vital to making the division the success it should be.