Tye Dillinger’s Momentum Worse for Wear After WWE Superstar Shake-Up


Tye Dillinger’s momentum as one of SmackDown Live’s newest performers could be at risk thanks to the Superstar Shake-Up.

A lot has transpired over the last four weeks within WWE. Between WrestleMania blowing expectations out of the water, the typical post-Mania call-ups from NXT and the “Superstar Shake-Up” that has completely turned Raw and SmackDown Live on their respective heads, the landscape of the company has dramatically changed.

Yet, as we merit the WWE for freshening things up – pitting the likes of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on Tuesdays in exchange for Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt and more, it’s easy to overlook those who came out of the shake-up a little worse for wear.

We’re not even talking about guys like Curt Hawkins here, who would’ve maintained his role as enhancement talent regardless – and since he’s been featured regularly since the shake-up. We’re talking about those who have to deal with others creeping in on their territory just as they were about to create some momentum.

We’re talking specifically here about a guy like “The Perfect 10”, Tye Dillinger.

For those who missed it, Tye Dillinger was one of the heavily anticipated newcomers from NXT that saw the light of day on the week following WrestleMania 33.

Despite having already reared his head at the Royal Rumble from the appropriate #10 position, Dillinger waited until April to make a full transition to the big leagues. He was met with a rave reception from the Orlando audience, with “ten” chants flooding the arena as the crowd welcomed the debuting athlete with open arms.

At first, it was wondered how Dillinger would occupy his time upon first arriving on the scene. It was expected that he’d have a number of brief matches against the likes of Hawkins and Aiden English, but after that, who would Dillinger lock up with?

Ideas were thrown around from an immediate insertion into the WWE Intercontinental Championship hunt, to the feud with The Miz that many thought would see the light of day last year as the two traded insults over social media.

Of course, these scenarios are now off the table as both Ambrose and Miz have taken to team red. Unfortunately for Dillinger, SmackDown Live appears to have gotten the short end of the stick after the shake-up with regards to its heel-face ratio.

Kevin Owens stands firmly as WWE United States Champion, but with Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn and #1 contender AJ Styles all vying for an opportunity to dethrone the so-called “New Face of America”, Tye Dillinger can’t get a word in edgewise.

Similarly, Dolph Ziggler – known for his ability to do battle with newcomers as we’ve seen with Corbin, Crews and Tyler Breeze in the past – is already tied up as he looks to get Shinsuke Nakamura’s main roster tenure off to a hot start.

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Heck, SmackDown Live is so devoid of heels that Jinder Mahal is fighting Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in the main event of a pay-per-view next month.

Give the man credit where it’s due, he knows how to get heat, but given his humiliating win-loss record since returning last year, there’s no real way to justify Mahal’s push other than a distinct shortage of bad guys ready to take his place.

The only active heel on the roster without an ongoing program right now, excluding tag-teams, is Aiden English, but he and Dillinger have already squared off.

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Needless to say, this is a huge problem for Dillinger if he wants to make any progress.

Given that he’s the kind of guy who has an infectious gimmick to thank for the bulk of his popularity, a hot start is really what “The Perfect 10” needs if he wants to make it on SmackDown Live without fading into obscurity right from the get-go.

To that point, turning heel himself would just be a waste of that aforementioned popularity, so the glaring lack of anyone to get engaged with is starting to become an unsolvable problem – unless they opt to bring someone else in.

It is possible that Erick Rowan will provide Dillinger with the story he desperately needs after he finishes up with the Randy Orton-Bray Wyatt feud – which would be good since Rowan has a recent victory over the WWE Champion under his belt.

Then again, it seems more likely for Rowan to slide right into a feud with former Wyatt Family cohort, Luke Harper instead. Should that happen, the company is going to be backing themselves right into a corner with regards to Tye Dillinger.

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This man is worth money with his gimmick alone – throw in a decent wrestling skill set and the ability to work a mic, and you’ve got a star ready to be made. But that star isn’t going to make itself; it’s up to the WWE from here on out to provide Tye Dillinger with the appropriate attention or he’ll be just another failed project.