As of writing this Friday night, on tonight’s Smackdown, Batista announces that he and Mysterio will try to win the unified tag titles. We’ve heard reports saying they were worried about a lack of star power with Hardy, Edge, and Mysterio gone, but now that Mysterio is coming back, was there a point in moving Batista over? It was two weeks of a difference and Batista is no miracle cure. Batista is working a lighter house show schedule, is he not? No upgrade there.
Then there’s the issue of what they consider “star power”. For a while now in the WWE, we’ve had a group I’ve grown to call the “Foursome of Focus” (HHH, Cena, Orton, and Batista) who seem to be in an everlasting struggle to determine who gets to eat up the most amount of fast-forward time on my DVR each week. If one of these four aren’t on your screen, chances are, you’re on a commercial. It might seem like a good thing that Batista isn’t on Raw, as now that would open up time for someone else to fill in that position, right? Think again. Batista’s been out with an injury for a while now and did we see any of the younger guys move up the ladder at all? Swagger, Miz, Kofi, Carlito, Bourne, Carlito, Masters, MVP, Henry, Primo…ALL these guys have been struggling just to find 3 minutes of airtime each week, let alone being placed in proper feuds that the creative team has put genuine time and effort into crafting. So with Batista off Raw, it’s not like there’s a breath of fresh air coming up, as we’d have seen it before. The only difference now is that Batista will be taking time on Smackdown away from the guys that were receiving steady airtime. You can say goodbye to that John Morrison main event push, as now that Batista is there, he’ll be fighting with Matt Hardy over the #4 face spot.
That’s another thing annoying me about this move. WWE thought that Smackdown was in need of someone else to fill in the ranks, but decided to go with another face? From my count, they’ve got Undertaker, Mysterio, Morrison, Hardy, Finlay, Khali, and R-Truth. Who do they have for heels? CM Punk, and then Kane, Ziggler, and Knox. You can’t count McIntyre as he has no legs to stand on yet, and you can’t count Jericho as he’s always going to be in a tag team feud until he loses those belts. When Kane is your #2 heel, you’ve got a problem. Meanwhile, Swagger, Carlito, Masters, and Miz are all treading water on Raw as none of them are being put in positions where they can blossom. Why not move Swagger or Miz over and let them test that upper midcard boundary, in the process also relieving Raw of its “overcrowded and underutilized” section? I certainly don’t see Matt Hardy in any feuds right now. Swagger or Miz could have been put in a feud with him and bingo, all your spots are filled, you’re helping to push another star up the ladder so he can be a future member of the “star power fallback team” and guaranteed your ratings won’t be slipping in the process.
Does Batista make money for the WWE? Yes, apparently. Does that mean he deserves some focus? Of course, and if you disagree with that, you’re either trying to look at the WWE in a non-business sense or you’re just blind with hate for the guy. But unless Batista’s move to Smackdown somehow generates an increase in revenue for the company, it’ll result in a loss. Dropping .1 in the ratings on Raw and adding .1 to Smackdown does nothing positive and if its at the expense of belittling the potential of some of the up and comers from being people that can make you money in the future, you’re looking at a negative response. I just don’t think that the WWE thought this one through, as they typically don’t think of the consequences of their actions before doing them (cough*booking yourself into a corner with the Punk/Taker match*cough) and I have a feeling that not only will they be suffering come this time next year with the draft, but the WWE fans will be suffering from seeing a diminished quality on Smackdown - possibly even WrestleMania. I don’t think the answer is to unleash the Animal on Smackdown, but release the Animal from Smackdown and let them continue providing the quality entertainment they’ve been doing for weeks now.
I'm always open to someone's arguments though. Its ultimately up to the WWE to change my mind, but those who support this move, let me know your opinions. Either that or you can just send me feedback about how you agree with me, which is also great, as my ego’s always game for an upgrade.