The rules are that each spot must be filled and only one person can be in each spot, so no ties can happen, nor can anyone opt out. No matter how difficult it might be, you have to pick.
WWE has been adding new members to the main roster and NXT, with these five gaining a lot of attention due to their previous affiliations with TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling. The world of sports entertainment has been on fire in anticipation of all of their debuts (with one having already happened and one being announced for several weeks from now) and as such, they're a good group to put under the microscope. They all have something to give to WWE, but how would we rank them in terms of importance?
5) RELEASED = Karl Anderson
I don't know all that much about Anderson, but he strikes me as the type that is best in a tag team. When looking at the list of the other four people, they all seem like they would stand out on their own much more than, him, so if we were to unfortunately release any of them, Anderson would be the one that I'd be most willing to lose without causing too many ripples.
4) JOBBER = Doc Gallows
Fun fact, he was originally my Upper Midcard choice before I switched it around. I'm a big fan of Gallows and I think he didn't get a fair shot in WWE, so I'd really like to see him succeed much further than this level. However, the other three are simply bigger names, which hurts him on this list. By all means, Gallows shouldn't be a jobber, but if I absolutely have to put someone down in this spot, the importance of the other three outweighs my personal preferences.
3) MIDCARD = Austin Aries
Aries is a quintessential midcard talent. He's small, so that kind of excludes him a bit from the main event, but he's incredibly athletic and he has a great personality to be able to handle himself on the mic. Aries could do so much more with the midcard than he could with the main event and although that sounds like it's diminishing his quality, that's not actually the goal here. He would shine better in this spot because he wouldn't have as many restrictions placed on him like the people in the main event do.
2) UPPER MIDCARD = Shinsuke Nakamura
Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with Nakamura, but I can see that he's a big deal. WWE loves to expand its reach into foreign markets and Nakamura is clearly someone that would appeal to the Japanese audience. He's been doing it for ages, so why wouldn't he continue to have that success in World Wrestling Entertainment? I definitely wouldn't trust him at the top of the list, particularly due to the language barrier, but over time, my opinion about this could definitely change.
1) MAIN EVENT = AJ Styles
This guy was the face of TNA for years. While that doesn't mean as much as it should, because it's TNA, it does mean that he has what it takes to be a main event talent. Styles has an advantage over Nakamura because he's more well known, he can already speak English (obviously) and frankly, he's not as weird and WWE tends to like some generic guys. I think it would be hard to argue against Styles being at the top of this list, but I would definitely be open to hearing the arguments as to why he should rank lower, that's for sure.
Stay tuned for more discussion on this topic during our next episode of the Smack Talk podcast. Until then, check out the previous edition in the video below!