With just over 24 hours until the eagerly anticipated WWE Roster Draft from the first edition of Smackdown Live this Tuesday, July 19, there are so many invariables and stories, all ending with question marks (the punctuation, not people who really get excitable for posed queries). Who will the McMahon siblings chose to represent their respective Brands as the new General Manager? Who will draft WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose? Who will make up the NXT 6? If he’s not taken first, will John Cena still kick out at 2?
We all have our theories. The dirt sheets will tell you a thousand scenarios are happening, and your friends probably have some theories that would make Alex Jones look like voice of sanity. So with that in mind, here’s a little backseat booking from yours truly…with a little dash of wishful thinking. Here’s how I think the Social Outcasts – Heath Slater, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas – should be booked coming out of the Brand Split. And how it can resurrect three careers all at once.
And here’s the big send off. They don’t get drafted. At all. Neither brand selects them. Like those kids in grade school that never got selected for ball games, the three Social Outcasts, in a public display of humiliation, are left undrafted by either Raw or Smackdown. They leave the WWE, to a chorus of “Na na na na na’s” and they’re off television for a few weeks.
With everyone wondering about the fate of Slater, Axel and Dallas, they re-appear on NXT start taking out Superstars. Take out Nakamura, take out Itami (hell, make Slater the guy who ran him over). They return hungrier, grittier, meaner and more ruthless. Slater tells the NXT Universe that if the WWE won’t take them, then they’ll take away WWE’s precious N-X-T. Better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
The Outcasts are now the Outlaws. If they’re going to race to the bottom, they’re going to burn the whole foundation down from the bottom up. It’s time for #SocialJustice
Heath Slater is amazing as an enhancement wrestler. He’s a skilled wrestler, but he’s better at putting other people over. He can make a lot of the NXT up and comers (and rumoured new signees) look great in their ascension, but in order to do that, he needs to become somewhat main event himself. He needs to take out some decent names in NXT first before he enters the dance room with the top names. But a dastardly and cruel Heath Slater – enough of the delusional loser who thinks he’s cool, make him the delusional psychopath who KNOWS he’s cruel. Let’s see how dark and twisted Heath can get. Another Heath made believers out of doubters when he tackled the Joker, perhaps the WWE’s Heath can do the same with a darker variation of his own persona. And let’s be honest. Slater is MADE for NXT. He has a hugely passionate following amongst the indie fans and the internet fans, so NXT is the ideal home for someone to get marked out over. And come on. The recent injury and subsequent scar could be a great kickstarter to a more rugged Heath.
What we do isn't Ballet… pic.twitter.com/A6eQ046tXf
— Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) July 17, 2016
Curtis Axel needs to step up as more of the physical specimen he is of the group, and in NXT, his size will represent that better where the landscape isn’t so big. His role in the group would be more akin to Arn Anderson‘s role in The Four Horsemen. He would be the Outlaws’ “Perfect Enforcer”. Perhaps he could break away from the Outlaws and pair up with the Revivial to start his own group, leading to potential match-ups against his former partners. Axel clearly isn’t going to be the next version of his legendary father, Mr. Perfect, but even WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart commented recently on his podcast that Axel had abilities we had yet to see and was being vastly underutilized. A potential match-up with someone like Bobby Roode in NXT could greatly allow Axel to showcase more of his own assets without being constantly being used as the butt end of a joke or a squash.
Bo Dallas needs this more than the other two – and they both need it badly. Bo left NXT a few years back as one of it’s brightest prospects, hot on the heels of the successful debuts of The Shield and The Wyatt Family. Dallas had been one of the most over characters on the NXT roster, cemented by a solid run as NXT Champion, where he enthralled the audience with his combination of captivating charisma with in-ring psychology and moves that made him must-see TV material. But then WWE Creative went and Dunn it. They thought they could make more money off him by making him…funnier. While still somewhat entertaining, it’s somehow kind of awkward. He went from being the Randy Savage of NXT to the “Leaping” Lanny Poffo of the WWE. Those that saw his NXT run wait for the WWE to unleash more of that Bo Dallas, but it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. But a return to NXT would push Dallas back up and show the WWE Universe what it was missing out on. He’d be welcomed back with open arms, and a potential break-up and feud with Slater could be the Greatest Feud That Never Was.
We’ll find out soon enough by 10 o’clock on Tuesday night, when the Smackdown Live episode leaves the air and the landscape is settled. Where will the Outcasts land? On Raw? Or Smackdown? No matter the outcome, a part of me will always think of what may have happened, had the WWE decided to turn the Outcasts in the Outlaws.
(Main Photo uses images from WWE.com)