If you’re a Vince-McMahon guy you’ve pretty much got it made in the shade. Look no further than Roman Reigns who Vince decided was the next face of WWE and pushed regardless of the reaction of the WWE Universe. If Vince wants you to be a star, there’s not a lot anyone can do to change his mind.
It took years for fans to finally convince the boss man Reigns wasn’t all that Vince had him cracked up to be. That said, he’s still a huge star and arguably SmackDown Live’s new ambassador. As a performer who garners a very mixed reaction from fans, will his push continue? Probably and Vinny-Mac will watch with a very close eye. He’s not the only one Vince will monitor with enthusiasm.
It can be ascertained from recent happenings at the Superstar Shake-Up and from the way things went down at WrestleMania 35, Vince knows where he wants to butter his bread. We can also safely assume he’s decided there isn’t money to be made on certain talent.
Who does Vince have on his radar and who seems to have fallen off the map?
Invested In: Becky Lynch
Based upon the fact she’s now labeled Becky Two Belts (even the word “belts” is off the no-fly list because Becky uses it), Vince is putting all his chips in on Becky Lynch. She’s on both brands, will defend both titles in separate matches at Money in the Bank and he’s got her on WWE programming exponentially more than any other performer.
Over-exposure will certainly be a concern but for now, or until she loses a belt, she’s “The Man” in WWE and not going anywhere anytime soon. The trick will be giving her good feuds and material to work with. A misstep here could be costly.
Right now it looks like Charlotte is on her radar and that’s another performer Vince has confidence in. It shouldn’t shock anyone if she takes the SmackDown Championship off Lynch at some point.
Quit On Already: Ronda Rousey
Rousey being out of Vince’s good books isn’t so much because he doesn’t like her or wouldn’t find a way to use her as one of the most dangerous women in WWE but this decision is necessary. Rousey is gone and might not be coming back, at least not anytime soon. Life must move on.
With Rousey’s loss at WrestleMania 35, her tag as an undefeated badass is gone. With her off tv for what could be a year to start a family, Vince needs to go in other directions. To Vince, losing Rousey is like crying over spilled milk… what’s the point?
There may come at time that Rousey is back on top should she decide to return to WWE. She’s got lots of time left on her current contract and she’s not washed up considering the company left the door open to arguing the “botched” pin fall that saw her lose her title.
Invested In: The Iiconics
There is a contingent of the WWE Universe upset with the fact WWE took that titles off of Sasha Banks and Bayley and gave them to The Iiconics. If you fall into that category, I’m sorry to say that you’ll stay disappointed for some time. Vince is all the way sold on this new tag team and they could stay champions a while.
Their new exclusive videos on WWE.com are pure gold and the wrestlers themselves are promoting how funny these two women are while respecting how much their chemistry shows on screen. If there’s one thing WWE tries to do, it’s an attempt to capitalize on this kind of momentum.
Two women who seem legitimately thrilled to be in the position they’re in, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have huge futures in the company and when all is said and done, could set a record that will be hard for any women’s tag team to beat. There are certain teams that are better with the belts because they can use the championships to create heat. This is one of those times.
Quit On Already: Sasha Banks
Banks may eventually return to WWE but make no mistake, she’s secured her future in Vince’s eye as someone who may be more trouble than she’s worth. Her speculated behaviour over losing her titles and rumored willingness to sit out her WWE contract after recently signing a new long-term deal won’t go unnoticed by the higher-ups and while they may appease her if she comes back, it won’t last. More than likely, they’ll let her sit, freeze her deal for the time she’s gone and make it impossible for her to leave.
When Banks bailed, she made a bet on herself. Is she a big enough star to have Vince worried about her jumping to a company like AEW? She’s about to find out the answer is no. She’s also about to find out she has little leverage.
Vince may throw her a bone just to delay any jump but at the end of the day, he really doesn’t care if Banks is happy. He proved that when he promised her a long title reign and then threw the belts to his new team of choice in The Iiconics At WrestleMania.
Invested In: Bray Wyatt
Vince McMahon doesn’t run the risk of aggravating shareholders if he doesn’t think he’s landed on a winner. That’s exactly what he believes he has in the new Bray Wyatt character and his Firefly Fun House.
You can tell by watching the video that re-introduced Bray’s new character how much thought went into every second. From hidden Easter eggs to who he’s rumored to have working with Bray to make this idea a success (Undertaker and Triple H), he’s covering his bases. When Vince lands on something that seems to be whacky and Vince-like, it’s hard to shake him from it. Wyatt is WWE’s new project. Only a rebellion by shareholders will take this thing off its rails.
Outside of that happening, expect this character to be a major focus for Vince and WWE moving forward.
Quit On Already: Ricochet
Is Ricochet’s loss to Robert Roode an indication of something bigger? Hopefully not, but it might be.
Ricochet is a dynamic talent with a huge future but that he’s one of the few men to lose after the Superstar Shake-Up suggests he’s not quite on the level or up at the spot on the WWE totem pole many thought he was after being called up from NXT and going on an incredible run. He took a back seat to Roode on Raw and that might mean he’s going to have his time but it isn’t now.
Make no mistake, Ricochet will be a huge star. His time just might not be yet.
Invested In: Robert Roode
The Glorious Bobby Roode is getting a reboot of sorts with his new character Robert Roode. The fact WWE asked him to shave and are going to make his moustache a character says all you need to know about how much attention he’ll get after the Superstar Shake-up.
In some cases the Shake-up works great for stars, Roode should be one of them. He should have been a bigger star coming up from NXT but WWE dropped the ball. The plan is to make up for that now.
He got a big win over Ricochet in the first Raw since his new character debuted. That’s no small thing.
Quit on Already: Bobby Lashley
There are rumors that Lashley will be leaving WWE after SummerSlam and headed back to MMA. If true, don’t expect to see much of a push for the man who has all the physical tools WWE could ever hope for in a Superstar but can’t seem to come together as a whole.
At one point, Lashley was pegged to be the man who would knock Brock Lesnar off the MMA pedestal that WWE had him perched on. That never happened. Instead, he got caught up in a silly storyline with Sami Zayn and any chance the WWE Universe might take him as a serious threat went out the window.
WWE has noticed and stuck him in as the third-wheel of Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin’s alliance.