I wasn’t thrilled when WWE decided to move forward with its Saudi Arabia show in spite of the outcry against that country’s killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. I haven’t watched a full episode of Raw or an entire pay-per-view since. I’ve stuck with NXT, however, because my beautiful Florida babies weren’t involved in that bullshit. You’re not really a bad guy, Johnny. Please wake up. 🙁
Six new call ups were announced on an episode of Raw that promised a better product. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than this half dozen to fix the main roster’s problems, but they’re all good to great performers in their own right. Your man Scott Colby has the baseball style scouting reports to prove it. Each prospect is graded on the five main tools (look, athleticism, in-ring, mic skills, charisma) using a 30 to 80 scale. 50 is an average, perfectly cromulent WWE superstar. 80’s the Undertaker. 30’s Harvey Whippleman.
Ready? Let’s go!
The arrogant Ethan Carter the Third was made for Monday Night Raw, which is ironic considering the character’s genesis on Impact. He’s got the body of a Greek god and the presence and personality to match. The man doesn’t do anything spectacular in the ring, but he’s safe and smart and provides a solid base upon which his opponents can work. The Miz is a fair comparison, and I think lumping his call up in with five other wrestlers does him a bit of a disservice.
Ceiling: 60, Transitional World or Universal Champion
Floor: 50, Straight man in a comedy tag team with Drake Maverick
With Lacey Evans, the whole is greater than the sum of the above parts. Her classy pinup lady character is different from anything else on the roster right now and she plays it fantastically. She’s a little stiff in the ring but she’s improved enough over the last year that I think she’s still got room to grow. For now, she’ll sink or swim based on her character work and how well the writers understand what she’s trying to do, which is worrisome—although her Marine background could provide an easy fallback plan if they need to shift gears and make her a hero.
Ceiling: 70, Multiple time women’s champion.
Floor: 30, First woman eliminated in future battle royales after the writers accidentally make her say something racist.
Bringing Sanity to Smackdown without its most interesting member was like offering to buy a friend a beer and coming back with a St. Pauli Girl. Nikki’s brash and tough and fearless, but often difficult to understand. Sometimes she leans a little too far into the character and turns it a bit cheesy and off-putting. Regardless, this woman can go, and she’s a great change of pace from all the super composed female characters on the main roster.
Ceiling: 60, Sort of a female Mick Foley with fewer accolades.
Floor: 40, Stuck in a weird obsessive romance angle with Dolph Ziggler.
I love Dozer and Tucky! Watching these two big thicc boys do anything never fails to put a smile on my face. I clapped like a delighted child when Otis climbed the top rope against the Undisputed Era. Steaks and weights for life.
Ceiling: 60, Beloved fan favorites who rarely win the big one.
Floor: Separated, with Tucker Knight in the Big Cass role (40) and Otis Dozovic as Vince’s favorite new dancing fat guy (80+ for me but 40 IRL).
The Freak is a truly frightening looking human being. He’s like if someone pumped up George “The Animal” Steele on a tainted batch of super soldier serum. There’s just one problem: he may have a history of racist message board posts. To be fair, that was a long time ago, and you’d assume WWE has done their due diligence and made sure he’s a decent dude. Then again, this is also a company that tried to name an important battle royale after a former women’s champion who may have been pimping out her trainees.
Ceiling: 60, Big scary dude used primarily to make more important characters look strong.
Floor: 30, Uh oh.