If nothing else, the WWE brand extension should open up the doors of opportunity for superstars that might not have been afforded them otherwise. The best example at present would have to be Dolph Ziggler getting a shot at the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam.
Ziggler is a former world champion in the WWE, but you might not have thought so based on the last three years of his bookings, outside of a sole survivor accolade at the 2014 Survivor Series, most remembered for the WWE debut of Sting. After more start-and-stop pushes than any of his peers, Ziggler now must be built into a serious main-event contender in less than a month.
As it turns out, Ziggler may be nothing more than a transitional opponent for Ambrose, in an effort to extend the Lunatic Fringe’s championship reign, but the fact that WWE officials are even putting him in this spot is indicative of a new line of thinking. Other WWE superstars getting a shot at the spotlight at SummerSlam include Apollo Crews, primed for an Intercontinental Championship match against The Miz, and of course, Finn Balor, who could become the first-ever WWE Universal Champion in what will be his first-ever main roster pay-per-view.
SummerSlam will be the WWE’s last cross-branded pay-per-view until November’s Survivor Series, even though there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for the brand split to sink in. Because SummerSlam (and the other three “main” pay-per-views) will feature the top four-five feuds from both RAW and Smackdown, the opportunities mentioned earlier won’t be as prevalent as when each brand boasts its own exclusive monthly special.
The first of those comes on September 11 when the blue brand gets the spotlight all to itself at Backlash. And that’s when Smackdown‘s depth will be truly put to the test. Superstars after Ambrose, John Cena, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and even Ziggler will be given their chance, and will be needed to fill out those cards. According to a recent report from Daily Wrestling News, one of those WWE superstars who’s caught the eye of Vince McMahon and other WWE officials is Tyler Breeze.
WWE officials had also had internal discussions about repacking Breeze and Fandango to give them a more serious look and feel. But if Tyler Breeze is viewed as more of a star than his partner, it would only make sense to split them up to let Breeze stretch his wings as a singles star again even though the first time around was widely viewed as a flop.
The Game has obviously had some influence on how his former NXT standouts are being used on the main roster lately, but that wasn’t always the case. Earlier this year, Vince McMahon had plenty of issues with the gimmicks and characters being brought into his empire. The script has clearly been flipped, and Tyler Breeze might be the next to benefit from it.
[Image via WWE]