Prior to the WWE draft, it was revealed that WWE was reaching out to several former stars in an attempt to add depth to both the Raw and SmackDown rosters. So far, only a few faces from the past — Rhyno, Jinder Mahal, and Shelton Benjamin — have agreed to return, and it’s been reported that WWE has reached out to former U.S. Champion MVP, but, so far, they haven’t reached a deal.
It’s expected that some of the participants in the cruiserweight tournament will be moved to Raw after the tournament ends. But, with Raw being a three-hour show, WWE need a lot more than just a couple of cruiserweights to add the much-needed depth to their flagship program.
— WWE (@WWE) August 3, 2016
The SmackDown roster is also thin, but the show is only two-hours long, so WWE’s Tuesday night show isn’t as much in need as Raw is.
According to WWE’s website, both shows still have a ton of moves to make, as WWE posted an article where they listed off the 10 hottest free agents, and while the list featured some names you’d expect to hear like The Undertaker, The Rock, and Nikki Bella, it also had a few surprises on it, the first of which was former Intercontinental Champion Carlito.
Carlito left WWE back in 2010, and he was rumored to be returning to the company last year, however the return never happened. Of course, his name being featured in the WWE.com article suggests that WWE is still negotiating with the ex-U.S. Champ about a return, which means that we may be seeing him sooner rather than later.
There’s a chance that Carlito could be joining forces with the Shining Stars [Primo and Epico] upon his return, which would mean that he would be returning to the Raw brand. The Shining Stars have been floundering ever since they debuted, and Carlito would inject some much-needed life into the team.
— AllWrestlingNews (@allwrestlingnew) August 6, 2016
Another name that the article mentioned was former WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James, who has been away from WWE for quite some time. She has spent the majority of her non-WWE career in Impact Wrestling/TNA, but she’s been a free agent for quite a while now, and WWE is clearly interested.
It’s hard to say exactly where Mickie would end up if she did return. It’s quite clear that the women’s division on SmackDown is a lot weaker than the women’s division on Raw. So, if WWE wants to add depth to a division, sending Mickie to SmackDown would probably be the right move.
The article also mentioned Cryme Tyme [JTG and Shad]. The duo was broken up in 2010, and both men ended up leaving the company shortly thereafter. They’ve recently reunited on the independent circuit, and they could be reuniting in WWE at some point in the near-future.
WWE.com teased a New Day vs. Cryme Tyme feud, which means that WWE may have the duo return to the Raw brand.
Other names on the list were The Great Khali, Brian Kendrick, Tajiri, and Bayley, and of all the names featured on the list, Bayley is probably going to be appearing on either Raw or SmackDown first.
There’s been a rumor that WWE is planning on bringing back Kurt Angle at some point in the near-future, but, at this point, it’s nothing more than a rumor. Angle has said recently that he’ll probably return at some point next year for one last run, and hopefully a WWE Hall of Fame induction. So it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing our Olympic Hero on WWE television this year.
WWE has also reached out to former ECW star Tommy Dreamer, and while Dreamer was interested in returning, he wasn’t interested in being under contract to WWE.
[Image via WWE]