Thursday, April 18, 2024
EditorialMarch to WrestleMania 40: SmackDown Superstars Not Yet Booked

March to WrestleMania 40: SmackDown Superstars Not Yet Booked

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WrestleMania XL is filling up fast, leaving precious few spots left on the lineup for WWE Superstars to get booked.

As such, the annual March to WrestleMania breakdown of Superstars still missing from the card is here to give you a quick glimpse into which wrestlers are in danger of being sidelined for The Grandest Stage of Them All.

This year, I decided to split it up into two posts. While this one will focus on Friday Night SmackDown’s roster, this Raw roster post examines the red brand’s wrestlers, too.

Let’s take a look at the men and women from SmackDown who are lingering in limbo when it comes to WrestleMania 40.

Friday Night SmackDown Roster – Men

  • AJ Styles / LA Knight – These two are going to fight. Whether it’s a singles match or they’re involved in a multi-man match for the United States Championship. They’re going to clash in some capacity. Update: They will be facing each other in a singles match.
  • Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Cedric Alexander – This team isn’t established yet, nor are they remotely in the running to win a shot at The Judgment Day. However, if the tag titles are split and SmackDown gets to crown new champions, they should be in contention to at least fight for an opportunity, even if I’d rank them low for chances to win the gold. It all remains to be seen.
  • Austin Theory & Grayson Waller – I can’t imagine WWE is going to let WrestleMania go by without doing something with these guys. They’re among the Superstars with some of the most options available from how I see it. Both could be in the running to fight for the United States Championship if it’s a multi-man match. They could win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship if that happens. There’s a chance they are included in a Grayson Waller Effect promo segment instead, or they fight Kevin Owens in some capacity. Even if it’s just popping up in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (ATGMBR), there’s no way we go that Friday/Saturday/Sunday without seeing their faces. Update: They will be in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the tag titles.
  • Bron Breakker – With The Wolf Dogs defending the NXT Tag Team Championship at Stand & Deliver, I think Breakker is not going to be in the running for WrestleMania this year. He is a STRONG contender to win the ATGMBR, though, if that does happen in some capacity.
  • Cameron Grimes – Poor guy waited like a year to get drafted to the main roster, only to be promptly tossed in the bin. He’s done NOTHING. ATGMBR at most, where he’s just thrown out rather quickly.
  • Final Testament (Karrion Kross, Akam & Rezar) / The Pride (Bobby Lashley, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) – I’m fully expecting a six-man tag, maybe with a No DQ type stipulation, to be added to the show. Then again, I could see WWE bumping that to the SmackDown that precedes WrestleMania and trying to pretend that’s “just as good” as being on WrestleMania itself, even though everyone in the world knows it isn’t. Update: They’re booked for a Philadelphia Street Fight.
  • Legado Del Fantasma (Angel, Humberto & Santos Escobar) / LWO (Carlito, Cruz Del Toro, Dragon Lee, Joaquin Wilde, Rey Mysterio) – Same situation as Final Testament and Pride, although I think there’s more of a chance it’s a solid prediction they’ll get on the show. It might just be Mysterio against Escobar, but I think we’ll see all parties fighting ringside. Basically, I’d book those two matches to be on opposite nights to fill the same role. And while Dragon Lee isn’t officially part of LWO, he might as well be. He’s not going to do anything else except be an ATGMBR participant like the others. All parties could be in that match, for the record.
  • Kevin Owens – Is his feud with Logan Paul over? I think he’ll be involved. My guess is still a ladder match between Paul, Owens, Randy Orton, and at least one more heel, if not the inclusion of Knight/Styles and Theory/Waller. It depends on how many people WWE wants involved. But if Owens isn’t doing that, and he isn’t fighting Waller or Theory in some other way, I’ll be shocked. Update: He will be in the United States Championship Triple Threat match against Randy Orton and Logan Paul.
  • Jimmy Uso – He’s going to fight Jey Uso. I can’t imagine WWE isn’t going to book that match. Update: He will indeed face Jey Uso in a singles match.
  • New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate) – Solid contenders to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship if those tag titles are split. If not, I think they could be skipped over in favor of Awesome Truth and other teams to fight The Judgment Day. Update: They will be in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the tag titles.
  • Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) – Also solid contenders to fight for the SmackDown tag titles, if that’s an option. They could even win them.
  • Randy Orton – He’s a certainty to be booked. Either he fights Logan Paul in a singles match for the United States Championship, or the title is on the line in a multi-man match that Orton takes part in. No chance he’s overlooked. Update: He and Owens will face Paul in a Triple Threat.
  • Sheamus – After spending so many months on the shelf with an injury, there’s a solid chance he’s not on this show. However, he could appear in the ATGMBR if WWE wants to fill out the ranks. Frankly, I’d bet more so that he’ll make his return after WrestleMania, though.
  • Solo Sikoa – At the very least, we know he’s going to be accompanying The Bloodline to the ring. I’d go so far as to say he’ll probably not be booked in a match on the show, but he’ll be the reason Roman Reigns and The Rock win on Night 1. He’ll get involved on Night 2, as well. But if by some chance he’s booked for the ATGMBR, I think he’d win that, so that might be all the reason why he doesn’t end up in that match so WWE can give that win to Breakker or whomever else.

Out of this list, Orton is a shoo-in, as is Jimmy Uso. Sikoa’s appearing in some way, even if he doesn’t have a dedicated match. Knight and Styles are safe. Owens is pretty safe, as are Waller and Theory. The Pride/Final Testament and LWO/LDF groups are in murky territory, but it’s too easy to book those matches for WWE to just not do it, so I think they’re good. Overall, SmackDown has a lot more people in the running to find a spot on the card than Raw as of March 6th (this article’s publication), and that goes up even more if SmackDown gets their own set of tag titles.

Friday Night SmackDown Roster – Women

  • Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn – The Unholy Union has had such terrible luck since being drafted to SmackDown. All they’ve really done is disappear, then lose their NXT women’s tag titles, disappear some more, and pop up every couple months to lose. Low priority on the tag title contender list, but not 100% cut out of the running.
  • Damage CTRL’s Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) and Dakota Kai – I’d say it’s all but certain we’ll see Asuka and Kairi defend the tag titles, while Kai will just accompany them ringside, as they all will do with Iyo Sky for her match against Bayley. Update: Belair, Cargill and Naomi will face Damage CTRL.
  • B-Fab – At best, she’s going to accompany The Pride ringside. There’s 0% chance she does anything else.
  • Bianca Belair – You’d think the top woman for the past few years who is also featured on ALL the advertisements for WrestleMania would have a spot on the show. For some reason, they’re keeping her in the limelight without setting anything in stone. I could see her either having a singles match with Jade Cargill or teaming with her. Between the two, I’m leaning more toward the latter happening. Update: Belair, Cargill and Naomi will face Damage CTRL.
  • Jade Cargill – Cargill is a free agent, rather than a SmackDown roster exclusive, but I’m throwing her in here since I just mentioned her with Belair. I think WWE planned to have her against Charlotte Flair in a dedicated singles match, but Flair’s injury prevented that from happening. Now, I’m banking on Jade and Bianca teaming up to fight The Kabuki Warriors (and others). Update: Belair, Cargill and Naomi will face Damage CTRL.
  • Charlotte Flair – Speaking of Flair, she’s injured. If not, she’d likely be fighting Jade.
  • Elektra Lopez / Zelina Vega – Assuming there’s an LWO vs. Legado del Fantasma match in some capacity, they’ll be involved in that. Nothing else.
  • Michin – WWE never really seems to want to utilize Mia Yim. Michin will get a push once every couple months, but it’ll only last a week or two. Then, she’s promptly ignored again. Now, she’s in another phase of being on the sidelines. Even if she got a tag partner, I think other teams would take priority over her and her teammate.
  • Naomi – Sadly, after just making her comeback at Royal Rumble, I think she’s already at a spot where the best she can hope for is to find a teammate for the tag titles. Even taht will be a stretch. Sure, she could team with Belair, Michin, Jade, etc…but I just don’t see it necessarily happening. Update: Belair, Cargill and Naomi will face Damage CTRL.
  • Scarlett Bordeaux – She’ll accompany The Final Testament to the ring against The Pride and nothing more.
  • Shotzi Blackheart – Injured.
  • Tamina Snuka – Is she still even considered an active member of the roster? Has she transitioned over to just having her contract waited out? I don’t know. But she’s not doing anything here. Guaranteed.
  • Tiffany Stratton – Coming onto the roster right now hasn’t given her much time to be built up to something on a limited lineup. She’s a star in the making. It just might not be her time yet to compete at this show. There aren’t any women I could see her tagging with, and I don’t think there’s room for her to have a singles match against Belair like some people were imagining. Unless there’s a women’s battle royal or some other multi-woman match, she’ll just be off this card.

Outside of The Kabuki Warriors accompanying Iyo Sky to the ring and defending their tag titles, the only other woman I feel WWE would go out of their way to find a spot for is Bianca Belair. Jade Cargill is still up in the air, to be honest. Everyone else is on thin ice or just not in a good spot right now to do anything but be a valet like B-Fab, Scarlett, Lopez and Vega.

What do you think WWE will end up doing with these wrestlers?
Who are you most hoping finds a spot on the card?
Drop your predictions and thoughts and fantasy booking ideas in the comments below!

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