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WWE SmackDown Live Has Created a Massive Talent Depth Problem

Right now, SmackDown Live has more talent that it can possibly use for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Superstar Shakeup without question fell in favour of the blue team, with the brand gaining names that’ve carried the bulk of the show since then. Secondly, the ‘land of opportunity’ has given the likes of Jinder Mahal, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Breezango and Dolph Ziggler new life and prominence. Far more than RAW has done for its mid-card. Finally, SmackDown also picked up main-event talent in Shinsuke Nakamura and the talents of Tye Dillinger from NXT. This coupled with a way-too-deep tag division and a flourishing women’s division means SmackDown more-or-less has enough content for a three hour show.

Let’s analyze some of this depth. Jinder Mahal, a man who was a bonafide jobber for the better part of six months, suddenly became WWE Champion for {reasons} and that immediately shuffles everyone else down a spot on the card. Beneath him you have veteran Randy Orton in the number one contender position and Kevin Owens as your mid-card champion. AJ Styles is currently serving as the contender for Owens’ title and those two feuds probably claim about 30-45 minutes of television weekly. Then you have the Women’s Championship picture which usually takes up about 10 minutes, but has taken a backseat to the Women’s Money in the Bank shenanigans. This week’s SmackDown revolved entirely around Carmella and her briefcase, meaning there will probably be at least two women’s feuds running concurrently for the foreseeable future. You can probably put 25 minutes down weekly for women’s content. Then you have The New Day, The Hype Bros and The Usos feuding over the Tag Team Championships and while the tag division hasn’t consistently received screen time, you’d expect this to take up a segment every week as well. Oh, and Baron Corbin has the men’s briefcase and is still feuding with Sami Zayn – there’s another segment.

All of that is a lot to absorb, but breaking it down, you basically have at best 15 minutes of SmackDown leftover to use for the rest of the division after the above is looked after. One, potentially two, segments left to deal with Maria and Mike Kanellis returning to SmackDown or Shinsuke Nakamura and whoever his next feud is with. Tye Dillinger deserves screen time, American Alpha needs to be redeveloped, you need backstage segments with Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, The Hype Bros will probably turn on each other and feud soon, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan deserve storylines, Aiden English has looked good as a singles competitor, The Fashion Files weren’t on this week, but have been consistently great and then you have guys like Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Sin Cara, The Colons and The Ascension who are falling quickly down the pecking order, rightly or wrongly. Let’s not forget John Cena will be back in two weeks and Rusev was drafted to SmackDown, had a few vignettes and then has gone missing. There’s another two main-eventers they need to fit in somewhere!

Basically, there is no way they can use everything they’ve got. Right now, SmackDown has too much talent and that will only be exacerbated when more NXT stars come up and inevitably come to SmackDown. The WWE is in an endless cycle of signing indy talent, bringing them into NXT and adding more and more superstars to their total roster. There has to be a tipping point and whether the company has already realised it or not, that tipping point is already here. How SmackDown Live manages and uses its talent over the next few months will be very interesting to watch.

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