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Rookie Year 2020 - Grading the debuts of WWE stars on RAW and SmackDown

Keith Lee made his RAW debut by interrupting the Legend Killer
Keith Lee made his RAW debut by interrupting the Legend Killer
Modified 30 Sep 2020, 13:16 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

Every year in the WWE, stars join the loaded rosters on either RAW or SmackDown. The new stars are mostly call-ups from NXT, or in some cases, free agents that make the jump right to the main roster, just like AJ Styles did in 2016.

This year was no different with most of the newer stars joining Monday Night RAW. The show itself even got a slight facelift with the addition of RAW Underground during the show's third hour. While it has introduced the likes of Big Jordan and Dabba-Kato, this piece will mainly focus on the stars that have had matches on RAW proper or SmackDown.

Several performers, including former NXT Champions to mid-card stars, to women and tag teams, have all made their marks on RAW or SmackDown in some form or the other. One of the most dominant women in NXT history, Shayna Baszler showed up at last year's Survivor Series. She was also the final entrant and last woman eliminated in this year's Royal Rumble.

Dominik Mysterio has been prominently featured in a program opposite Seth Rollins, while Bianca Belair has sporadically appeared on RAW. Every new star obviously does not get the same treatment, especially when it comes to tag teams. Adding the new stars does help to introduce new feuds and layers to both brands in WWE.

While WWE often waits until after big PPVs like WrestleMania, SummerSlam or the Royal Rumble, different WWE Superstars have popped up at various points in 2020. Here are the grades for those WWE performers that have made their debuts this year on either RAW or SmackDown.

#8 Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake on WWE SmackDown - INCOMPLETE

Cutler and Blake
Cutler and Blake

Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake were previously known as the Forgotten Sons upon their debut on SmackDown. It appeared as if they were headed towards a title program with the New Day, but after Jaxson Ryker made some controversial comments, the trio were taken off of TV.

It would have been an easy way to shift their alliances in WWE had they been revealed as a part of RETRIBUTION. It could still happen, but five seems like the right number of members for that faction. WWE may not want it to turn into another oversaturated NWO.

The in-ring portion of their game was never a problem, but instead, it was their promos. Their main statement was pretty basic - the country they fought for had abandoned and forgotten them. But before they could challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team titles or make a huge impact, they were taken off TV. For that reason, the jury is still out regarding how good or bad they'll be outside of NXT.

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Published 30 Sep 2020, 13:16 IST
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