Except during the trade deadline.
For some reason, I LOVE trade season. I really don’t care about which sport, although baseball and basketball are my personal favorites, but I just adore all the hype, the rumors, the speculation. Who will be buyers and who will be sellers? Will that top minor-league prospect get traded, and if so, what team leader will be offered in exchange?
Sadly, professional wrestling doesn’t have trades, or at least, they’re not open about it. Sure, there may have been some backroom deals between ECW and WWF in the Attitude Era, but since then, it’s pretty much non-existent. But what if. . . . .
What if WWE and Lucha Underground decide to trade some talent?
Note: I’m only using Lucha Underground because it’s the only promotion other than WWE that I watch regularly. It wouldn’t make any sense for me to hypothesize ROH and Japanese talent without ever having seen them in action. Please feel free to make your own trades if you’re more familiar with the rosters.
The following are half a dozen trades that I could foresee the two organizations making. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, so please try to refrain from sending me vitriolic hate tweets listing all the reasons these trades would NEVER happen. None of these trades will EVER happen, so just relax, people.
Dolph Ziggler gets traded to Lucha Underground for King Cuerno
Why WWE would make the deal: Ziggler is too much of an injury risk to put in a main event role, plus he’s pretty much told everyone that he’s done with WWE sooner rather than later. In exchange, they get another super athlete who, at the very least, can take Ziggler’s place as a mid-card stalwart, and if he becomes super successful, he helps open avenues into Latin America, just like WWE had hoped Del Rio would.
Why Lucha would make the deal: Cuerno runs the risk of becoming “just another luchador”, whereas Ziggler, even with the concussion issues, becomes the first high-profile WWE acquisition. The skies the limit in terms of what you could do with his character. Ziggler vs. Mundo? Ziggler vs. Puma? As NAIbors are so fond of saying, #ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney.
Lucha Underground trades Hernandez for Ryback
Why Lucha makes the deal: Honestly, they probably don’t. While both talents stack up physically, I think you can give Hernandez the edge in every other discernible category. This might need to be a 2 for 1 deal – Ryback AND Rosa Mendes for Hernandez might feel like a more equitable option.
Why WWE makes the deal: Trading a muscly monster with a penchant for injuring people for a muscly monster with charisma and athletic ability? How do they NOT make this deal?
WWE trades Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for Angelico and Son of Havoc
Why WWE makes the deal: Harper didn’t seem to make the impact WWE was hoping for with his singles run (not that I feel he got a fair shake), and Rowan is really just another talent at this point. It wouldn’t hurt the company much to part with these two, and they’d get 2 outstanding high flyers in exchange.
Aside: While I’ve argued that the era of the big man is over in WWE, we also aren’t seeing a huge amount of high-flyers taking their places. When your “aerial expert” in the Chamber match is either Ziggler or R-Truth, you know you’ve got problems.
Both Angelico or Matt Cross (the man behind the mask) would be amazing in either NXT or WWE.
Why Lucha makes the deal: While Angelico’s death-defying antics won’t easily be replaced, LU is ripe with high-flyers. They have a decent amount of “big men” as well, but nobody the caliber of Luke Harper. Honestly, to me, Rowan is just a toss-in. Stick a mask on him and call him “Bigger Son of Havoc” or something. But if you put Brodie Lee (Harper) in a new promotion and let him truly show off his stuff, he immediately becomes a contender for their World title. Even more so than Ziggler. You read that right.
Lucha Underground trades Ivelisse for Tamina.
Why Lucha makes the deal: While I haven’t seen a whole lot of a healthy Ivelisse, she doesn’t scream out “Division builder”, and that’s assuming LU even has sights on a women’s division. Either way, Tamina is the only female pro wrestler not named Awesome Kong who, to me, strikes me as someone who can compete with both genders.
Why WWE makes the deal: Tamina doesn’t fit the stereotypical profile of a “Diva”, whereas Ivelisse does. Need I say more?
WWE trades Jack Swagger AND Zeb Colter for Willie “The” Mack
Why WWE makes the deal: There is currently nothing happening with either Swagger or Colter right now, so what possible reason would they have not to? Besides, you know, the obvious. . .
*debates discussing racism in wrestling, instead decides to run away quickly*
Why Lucha makes the deal: Swagger is, truth be told, an outstanding amateur and professional wrestler, and that “We The People” schtick would be gold in the “barrios” of Lucha Underground. Swagger and Colter immediately become the number one heels in the promotion after Day One.
Ok, time for the one that’s going to cause some problems. . . Hear me out before you grab the torches and pitchforks. . .
Lucha Underground trades Fenix for Sami Zayn
Why both companies make the deal: Fenix is a core part of Lucha Underground right now, based on what I’ve seen and the spoilers I accidentally saw on Wikipedia (Damn you, internet!). This is less about what he means to Lucha as it is more about what he could potentially mean to WWE.
It’s no secret that WWE has been searching for their next Rey Mysterio since LONG before Rey Mysterio actually left the company. It’s possible that Kalisto is that guy, though for my money, Fenix would have the better shot at elite superstardom. He’s slightly taller than Kalisto (not that height should matter when considering future Mysterios, but I still think it’s relevant) and also has proven he can handle more main event angles. Kalisto might also be able to do this as well, but I think WWE would love to have another masked high flyer on their roster, especially one who can capture a crowd like Fenix does.
As for Sami Zayn, I worry that WWE won’t know what to do with him. He has already become something of an afterthought now that Kevin Owens has made his main roster debut, and I think there’s a legitimate chance he winds up buried in the mid-card in WWE.
Lucha Underground has a much better chance of using Zayn to his potential, Generico mask or not. You might not like the idea, and I don’t blame you, but it’s true. Zayn is a bona fide main eventer in Lucha – Can you honestly say that’s his likely future in WWE?
What do YOU think? What trades would you make between Lucha and WWE? How about other promotions? Be Heard.