WWE Superstar Shape-Up and What They Got Wrong (and Right)
MikeJC here, back after an interesting couple weeks in wrestling, Raw and Smackdown after mania, really had nothing exciting to talk about at all. The following week though, and the main thing I'm here to discuss, was the Superstar Shake-Up. The annual shows after mania season has wind down, where they switch superstars from one brand to another. Every year they use this flawed way of switching people from each brand, which I'm very much not a fan of. They should go back to the way they used to do it where they had cross branded matches and the winner get a "random" draft pick. So anyway, I'm going to discuss the people who switched and why some moves were good or bad and what they should have done.
So as of now Raw received sixteen people, two of which are a tag team from NXT, and one from the cruiserweight show 205 Live. The Miz, Andrade, Ricochet, Aleister Black, the newly and horribly named Viking Experience (more about them in a little bit), Rey Mysterio, The Usos, Naomi, Zelina Vega, Eric Young, EC3, Lacey Evans, and AJ Styles. Now out of all of these, I disagree with Ricochet, Eric Young, Vikings and EC3. First off Ricochet and Aleister Black did not need to remain a tag team at all, and I really wanted Ricochet, away from them and his high potential and star power on Smackdown. I had no problem with Eric Young going to Raw the main problem is Sanity is over, and that makes zero sense to me, they had so much they could have done as a group and I fear all three members, especially Eric Young will end up just being put in a jobber to the stars role, and Sanity could have gotten a new start on Raw, and built back up, and there were other teams I felt could have been split up instead (which I will talk about later). EC3 needed a new start and going to Smackdown could have helped putting him in a prominent mid-carder role instead he's lost in the shuffle with too much talent on Raw. Now the big one, the sadly named Viking Experience, formerly known as the War Raiders, which to me could have definitely gotten a better name if WWE (Vince) didn't want to use War Raiders as the name, hopefully it doesn't stick, but other then the name, I was hoping for them to remain in NXT, for at least another year and carry the tag team division, and to put them on Raw also kind of made no sense to me, because now the balance of tag teams seems to be way off now between the two shows.
Smackdown received fourteen people who switched brands to their show. One NXT female, and one cruiserweight from 205 Live. Finn Balor, Ember Moon, Bayley, Kairi Sane, Lars Sullivan, Buddy Murphy, Elias, Roman Reigns, Liv Morgan, Chad Gable, Apollo Crews, Mickie James, Heavy Machinery, and Nikki Cross. Out of all of these I disagree with Bayley, Mickie, and Elias. Bayley should have stayed on Raw for multiple reasons, reports claim the reason Sasha Banks is upset is not only because of their loss of the Women's Tag Titles, but because they were told ahead of time her and Bayley would not only lose the titles but be separated in the shake-up which makes no sense to me especially with the lack of tag teams now in the women's tag team division. Also Raw is now lacking in the talent department in their singles women's division, which will probably be lacking even more once Becky isn't a double champion anymore because she is expected to be a Smackdown superstar when that happens, so Mickie should have stayed on Raw for that reason, and honestly the same argument could have been made for Ember Moon. Elias on the other hand, his problem is all he does every show now is waste time singing which takes up a lot of time and that was more suited on a three hour Raw, also he's treated as a novelty act and isn't treated as a contender for anyone really, which is why I really hope he goes through a character change soon, and portrays himself as a contender for a mid-card title down the road.
Okay so for me everyone else that moved I was fine with, especially Finn Balor, he needed this change more then anyone, especially to get him away from Corbin and Lashley. Also very happy that Chad Gable is a singles star again, I really want him to break out maybe get Kurt Angle as a manager or something and be a mid-card heel, he has worked very hard and deserves it. I expected guys like Miz and Reigns to move, Miz because his reality show will still be on USA and if it returns in the fall he'll be promoting it on the same network, and Roman for that star power of the big move to FOX for Smackdown. Raw got a lot of talent which I thought was odd I thought maybe WWE would want to stack the deck for Smackdown with there move to FOX this October. Part of me expected guys like Mysterio, Andrade, and Aleister Black to stay on Smackdown, and hope for guys like Ricochet, Apollo, and Gable to stay on Raw. So Smackdown will have to build people like Gable, Crews, Murphy, Ali to be credible guys that can eventually step up when Balor gets to his inevitable Main Event shot on Smackdown one day. Also maybe guys we haven't seen get opportunities in a while like Shelton Benjamin for example.
Now there was a few people that are currently up in the air, it's expected Samoa Joe is going to Raw since Finn Balor was sent to Smackdown with the Intercontinental Title, so Joe would bring the United States Championship. Also Bray Wyatt, hasn't appeared on TV in quite awhile so it is unclear which show he will be on but I think it's a safe bet that he goes to Smackdown to give them another singles star. I'm worried about the women's division on Raw and the tag team division on Smackdown, they both seem to be lacking, so the people who maybe didn't flourish in those divisions before will hopefully get a chance, like Dana Brooke, and Ruby Riott for the Raw women, and Heavy Machinery for the Smackdown tag teams.
Okay the last thing I want to talk about is the people I feel should have been moved but weren't. People I think would have benefited better from switching brands, and gotten a new start on a new show. I already mentioned Sanity, the group should have stayed together and all went to Raw and started over. To me the Revival definitely needed a change, yes they got the title for a little bit but they lost a lot of non-title matches, and I was really hoping for a new start for them, yes they're hopefully going to have great matches with new teams on Raw like the Usos, but I was hoping for a big push for them on Smackdown. Another name I expected to move was Tyler Breeze, part of me thinks they aren't going to use the team of Breezango (Breeze and Fandango) to their full potential, so sending Tyler Breeze back to Smackdown and building him back up along the other mid-carders who they now have on Smackdown. One other name I expected to switch brands is Sami Zayn, now you're probably wondering why I would want Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens on the same show again, the reason is simple, Daniel Bryan. Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan are currently doing very similar gimmicks on separate brands, and to me I felt it wouldn't be right for that to remain separate. Add Zayn to Bryan's crusade, let him be the mid-card talent under Bryan with the same agenda, and if he had to cross paths with Kevin Owens, eventually it would have been interesting to see them feud with the roles reversed. Now lastly I really wanted Drew McIntyre to go to Smackdown, I was really hoping that Drew would make the move and go to Smackdown and be another top heel there. I'm concerned Drew won't get that on Raw, but he needs to win the Money in the Bank and when he does cash in and win the title. There's nobody else should win the Money in the Bank match and it could've still happened on Smackdown and I hope remaining on Raw doesn't hurt McIntyre's future as a true main eventer which he absolutely deserves.
Okay that's going to do it for me, this was another long one, and I'm hoping that the moves that WWE made to the brands here won't hurt each show too bad. Hopefully WWE does right by everyone, knowing their track record they probably won't but as wrestling fans we will endure cause that's what we do because we love wrestling. Thanks for reading what I had to say. If you like what I'm doing here share it with everyone you know that loves wrestling. Look out for future posts and new projects that I'll be working on in the future. Also the site is definitely not done, and in due time I will have a new layout, new logos so look out for those a well. For now, I'm MikeJC signing off.