Friday, April 19, 2019

WWE Superstar Shakeup Takes

Now that the WWE Superstar Shakeup is over it seems like a good time to take a look at the moves that were made, what worked, and what didn't.

From the link above the following have joined Raw:

  • AJ Styles

  • The Miz

  • Richochet

  • Aleister Black

  • Erik (The Viking Experience FKA The War Raiders)

  • Ivar (The Viking Experience FKA The War Raiders)

  • Andrade

  • Zelina Vega

  • Rey Mysterio

  • Jimmy Uso

  • Jey Uso

  • Naomi

  • EC3

  • Lacey Evans

  • Eric Young

  • Cedric Alexander

The following have joined the SmackDown LIVE roster:

  • Roman Reigns

  • IC Champion Finn Balor

  • Elias

  • Bayley

  • Ember Moon

  • Kairi Sane

  • Lars Sullivan (was announced to have joined Raw on Monday night, switched to SmackDown on Tuesday)

  • Buddy Murphy

  • Liv Morgan

  • Chad Gable

  • Apollo Crews

  • Mickie James

  • Otis (Heavy Machinery)

  • Tucker (Heavy Machinery)

I think they did a good job mixing things up. SmackDown LIVE may be The House That AJ Styles Built, but it was time to for AJ to be in a new environment.

With AJ coming over, Seth Rollins as Universal Champion, and the imminent Fox move for SmackDown LIVE it was really a no-brainer to shift "The Big Dog" Roman Reigns over to SmackDown. Many of us thought that WWE and/or Fox would want The Big Dog on the big(ger) platform, and that's just what we got. I am excited that him and Seth won't be in each other's shadow, and that he's got some new blood to work with.

Elias is a guy I could see benefiting from staying on a three hour Raw as his segments were entertaining time fillers.

I am curious to see guys like Buddy Murphy, and Apollo Crews on SmackDown LIVE as well. Hopefully they will get an opportunity to shine there. Buddy probably has more upside in part because he's not as familiar to main roster-only fans, but if they choose to get behind Apollo I could see it being a good move for him too. Chad Gable kind of fits this bill as well, and I'm not too bothered that we did not get a Gable/Roode split angle because I didn't really need to see that.

Finn Balor to SmackDown LIVE is a nice move for similar reasons as it is for Roman Reigns. He needed a change of scenery.

Kairi Sane coming up and teaming with Asuka is an interesting decision as Asuka is awesome as a singles competitor, but I think it will help Kairi in the short-term at least. Asuka is great at whatever she does so that should be a fun pairing with Paige as their manager.

It is really amusing that we didn't all realize that the star of Miz and Mrs probably had to be on Raw until they announced The Miz was coming back over the red brand.

I'm hoping the change of scenery for Andrade will allow him some upward mobility. He's a guy I am really excited about (not a hot take of course).

Ricochet and Aleister Black being permanently featured on the main roster is a good thing although I anticipated they'd be split up by the Shakeup.

Cedric Alexander is in the Buddy Murphy, Apollo Crews, and Chad Gable spot. Hopefully with a three hour Raw, he'll get time to shine in the ring.

The Usos getting a change of scenery is ALSO a good thing, and I am very interested in seeing them cross paths with The Viking Experience (which I hope is shortened to TVE at some point).

A legend like Rey Mysterio probably needs to swap between shows while we still have him around too. Despite what Cageside Seats says, I'd be all for some more Rey/Andrade bangers.

Not sure how to articulate this, but Lars Sullivan "feels" like a better fit on Raw, but his whole push is going to be interesting regardless. 

I was a little surprised that no one from Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin got moved to Raw. With the IC and US Titles on SDL there are rumors/reports that Samoa Joe will be moved to Raw. Apparently he was too ill to make an appearance on this week's Raw. I don't recall where I read this on Twitter, but there are also rumors that some more moves may be made as well.  I also thought that Randy Orton would likely end up on Raw, but I'm looking forward to a possible Reigns/Orton feud on SDL.

Time will tell if more moves are coming, but I'm glad the rosters have a new look.