After the comebacks and arrivals WrestleMania Monday provided, the Superstar Shake-Up completely shuffled the cards for the RAW and SmackDown Live rosters. With 19 Blue Superstars coming to RAW and 16 Red Superstars coming to SmackDown Live, competition will take an interesting twist in the next few weeks. Let’s dissect how this shake-up is going to influence the future storylines, as well as the Superstars’ fates.
RAW: Let’s say that Brock Lesnar will have a lot to take care of. With Bobby Lashley coming back last week and now guys like Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal on the roster, serious contenders are showing up. The Universal Championship will be a pretty coveted title but it all depends on if Brock Lesnar signed a long-term deal or not and if he retains the title in Saudi Arabia against Roman Reigns. Around the Intercontinental Championship, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre will be serious contenders for Seth Rollins.
SmackDown Live: The brand lost a lot of potential contenders for the WWE Title but at the same time, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, Big Cass and The Miz can easily make a statement, even when not chasing the gold. New men means fresh competition. Some TNA fans will be happy to see AJ Styles and Samoa Joe square off again. Big Cass vs. Jeff Hardy would be a first-ever. The Miz is a serious contender for both titles. The shake-up opened up the competition but, at the same time, it narrowed the possibilities of feuds.
RAW and SmackDown Live: Saying the division was shaken-up would be a lie. Asuka and The Absolution are now on SmackDown Live while Natalya and The Riott Squad are on RAW. Not enough to shake competition up in pretty stacked rosters. Every woman on each roster is a potential contender for the Women’s Titles. Natalya, as a veteran, can help Ronda Rousey show up her best in the ring and build up her wrestling reputation and The Riott Squad already proved they are serious competitors, able to make Sasha Banks or Bayley tremble like they did with Charlotte Flair on SmackDown Live. As far as Asuka is concerned, it’s just a matter of time until she’s given a title shot for the SmackDown Women’s title and wins it.
RAW and SmackDown Live: Very few additions on that side and that’s in a way, better. RAW gained Mike Kanellis, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder and Chad Gable in addition to No Way José who made his debut on WrestleMania Monday. Same statement on the Blue Brand, only Andrade Cien Almas was drafted. For the 2 NXT draftees, a first step on the mid-card is the best to show they’re able to make it on the main roster, the same way they did on NXT, and soon become serious contenders for the US or IC titles. Chad Gable as a singles competitor is also an interesting choice. In the recent feud he and Shelton Benjamin were involved in on the Blue Brand for the SmackDown Live Tag Team titles, he levelled up his game with a quick-paced and striking style.
RAW: The Red brand gained 2 teams when it lost 2. The Authors of Pain also made their debut on WrestleMania Monday. Breezango and The Ascension may not be the best choices but, with the good push, The Fashion Police has already made a statement on Monday when they defeated former RAW Tag Team Champions, The Bar. If it seems like the Tag Team division is a little empty, The Miztourage, The Revival, Titus Worldwide, The Singh Brothers, like Heath Slater and Rhyno could fill it up very quickly. As of now, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are #1 contenders for the title. Which shows in a way this division is the one where anything can happen.
SmacKDown Live: In an already pretty stacked roster, revolving around The Usos and The New Day, 3 new teams were drafted to SmackDown Live. With SAnitY (without Nikki Cross), Gallows & Anderson and The Bar, WWE may bring some new competition in the division. But let’s not forget SmackDown Live is only a 2-hour show and obviously, not everyone will have a spot in the Titles’ sunshine. If you had The Bludgeon Brothers and The Colons to the equation, SmackDown Live is now stacked with good teams. The question is: what are they going to do of them?
RAW seems to be the great winner of this Superstars Shake-up. SmackDown Live lost many top talents that would help RAW to raise up his game. With Brock Lesnar as the Universal part-time Champion, the Red Brand needed fresh faces to give more strength a show that is supposed to be the flagship of WWE. SmackDown Live may have gained some interesting main-eventers, The Land of Opportunities is honestly losing his appeal on the other divisions. We now just have to expect the Blue roster to prove us wrong.
All pics courtesy of WWE.com