This Monday and Tuesday, it’s WWE Superstar Shake-Up time. Since the original edition back in 2016, typically, WWE has tried to move at least one or two big names, but there have been some superstars who haven’t switched brands, although there is an abundance of talented people on WWE’s roster who could greatly benefit from being switched over to the opposite show.
Also with SmackDown Live moving over to the FOX Network on October, WWE might truly decide to shake things up by sending some of the top RAW or NXT names over to the Blue team in preparation for their big debut on the network.
The SteelChair Mag team decided to share with you their own Shake-Up choices but, unlike WWE, we didn’t look at Red and Blue brands only, we also checked what the black and gold promotion could offer. Let’s find out our writers’ choices.
Scott Hammond‘s choices
The Miz to RAW
What do you do after suffering a loss to a McMahon at WrestleMania? Get the fudge off the show. I’m aware that moving from SmackDown Live to RAW is sometimes a bad move, but I think The Miz could use a fresh outlook if he is going to be running with the babyface run. His character doesn’t work as a babyface so hopefully, on RAW, he can evolve back into a hated heel.
Drew McIntyre to SmackDown Live
I think that this is needed for Drew’s long term character development. He could be a true top heel on the blue brand, as there is a space for a monster heel spot with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton being the only notable non-champion big-time bad guys on SmackDown Live. A Drew vs Kofi programme could really propel his heat after losing to Reigns at WrestleMania.
Ricochet to SmackDown Live
To me, the blue brand is still the land of opportunity, and I think this is where Ricochet could really flesh himself out as a singles star. A decent mid card feud with a Samoa Joe, Rusev, or Nakamura could be exactly what he needs to help build on an already successful debut for the ‘One and Only’.
Rusev to RAW
For the love of everything that is good can someone please get this guy out of the tag division and give him a title? A true, brutish heel that has been badly damaged by spectacularly bad booking, going to RAW on the surface may not help. But written correctly (cough, Bruce Prichard, cough), he could easily be built back up as one of the top two or three heels on the red brand. Has his character been too badly damaged? Probably, but we can all hope, can’t we?
Braun Strowman to SmackDown Live
After his top billing on the WrestleMania card in the André The Giant Battle Royale on the pre-show, it seems like the most fitting thing to do is give Strowman a new lease of life on the blue brand. New feuds, rivalries and hopefully a title run can help dig this character out from the pre-show trenches and once again re-affirm that he once had the most over character on either show. Damaged goods? Absolutely, but more than easily salvaged (unlike Rusev). An already teased feud with Samoa Joe is a great start, let’s hope they keep it up.
Amanda Why‘s choices
I’d probably give Roman Reigns a stint on SmackDown Live so he doesn’t end up being one of Seth Rollins’ first challengers.
AJ Styles to RAW so he can challenge Rollins, sounds like a much better idea. I’m intrigued to see who Paige will be bringing to the Shake-up.
The smart money is on the Sky Pirates, but it might be nice if it was someone less obvious.
In an ideal world, I’d send Tyler Breeze to NXT to challenge Johnny Gargano. At least he’d be properly used then.
James Toal‘s choices
To NXT – Bray Wyatt & Dolph Ziggler
This section is largely down to two important factors: Focus and creativity. Both Wyatt and Ziggler have shown that they can engage an audience when given the right story and proper booking. However, the majority of the time, on either RAW or SmackDown Live, it has lead to lacklustre storylines and a waste in potential classic moments. Ziggler now feels like he’s just going through the motions to get the next paycheck, whereas Wyatt hasn’t been seen in months and is getting a “retooling” which looks like he’ll be exactly the same only this time with a Jim Henson monstrosity by his side. Time in NXT for both of them could be what these performers need to rekindle that lost flame before they became lodged in the Main Roster machine.
To SmackDown Live/RAW – Johnny Gargano & Velveteen Dream
Now with what I’ve said about the main roster on the previous entry, It’s time for these baby birds to leave the nest and join either RAW or SmackDown Live. Hear me out. Gargano has the potential to take the spotlight and become THE face on the main roster. His work has shown that he’s able to gather momentum and build himself up to making any bout have that big fight feel, putting him up against the likes of Rollins, or Kingston is just perfect progression for him. Now with Dream, he is just TOO good to hold back in NXT. Out of everyone on the yellow brand, Dream stands out and makes his presence known in any ring he’s put in. The charisma, the look, the attitude, all of it will work amazingly outside to a massive audience as you can’t help but just look in awe at what this guy is. Both men can not only grab the attention of waining audiences, but they can also keep it and make it theirs for the entire god damned night.
Steph Franchomme‘s choices
To RAW: AJ Styles & Samoa Joe
To SmackDown Live: Finn Balor & Sasha Banks
To NXT UK: Drake Maverick
Most of my choices are based on a pretty simple reason, these guys looked at all the sides of their respective brands. If SmackDown Live is the House that AJ Styles built, it’s time for him to move on and work on the “rebuilding” on the Red Brand and, mostly, to look after the Universal Championship, a title he has never won.
Same thing for Balor, who like Styles has never been drafted since 2016 original Shake-Up. When Balor failed to regain a Universal title he has never lost, alongside Gallows & Anderson, he could potentially find in the Blue Brand some serious contenders for the IC title, including The Miz or Rey Mysterio.
With choosing Samoa Joe, I just switch title for title. And give him more thrilling opportunities in the Red Brand.
When it comes to The Boss, making her the Tag Team Champion with Bayley seems like a disavowal. Banks is talented on her own, she has been a part of every Women’s revolution major step. And, even before the 2016 WWE Brand Extension Draft, she basically said she wanted to compete on the Blue brand because it’s on SmackDown Live where Eddie Guerrero, her hero, cemented his legacy.
Ever since he signed with WWE, Drake Maverick has wrestled maybe one match or two, which is a complete shame. Unlike he’s been unable to compete for an unknown reason, Spud is a talented and brilliant competitor that could be a true leader for NXT UK, while remaining the 205 Live General Manager, a role that he has fulfilled with brio since its debut with WWE.
John Dinsdale‘s choices
Matt Riddle to RAW: The Bro of NXT should be pushed to the top. He’s a worldwide favourite and as much as NXT is a goldmine of talent, his talents could be seen elsewhere. His shoot/MMA style would be an interesting addition to the RAW roster and most importantly when Brock comes back from sulking he’ll be on RAW. This whole shake-up is to build to that feud.
The Bar/The Usos to RAW: RAW’s tag division could use some work. Bar one or two big teams it’s mostly jobber central so adding a couple of big names back into the mix can’t be a bad thing. SmackDown Live’s division can spare the teams so why not give the Usos or the Bar the chance to drag another tag division out of the mud.
Braun Strowman to SmackDown Live: Lars Sullivan is finally on the scene so it makes sense to give each brand a monster. WWE seem to be really high on Sullivan so it makes sense to keep Braun relevant and give him some time with some new competition. I don’t want him to take Samoa Joe’s US Title but would love to see him mix it up with the big hitters of the SmackDown Live roster. Plus this also helps build up Sullivan on the flagship show.
Undisputed Era to SmackDown Live: Okay this is the fantasy booking segment. Adam Cole just lost a chance at the NXT Championship. I think instead of having him mill about NXT taunting people and waiting for his next chance at the title, he should go to main roster with the rest of the era. This provides us with a new big heel title competitor in Cole; a slightly less US Title competitor is Roderick Strong and a new heel team to make an impact on the SmackDown Live tag division. It’s a big move but it allows new names on SmackDown Live and more space to move for people in NXT.
Drew McIntyre to SmackDown Live: Drew McIntyre is an incredible wrestler and this move would probably give him more attention. He is a monster heel and I’d love to see him be pushed as a megastar on the blue brand. There are plenty of faces to get into it with on SmackDown Live and it would be great to see with the WWE Title at some point since he’d clearly be perfect for it. He can talk, he can wrestle and he has the look of a champion.
Stay tuned as we’ll review 2019 Superstar Shake-Up in our weekly RAW and SmackDown Live review, but also in a special 2019 Shake-Up edition recapitulative piece.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE.com.