After the comebacks and arrivals WrestleMania Monday provided, the Superstar Shake-Up completely shuffled the cards for the RAW and SmackDown Live rosters. With 15 Blue Superstars coming to RAW and 14 Red Superstars coming to SmackDown Live, the 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.
The following Superstars made the jump to RAW in this year’s Superstar Shake-up:
* AJ Styles goes to RAW from SmackDown Live
* Lacey Evans goes to RAW from NXT
* Ricochet goes to RAW from NXT
* Aleister Black goes to RAW from NXT
* EC3 goes to RAW from NXT
* Lars Sullivan goes to RAW from NXT
* Eric Young goes to RAW from SmackDown Live
* Naomi goes to RAW from SmackDown Live
* The Usos go to RAW from SmackDown Live
* The Miz goes to RAW from SmackDown Live
* Rey Mysterio goes to RAW from SmackDown Live
* Andrade and Zelina Vega go to RAW from SmackDown Live
* Cedric Alexander goes to RAW from 205 Live
* NXT Tag Team Champions The Viking Experience (The War Raiders, Erik fka Hanson and Ivar fka Rowe) go to RAW from NXT
* TO BE CONFIRMED: United States Champion Samoa Joe to RAW from SmackDown Live
The following Superstars moved to SmackDown Live in the Superstar Shake-up:
* Roman Reigns goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Elias goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Bayley goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Ember Moon goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Kairi Sane goes to RAW from NXT
* Lars Sullivan goes to SmackDown Live from NXT
* Buddy Murphy goes to SmackDown Live from 205 Live
* Liv Morgan goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Chad Gable goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Apollo Crews goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Mickie James goes to SmackDown Live from RAW
* Heavy Machinery goes to SmackDown Live from NXT
* TO BE CONFIRMED: Nikki Cross to NXT from SmackDown Live
What to retain of this Shake-Up
RAW: Since making his WWE debut in 2016, Styles has made a habit of defying expectations and squeezing the most out of every opportunity, to the point of becoming the longest-reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown Live history. The opportunities on RAW for Styles seem endless. With Rey Mysterio, Andrade and The Miz, Seth Rollins will have some serious competition to take care of in the upcoming weeks.
RAW is also been gifted with 3 new teams that could finally give some sense to its Tag Team Division, War Raiders, Ricochet & Black, and The Usos.
SmackDown Live: With SmackDown Live moving to FOX in October, the show needed some strong names for the show. Reigns and Balor were widely expected to come and change the game there. Bayley is another strong addition, despite an already stacked female roster.
The Blue Brand is being drafted with many female wrestlers and a lot of mid-carders, which fit the Land of Opportunities.
Overall: WWE finally did what we were expected them to do a year ago. With Styles to RAW and Balor to SmackDown Live. This Superstar Shake-Up is not providing like a massive breath of fresh air for both brands, it’s just changing the game a little bit…
While the options seem plentiful for RAW, it seems like they’re more limited on SmackDown Live. With 2 hours a week, and a load of talents to showcase, it will be difficult for WWE to give a chance to so many competitors at the same time. Time will tell…
- 205 Live: The brand is losing 2 former Cruiserweight Champions in Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy.
- NXT: The moves announced later last year and earlier this year were confirmed, with Lacey Evans, EC3, Heavy Machinery, Lars Sullivan, Ricochet, Aleister Black, Nikki Cross, Andrade and Zelina Vega now full-time members of the main roster.
The surprise came from War Raiders, the team is drafted as they’re still NXT Tag Team Champions. If many were expecting The Sky Pirates to come, only Kairi Sane is drafted to the main roster, probably to give a chance to Io Shirai to become the future NXT Women’s Champion.
- Four tag teams/stables were split or broken up as a result of the Superstar Shake-up: Sanity, The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection, The Riott Squad, and the team of Chad Gable and Bobby Roode.
- The Intercontinental Championship moved to SmackDown Live, which should mean the United States Championship will move to RAW.
- Sanity is totally disbanded as leader Eric Young was drafted to RAW, with no mention of Wolfe or Killian Dain moving with him. Wolfe, then Dain, took to Twitter earlier today and said goodbye to the group. Wolfe is said to come back to NXT in the next few weeks.
— Alexander Wolf[e] (@TheWWEWolfe) April 17, 2019
- Luke Harper requested his release. There’s no word yet on if WWE will grant the release, but Harper previously tweeted about being concerned or unhappy with his position in the company.
— Brodie Lee (@ThisBrodieLee) April 16, 2019
All pics courtesy of WWE.com