The WWE Superstar Shake-Up provides opportunity for some, and despair for others. Kevin Carroll has your winners and losers!
As has become a tradition dating all the way back to last year, this past week we had ourselves a WWE Superstar Shake-Up. Across both RAW and Smackdown, superstars were shifted from brand to brand, creating an entirely new landscape. With fresh lineups, both of the WWE’s weekly TV shows have bright new futures.
As with most things of this nature, there are winners, and there are losers. I’d like to use this space this week to examine the Superstar Shake-Up, and compare brands to see who came out on top of this shake-up.
WINNER: RAW Tag Team Division
It’s been a pretty long time since we’ve associated the word “winner” with RAW’s tag team scene, but the red brand made two huge acquisitions to bolster the divisions. First of all, they brought over The Usos from Smackdown, which is one of the biggest gets of the entire shake-up. The Usos are arguably the most talented tag team on the whole planet, let alone in WWE. They had been stalwarts of Smackdown for quite some time, and had taken on every single tag team that the blue brand has thrown their way.
It was about time that they received some new challenges, and I expect them to jump right into the tag team title scene. Plus, Usos-Revival? Yes please. In addition to this huge pick-up, RAW also dipped into NXT territory and called up the artists formerly known as the War Raiders to the main roster, where they immediately made an impact by pinning the tag champs Hawkins & Ryder in eight-man tag action.
The newly-named Viking Experience could almost qualify as a loser just based on that name change, but my mouth is watering at the idea of a Viking Experience-Authors of Pain clash, so we’ll keep them out of that list.
This one was a head-scratcher to me, although some people seemed to prefer El Idolo on the flagship show as opposed to Smackdown. To me, Andrade was just beginning to scratch the surface of what he was capable of on Smackdown. He had yet to capture any sort of gold, but he was far from lost in the shuffle in my eyes.
He very easily could have been Kofi Kingston’s next challenger for the WWE Championship, and I think that he’s going to have to start all over on RAW. RAW is a show overrun with heels, and if Finn Balor is bringing the IC Title to Smackdown, it stands to reason that Samoa Joe will be bringing the US strap to Monday nights, adding another heel to the mix. IT’s going to be a lot harder for Mr. Andrade to shine on RAW.
WINNER: Smackdown Women’s Division
Bayley and Ember Moon, along with Liv Morgan, Mickie James and the debuting Kairi Sane? Sign me up. Smackdown fleeced RAW in the women’s division portion of the Shake-Up, gaining a whole bunch of new talent while only surrendering Naomi to the red brand.
In addition, they’ll still have Becky Lynch sticking around for the foreseeable future, and Charlotte will remain on Tuesday nights. We’re just one Boss away from having the entire Four Horsewomen stable on one show, and while I don’t see it happening, I honestly don’t know what to expect with Sasha Banks at this point so I can’t rule it out either. Either way, this division is STACKED and going to be a whole hell of a lot of fun to watch.
LOSER: Lars Sullivan
I think the big man is more of a fit on RAW, where he could clash with the likes of Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre and other giant men. Smackdown is more of a smaller man’s show, and I don’t think the fans will be too receptive to Sullivan taking on the likes of Balor, Ali, Kevin Owens, and so forth. I think big Lars is going to slip through the cracks on Tuesday nights.
WINNER: The Fans
We’re going to get to see all sorts of exciting new clashes and matchups now, this Shake-Up actually feels like it changed a major part of the WWE scene. We’ve got AJ Styles and The Miz on RAW, Roman Reigns and Finn Balor on Smackdown, a rejuvenated RAW tag team scene and an absolutely incredible women’s roster on Smackdown. I’d say we’re all winners in this, wouldn’t you?