So it’s the Superstar Shakeup on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Or at least I think it is, the WWE have been so vague, they’ve barely mentioned it, apart from every two minutes during every ad break. I swear that if one of the commentary team doesn’t say it for 5 minutes, then a button is pressed in production and the advert is played once more.
In light of the Shakeup I’m going to speculate who could move, and for this I’ve come up with three superstars from each of Smackdown and Raw, to exchange to the other brand. Tag teams are treated as individuals, so I can’t be tricky with that, and as the commentary teams have been at pains to state, teams could be broken up.
Mojo Rawley to Raw
He’s been largely anonymous – he won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal last year (I genuinely have to remind myself of that on occasion) – and I know Raw isn’t the best place for someone to remove themselves from anonymity. However, Mojo RAW-ley (see what I did there?) could be an excellent way of highlighting him similar to Seth Rollins’ Monday Night Rollins. They could feud over who really is the best on Mondays, which would give Mojo an excellent learning tree to sit under, especially as it looks like Samoa Joe is entering the Intercontinental title picture. Whilst the Miz takes some time off be with his newborn, this would provide a third person for Joe and Seth to work with and against, and provide valuable experience to Mojo from two stalwarts of professional wrestling. And who wouldn’t get hyped over that? I just hope I can stay hyped.
Randy Orton to Raw
I know this pick is a bit out of nowhere (sorry). He’s a main event player, and although it’s already stacked, Randy needs a change of scenery as it is not doing him any favours being on Smackdown Live. The US title opportunities that he’s having and the matches aren’t grabbing me or exciting me. He needs something different just to get people invested in him again.
Naomi to Raw
With the news that Paige has retired from in-ring competition and is now the General Manager of Smackdown Live, there’s a need for another experienced head to join the women of Raw. For this I’m thinking Naomi. She’s won the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal and is a former Smackdown Women’s champion, so there’s plenty of pedigree and experience that she can provide. She could also help Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose develop their in-ring game. Although, I can’t see Naomi fitting into the stable of Absolution, she could certainly help them develop in a series of matches. She could also feud with Bayley for taking her Wrestlemania MomentTM away from her.
Cesaro to SmackDown Live
As much as I’ll miss the Bar and their ‘amazing’ Bar-related jokes, a change might suit him. He has massive potential as a singles star, which I feel has gone untapped at times. He is a superb wrestler who can use his amazing power or his technical ability to mesh with anyone. The match-ups I’m imagining are stupendous, Cesaro versus the likes of AJ or Shinsuke would be almost like a license to print money. He could try and recapture the US title after it’s spent so long away from him, the last time he held it was in 2012. Also, anything that can re-energise that title would be good, as it feels a little stagnant.
I do worry about the Bar, but Sheamus will figure out his own path. He’s been solid as a singles star for some time so it wouldn’t be destructive to be without him, plus he’s been around long enough and had plenty of accolades that to beat Sheamus would be a real show of achievement.
Sasha Banks to SmackDown Live
The tension between Bayley and Banks continues to grow, and what better to increase the tension, than to keep them away from each other? They could start badmouthing one another with no fear of reprisal, as the other one isn’t there to strike back. The WWE could slowly ratchet up the malcontent and have Sasha cost Bayley victories by randomly showing up to interfere in her matches, à la Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton in the run up to SummerSlam 2016. The blow-off for this feud, as it didn’t happen at ‘Mania, has to happen at SummerSlam. No title on the line, but huge bragging rights and I want this to be the main event in Brooklyn.
Finn Balor to SmackDown Live
My final pick and potentially biggest prediction is The Demon King to the Blue brand. I admit that this takes him away from Gallows and Anderson, but the WWE has had long enough to pull the trigger on reuniting the bullet club (pun thoroughly intended, sorry). His current placement on Raw is stacked full of talent and there’s the risk that he could be lost in the shuffle somewhat. By going across to Smackdown Live, it could reinvigorate him and he could take the WWE championship from AJ Styles. Another advantage of this switch is he could have amazing matches against Shinsuke, AJ and Daniel Bryan and those matches would be crazy and super hard hitting, reminding the world of the Japanese wrestling style that made Finn such a prestigious name.