NoDQ.com > Columns > Jay's Ways - WWE Superstar Shakeup Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 04/13/2017 at 08:21 AM
"I honestly think that you are so good (different) at how you approach columns. I know some people take compliments lightly and such, but honestly, you should be a very proud man. Boatloads of people including me, read your columns ALL THE TIME. Me personally, I wake up every morning, and before I go to school, I read your column (I'm 16). Also, your consistency with your columns is amazing, just from reading them so much, I almost feel like I know your thought process (not that I do). So with all of that out of the way, thank you."
- Sean, wrestling fan
Okay, I wrote two WrestleMania 33 previews, an NXT Takeover preview, ranked every Shawn Michaels/WM match, did my monthly reader feedback column, discussed the new WWE Network numbers, posted a few different things on my time in Orlando last weekend, and I just covered the Superstar Shakeup as well as all the current champions in WWE.
That was just in the past two weeks or so!
Never tell me I don't provide content for all of you goons. Love it or hate it, you know you will always get SOMETHING out of yours truly when it pertains to the wacky world of professional wrestling. Today, the balls keeps rolling. With RAW and Smackdown LIVE now hosting new rosters, let's take a look at how the shake up...shook out.
Byron Saxton - Don't really care. I probably would have not even noticed if the move was not made public. WWE loves their three man commentary teams (for whatever reason), so it is just a change for the sake of a change to prove everybody was eligible. Hope he enjoys his broadcast partners.
Tamina Snuka - I was live in the arena for her one big shot at the Womens Championship. The match was a dud, and nobody cared. That was over five years ago. The last thing I remember about her before the injury was that dreadful Tough Enough appearance in 2015. Remember that show? Yeah. Hopefully, Tamina has improved since getting hurt and can make a connection with the live crowd. Way too many talented women in the company right now to lag behind.
The Shining Stars - Yikes. If Smackdown LIVE is truly the land of opportunity, then these two will excel. I figured the tag divisions on both brands would get a reset. Let's see how this goes before completely dumping on it.
Jinder Mahal - Showed up and lost to Mojo Rawley. Not a promising start. Where I will give Jinder props is he was great on Talking Smack after the show. Go to the WWE Network and watch his quick appearance. There is potential folks; WWE had to have brought him back for a reason.
Sin Cara - Eh, I think the Sin Cara gimmick is all but done. Not a lot of value left in the 'name.' He has not been doing much on Raw anyways, so just flipping him to Smackdown seems weird. Either he is being cut (as has been rumored in the past) OR there are plans on the blue brand for him.
Rusev - Okay, this is one that we should have seen coming. Good ol' hindsight! Looking back, it was kinda obvious. Injured and no longer a big player on the red brand, a move to Tuesday nights made sense. Rusev has a very good shot at moving up the card when he returns - something that just wasn't going to happen on Raw.
Lana - Well, she got her own announcement. Maybe the squared circle is calling her name? Not a full break from Rusev but just some matches here and there would be interesting. Feel free to show us what you got Lana.
Sami Zayn - Probably should have happened last July after his memorable blowoff match at WWE Battleground against Kevin Owens. It never happened, and nearly a full year has gone by with Zayn feuding with Owens (randomly wrestling on television is more accurate) and getting beat up by Braun Strowman. It was time for the underdog to find new opponents. Land of opportunity indeed. Like Rusev, this should be a beneficial switch.
The New Day - Yep. I predicted this one, the United States Championship flipping with the IC Championship, as well as Charlotte to Smackdown LIVE. The New Day did all they could on Raw. The trio has done nothing since losing the tag team titles four months ago. I am fine with them going to a new show. Now please freshen up the act.
Charlotte - Perhaps the biggest move. Maybe even bigger than Kevin Owens. Charlotte brings a lot to the table and was one of my first predictions of the Superstar Shakeup. Lost three straight bouts. Clearly, WWE had her set for other things. I am a big fan of this decision. Wooo!!!
Kevin Owens - He brings the US Title with him, assuming his victory over Chris Jericho at Payback is the endgame for their feud. Not too happy with Owens and Zayn being on the same show (again!), but they are destined to fight forever, right? Guess they weren't lying. KO benefited greatly in 2016 from the WWE Draft (and Finn Balor getting hurt). No reason 2017 shouldn't be any different with him consistently near or at the main event level all year.
Summary: There was no "major name" that moved. However, don't cry too much. Smackdown surprisingly kept AJ Styles, just brought in Shinsuke Nakamura, still have The New Day and Rusev to show up, and John Cena is still on the roster! Oh, and WWE Champion Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Tye Dillinger, American Alpha, The Usos, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Daniel Bryan, and Shane McMahon are all staying put. When you think of it that way, the show is more than capable of keeping up its' strong quality. While it appears RAW 'won' the initial shakeup, I don't know...
David Otunga - Back on Monday nights. I actually enjoy his commentary unlike others. No issues whatsoever.
Elias Samson - Up from NXT apparently. The man is called The Drifter for a reason. Would be awesome if he just kinda walked around for weeks and weeks and weeks. I'm curious to see if his shtick connects with the audience or not. Definitely a heel right now.
Curt Hawkins - Face the facts: I don't care.
Heath Slater/Rhyno - WWE teased former tag champs were coming to Raw, and there you go! Not who I had in mind, haha. I actually would have loved seeing Rhyno on his own again here. The pairing with Slater was fun back in the summer. However, we have long stopped laughing. Lower end tag team.
Apollo Crews - As much as Smackdown Live called itself the land of opportunity, that was not the case with Apollo Crews. He and American Alpha really got the short end of the stick. Raw may not seem ideal for a spot to showcase Crews. We'll see. Too much talent NOT to be on television. Whether that is Raw, Smackdown, or yes, NXT...
Kalisto - Probably should have been on Raw during the 2016 WWE Draft. Cruiserweight division appears in his future.
Alexa Bliss - Expected this one. Like Charlotte, it made all the sense in the world. Kudos to WWE for flipping the top two heels in the womens divisions. Right move 100% without a doubt. She has done a marvelous job grabbing that brass ring. Now step it up even MORE every Monday night.
Mickie James - While most of us suspected Bliss, I doubt many saw this coming. Mickie to Raw was a stunner but quite fitting. I'd pair her with Bayley and keep them both faces for a long time. If Mickie starts to get stale (again?), you can always turn her heel on the lovable hugger. Easy solution there.
The Miz/Maryse - A fairly shocking way to start the Superstar Shakeup. When John Cena's music initially hit to begin Raw, I thought "No way!" I was getting flashbacks to 2005. About a second later, I realized it was going to be The Miz and Maryse. Truthfully, I worry about their departure from Smackdown Live. The act fit so well, and his never ending bickering with Daniel Bryan was always a fun back story you could go back to at anytime. Now? He is kinda 'stuck' where he is, rather than a clear shot to the main event scene. Losing to a soon-to-be-departing- Sami Zayn didn't help my worries either. Plus, the tease of a Shinsuke Nakamura match last week on Smackdown got me interested. Same with any potential payoff to the mocking of John Cena - he isn't on Raw. All in the rear view now. If there was one disappointing and confusing move in the Superstar Shakeup, it is moving The Miz and Maryse away from the blue brand.
Bray Wyatt - One of my wildcards in this whole deal. The man went from a first time WWE Champion at Elimination Chamber and sitting on top of the world to rubbing dirt on his face, not wrestling at all, and being a complete afterthought on the Road to WM. All in a matter of a few weeks. The loss to Randy Orton at Mania was fine...but it was just the entire build and journey there. He was done on Smackdown. Done as in DONE! There was no salvaging the feud or his current in-fighting with The Wyatt Family. Move him to Raw and allow yet another reboot of his character a chance to shine.
Dean Ambrose - Yeah, US Title for IC Title. Smart move. Sucks for Renee Young but does NOT suck for fans of The Shield. All three are back on the same brand, and you know a reunion (then turn) is on the horizon. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose back together for a six man tag team match is worthy of main eventing a pay-per-view this summer. Just a six man tag. Yes, that would close a Raw WWE Network special. Not like Brock Lesnar and the Universal Title would will be on every show, right? That is where I would do the long awaited Ambrose heel turn. Get the band back together for a few weeks. Maybe a month...then BOOM! Ambrose becomes the lunatic we all know and love by attacking his best friends. Fans have been wanting the guy to be a heel for so long. I think it may be coming...
Summary: RAW definitely got the bigger names. Nobody can deny that. Like all things in WWE though, it comes down to presentation. You can have all the stars in the world, but if the writing and in-ring product stinks, it only helps so much. Luckily, the shows have not been THAT bad as of late. All in all, good moves for both brands with some questionable/pointless decisions sprinkled in between. In a year or so, it will be fun to re-visit this night to see who stepped up and proved us all wrong and who didn't.
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