Jay's Ways - Superstar Shakeup Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/20/2018 at 03:09 PM
“I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.
That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemania was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.
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New 411mania.com Column
I wrote about everything I did NOT like about WWE WrestleMania 34 two days ago. Last week was my basic WM34 review. This week, I took a look at the other side. It is pretty interesting - only on 411mania.com now!
Superstar Shakeup Review
Jinder Mahal to RAW - An obvious move and one that many predicted. His run on Smackdown LIVE has been discussed a million times already. He needed to get off the blue brand and start fresh.
Riott Squad to RAW - Might as well. Not doing a whole heck of a lot on Smackdown LIVE. With Paige now being General Manager of the Tuesday night show, it made sense to flip the new female heel stables.
Kevin Owens to RAW - If you have been reading my columns for the past year or follow me on Twitter, this move shouldn't shock you.
As I exclusively noted last year, KO was originally pegged for SD Live in WWE Draft. He vetoed it. Got moved this year. Might head back...
He wanted to be on Raw from the get go. Has to be happy now.
Sami Zayn to RAW - I am separating them because I hope they do break up sometime soon. If they are just there to replace The Miztourage as the heels that get beat up every week, no thanks.
Zack Ryder to RAW - Never been much of a fan. I will say this though. If WWE wants to take somebody and give them a new/fresh look, going with Ryder is not THAT bad of a choice. Considering last year was the Jinder Mahal Experiment, it can't go much worse than that.
Fandango/Tyler Breeze to RAW - These two are being lumped together because they're a tag team. Just an under card act that stopped being funny a long time ago. Meh.
Natalya to RAW - If you follow me on Twitter, you knew this was coming. It had been in the works for awhile now. I never am real comfortable 'reporting' news, but this one was a lock. If it had to do with Ronda Rousey or not, I have no clue. It would make sense though. Nobody better to learn from right now for the Rowdy One.
This has been talked about for awhile. Makes sense to me. I'll say it:
Dolph Ziggler to RAW - Whatever. The only reason he has a chance of being relevant is due to his apparent friendship with the next man.
Drew McIntyre to RAW - BOOM! I had long suspected his time in NXT was over once he got injured. No real reason to go back. Not every single guy/girl has to have a "proper" farewell before moving to the main roster. Same with Ember Moon. She was done. Just move on. Drew is a stud and is primed to be a top heel fairly quickly - with or without Ziggler...
Baron Corbin to RAW - Yeah. He has fought a lot of guys on Smackdown LIVE in the past two years. New scenario will do him good. A heel's heel for the red brand.
The Ascension to RAW - Like Breezango, this is just another tag team to add for depth. No major shakeup here.
Bobby Roode to RAW - Yep, I wrote about the entire United States Championship division from WM34 needing a reboot. Roode was one of those guys. I immediately sniffed him out as the mystery reveal to close out Monday. Making his "Raw debut" narrowed the list down, so I got it. Big fan of this decision.
Mojo Rawley to RAW - Well, he is RAWley, right? I wonder if he just picks up his story line with Ryder or if that is done. We'll see how this pans out in the future.
Mike Kanellis to RAW - No Maria? Uh oh. Maybe he can form a tag team with Curt Hawkins and win a match?
Chad Gable to RAW - I predicted he would move to Raw with Shelton Benjamin. Them breaking up...kinda makes sense. Shelton has always been the perfect mid-card act to wrestle 10-15 matches on television each week. Same with being in random tag teams. That is what made him so cool. He could do whatever is asked. Gable on his own? Time will tell. Perhaps Jason Jordan is waiting for him...
RAW SUMMARY: I would have loved to see a new face female join Raw, but Nia Jax, Ember Moon, and Ronda Rousey will have to suffice for the time being. Who knows what is going on with Bayley and Sasha Banks? Surprised both of them are staying on the same brand. Besides that, Raw got a lot of nice acts but nothing that jumped off the page. That means opportunity.
Jeff Hardy to SDLive - Another move that I knew was coming. The WOKEN thing can continue on Raw. Jeff shines better on his own and especially on the blue brand. He won the United States Title, so the belts are all evened out. Good start.
Keep him far away from the #WOKEN tandem. Big run in 2008 and 2009. My next prediction...
Absolution to SDLive - As noted above, it was inevitable once Paige became the boss of Smackdown LIVE. Just change the heel stables around. I doubt it leads to anything though.
Samoa Joe to SDLive - Since last year, I was predicting Braun Strowman would be the big man to leave Raw. I was wrong. It was Samoa Joe! Using 20/20 hindsight, you could see that his Backlash match against Roman Reigns was not the continuation of an old rivalry but rather the end. A final clash with the Big Dog. Now it all adds up. High hopes for Joe on SDLive. He has many dream match opponents from Shinsuke Nakamura to Daniel Bryan to AJ Styles to Jeff Hardy to The Bar to many more...
Big Cass to SDLive - Interesting. I imagine WWE will ride with him for a little bit as an upper mid-card heel. Then we can all check out his progress summer time.
Asuka to SDLive - Oh yeah! I thought she might switch with Charlotte. Instead, they are now on the same brand. That is fine but also ironic following WrestleMania 34. Asuka has wiped the floor with the entire Raw women's division. Now it is Smackdown's turn. I am a huge fan of this. Her and Charlotte are kept away from Ronda Rousey until the time is right for them to do battle.
The Club to SDLive - No Finn Balor. Really, that is the takeaway here. The Club on their own...nobody cares. With Balor, fans care.
The Bar to SDLive - Another move that was easy to predict. They have done it all on Raw. As I wrote in my last column, this opens the door for new tag feuds but also solo feuds. Sheamus and Cesaro will have to remain their single's careers again eventually. I am ready for that to happen. They can lose and finish their Raw business next Friday at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
R-Truth to SDLive - If No Way Jose is on Raw, then Truth can be on Smackdown Live. They are simply a fun opening match act that gets the crowd hyped up. If WWE does want to give him a renewed push though, they know he is a well respected veteran and more than capable. Win-win.
The Miz to SDLive - He never should have moved last year. I think most recognize that 12 months after the fact. Miz was on fire in 2016 and 2017. It's a shame he just spent the last year back in the IC Title picture, something he has done a million times. Give him more to do. A hot/intense feud with Daniel Bryan is great for the blue brand.
Andrade Almas/Zelina Vega to SDLive - Unlike Moon and McIntyre, I would have preferred to see these two stick around in NXT for a little bit longer. However, if you saw the WWE Network show on Wednesday, you will know that they were basically written out anyways. Almas has improved a bunch since his dull beginning, and the addition of Vega has been outstanding. Very much an Edge/Lita like pairing. Keep an eye out for these two.
Sanity to SDLive - Another NXT act that has been rumored for a call up since late last year. About time! I know folks are upset with NIkki Cross not coming up too, but that is fine. Remember Carmella didn't join Big Cass and Enzo in WWE either right away. She was called to the main roster on her own and benefited a bunch. Cross has more to do - on her own. If she joins the group down the road, fine...but I like her potential as a stand alone act. Sanity did okay in NXT; I am curious to watch it translate on the bigger stage.
SDLIVE SUMMARY: It will take months to call one brand a 'winner' in the Superstar Shakeup. On the surface though, Smackdown Live is the front runner by a mile. Joe and Hardy are such big moves. Same with Miz and The Bar. Adding in Asuka and Almas are just the icing on the cake. Potential is HUGE for all of them.