Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Great WWE Superstar Shakeup of 2017

A bunch of people on one of the shows you're watching are on the other show you're watching, and vice versa. Did they make things better? Worse? Who knows.
Dean Ambrose to Raw, Kevin Owens to Smackdown:

This is the laziest of all possible swaps, sending each of the lesser belts to the other show. There seems to be a condition of the upcoming Owens-Jericho match at Payback that the winner stays on Smackdown with the belt, but that's clearly gonna be Owens, so I don't know why they're bothering. They may be setting up Miz vs. Ambrose on Raw, but I hope not, because we had a bunch of that already. Owens-Styles should be great, especially if they do what it seems like they're doing and slowly turning Styles face.

Bray Wyatt to Raw, Sami Zayn to Smackdown

Moving Wyatt to Raw ensures that he'll be losing the House of Horrors title match against Orton at Payback, which is both what I expected anyway and a damn shame. Zayn on Smackdown is less interesting, because it means they'll be relying on their Owens-Zayn crutch for at least another year, and it looks like Sami's role won't change - he'll still be main-event-adjascent, with no real storyline of his own, just the guy who, for example, takes up the third slot in a #1 Contender's Triple Threat on Smackdown so that Baron Corbin doesn't have to get pinned by AJ Styles.

The Miz (and Maryse) to Raw, Rusev (and Lana) to Smackdown

This is probably a good thing for both guys for different reasons. The Miz is a guy who feuds with everyone, and he'd kind of ran through the Smackdown roster since the brand split, so it was either gonna be elevating a guy like Tye Dillinger or fighting a new guy like Nakamura. On Raw, he can feud with the Perpetual Monday Night Midcard, or just continue fighting Dean Ambrose over the IC Title like it was last fall. Rusev on Smackdown is more interesting, because Smackdown's roster is light on hosses not associated at one point or another with the Wyatts. So he just became the best big guy on the show. Will they take advantage of that? Probably not.

Sin Cara and Jinder Mahal to Smackdown, Apollo Crews, Kalisto, and Curt Hawkins to Raw

There's a slim chance something might happen with Apollo Crews, but odds are this is just a jobber swap. Unless they put Kalisto with the Cruisers.

Slater/Rhyno to Raw, Shining Stars and New Day to Smackdown

The tag situation on Raw is... weird. The addition of The Hardys and The Revival have upped the count so that losing The New Day and the Shining Jobbers isn't a big hit, but Slater and Rhyno are just gonna be the jobber team on Monday and we're still, somehow, left with The Revival and The Clerb on the same roster. So essentially four real teams and two joke teams.

The Shining Stars tried to be all edgy on Smackdown, wearing jeans and bein' mean, but that's not enough to erase the past... two years? With the Vaudevillains gone, that leaves the Smackdown tag ranks at Alpha, the Usos, New Day, The Ascension, and the Shining Stars - three real teams and two joke teams. I think Smackdown got the ass end of the deal here. I expect New Day to feud with Usos over the titles while Alpha fart around with the Shining Stars thanks to their post-match attack this week.

Charlotte and Tamina to Smackdown, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James to Raw

This is basically a wash. I mean, since Tamina is returning, technically this is a net +1 to the Raw women's roster, and no change in numbers for Smackdown. It'll mix up the matchups a bit, which was needed badly on both shows, at least.

Overall, I don't think either show solved any real problems with the shakeup, As you can see from the very easy pairings I was able to make, both shows lost and gained pretty much the same things.

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