by Erin Dick
As the dust settles on the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All’, there are questions that remain. Since the reintroduction of the WWE Draft last year, we’ve seen some notable changes that have impacted the company and its respective brands across a spectrum of outcomes. However, on last week’s episode of Raw, Vince McMahon announced there would be a “Superstar Shake-up”? What could this shake-up possibly bring? Is this Raw’s chance to redeem itself in the eyes of fans? Can SmackDown handle the heat, or will it possibly lose its major draws? Here’s just some of our picks and predictions at VultureHound.
Steph’s Picks –
Sami Zayn to SmackDown: He deserves way more than Raw have given him. Not only is he a gifted wrestler, but he was the heart and soul of NXT, a complete fan favourite. His matches against Kevin Owens are some of the best of 2016. He would be an amazing competitor for the Intercontinental Championship or WWE title and bring something fresh to the blue show.
AJ Styles to Raw: Styles would be perfect on Raw. In fact, he would be perfect everywhere. He needs feuds that live up to his dream match potential. Bringing Styles to Raw just to rebuild the Club would be useless. But bringing him to challenge for the Universal Championship against guys like Reigns, Rollins, Owens, Balor, and more, would really help the red brand to rediscover its lost glory.
Becky Lynch to Raw: I’d love to witness the Four Horsewomen fight for the same belt on the main roster.
Bradley’s Picks –
AJ Styles to Raw: After beating down his SmackDown GM, the Phenomenal One is sent packing to the red brand. Linking up with the Club once again, for one night during the “Superstar Shake-up”, it would be great to see the trio take on the Hardyz. The extreme pair, at a numbers disadvantage enlists the help of Seth Rollins to even up the teams…
Seth Rollins, Gallows and Anderson to SmackDown: …Then, having also been beaten down by an employee, Triple H would make the executive decision to send Rollins to SmackDown along with Gallows and Anderson. The Game, believing Styles not to be trusted with his boys around and he and Rollins not seeing eye-to-eye, says that this is “best for business”.
Jack Gallagher to SmackDown: I believe Jack Gallagher could achieve glory in SmackDown’s tag team division. It’s no secret that the duos on the blue brand could do with better booking. So, what better way to start than by turning a recently divorced Aiden English babyface to partner a fellow man of the past in Jack Gallagher? This could all start by English appearing on SmackDown to state that he feels lost without Simon Gotch. Then in steps Jack Gallagher, parting ways with his umbrella, to offer his gentlemanly assistance for the pair to then go on and help re-build the SmackDown tag team division.
Jay’s Picks –
Roman Reigns to SmackDown: Despite WWE’s attempt to make him the main attraction in the company, the fans are yet to embrace Reigns. SmackDown Live has been the darling show in the fans eyes since the draft. What better way to turn Reigns heel than sending him over to the more popular brand? Time on SmackDown would allow Reigns to have a fresh start and become a top heel for the company. WWE will hope that Reigns can become a cool heel (Like his cousin The Rock) with the plan that down the road fans will finally embrace him, send him back to Raw and make him the main star Vince has wanted. For now, however, a trip over to SmackDown is the best move for Roman Reigns.
AJ Styles to Raw: The Phenomenal One has not only been the best wrestler on SmackDown Live but in all of WWE throughout 2016. With him having faced Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, it seems likely that Styles time on SmackDown will be coming to an end. A move to Raw would put the top star in the company on the ‘flagship show’, which is where he would belong. A move to Monday Nights would also reunite Styles with his Club stable mates Gallows and Anderson and could set up the long-awaited matchup between the two former leaders of Bullet Club, Styles and Finn Balor.
Nicholas’ Picks –
Tag Team Shake-Up: SmackDown is heralded as “The Land of Opportunity” and Alpha has been able to prosper because of this, whereas Enzo & Cass are on Raw, with an incredibly deep tag team division. Enzo & Cass are long overdue to win a tag team championship. They were not the champions in NXT, and with the Hardyz, The Revival, New Day, and others on Raw, it’s hard to imagine they will ever get the opportunity there. To add to this theory, Kurt Angle is said to be very high on American Alpha and in return, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have also expressed interest in working with Kurt in some capacity. More opportunities to see Revival/Alpha do battle is enough to make anyone agree that this move is a good idea for both parties.
The defection of the New Day would be a wild card, but could provide a chance to thin out the herd on Raw, and in turn, strengthen the SmackDown tag team division by sending in a team that is more than a legitimate threat to the titles. The New Day haven’t been the focal point of the tag team division since losing their crowns to Sheamus and Cesaro, and its high time to either split them up or give them a fresh start and this is a grand opportunity to give the New Day another year of shelf life.
Mat’s Picks –
Gallows & Anderson to SmackDown: Two brands need two distinct feels, to be visibly and stylistically different from one another, otherwise there’s nothing to justify the separation. Sending Gallows and Anderson to the blue brand to ally with AJ Styles would serve as a declaration that it was moving in a more contemporary direction, with international talent. Sending them whilst still Raw Tag Champions, would also make the move a big deal and lend credence to the idea that there’s a genuine rivalry between the two brands, and counter the notion that SD is just a palette swap of Raw.
Elliot’s Picks –
Randy Orton to Raw: Once this whole Wyatt Family implosion storyline is over, I want Randy “The Charisma Vacuum” Orton right the hell away from the smark’s show. SmackDown has cultivated a great, Internet pleasing reputation for itself and it has proven that it doesn’t need too many faces of yesteryear around. Take that cheap-popping casual shit to Raw.