Craig Wilson, Russ Morgan, Brian Damage and Benjamin Trecroci
So the WWE’s Superstar Shake-up is in the bag with a dozen or so switching from raw to Smackdown and vice versa. Today’s Sunday Sermon looks back and see what impact these changes will make to each programme.
Craig: Whilst it was nothing like a full draft, I have to say that more superstars switched than I had expected.
It also creates new programmes, several of which excited me. Bray Wyatt seems to be heading into a programme with Finn Balor while on a Tuesday Kevin Owens looks set to feud with AJ Styles. Through in Charlotte giving the smackdown women’s division a shot in the arm then there’s a lot to be positive about going forward.
What does everyone else think? Good job or bad? And with so many changes for we anticipate no further draft changes this year?
Russ: Agreed, I thought there would be 3 or 4 traded onto each show maximum. Having the World Title and US Title on Smackdown means there is little on RAW. I don’t expect Lesnar to be a fighting champion, to be honest, and the IC Title means very little.
Craig: Interesting, so you think that Raw has been weakened? I think that one of the hottest acts to be involved in the shake-up was the Miz and now he’s on Raw. He’s really one of the few swaps, along with say Kevin Owens, who hasn’t been switched to give them a shot in the arm. Plus, for me, The Miz has been one of the best acts on WWE TV for a while.
Sticking with The Miz, the opening segment on Raw this week showcased just how badly the WWE have dropped the ball with the guy that appeared opposite him: Dean Ambrose. Mis-booked for what now seems like an eternity, I had hoped that as well as moving him they would ditch the comedian shtick. Alas, no. Whilst I can see your point, Russ, here’s hoping that gold doesn’t stay around his waist for much longer.
Russ: For me, the strongest trades were regarding the Divas. Charlotte to Smackdown is great as we can finally put the Bailey thing to bed. The swap with Alexa Bliss will freshen it up greatly. Kevin Owens is a nice touch as he has pretty much done all he can on Raw. With regards to Lesnar, I have a feeling he may hold the Universal Title for quite a while yet…
Brian: I think the Miz coming to Raw will actually kill the momentum he had built on Smackdown. The Miz no longer has Daniel Bryan to work off of which helped him greatly. The Miz will still be the Miz…but where can he get that nuclear heat off of now? Alexa Bliss on Raw I can deal with. I think working with the likes of Bayley and Sasha Banks can only help her in ring skills improve.
Apollo Crews back to Raw? Really? He never did a thing on Smackdown…he needs a total character reboot. Kalisto to Raw makes sense because now he can compete in the Cruiserweight division. I did not like Bray going to Raw because I was actually hoping for another run with the WWE title. Although a feud with Finn Balor does seem intriguing. Dean Ambrose belongs on Raw…he is the ultimate anti-hero right now that can be a thorn in the side of Stephanie McMahon when she eventually returns.
He also holds the most important title on the Raw brand right now…the IC title. Let’s face it, the Universal belt will be staying with Brock Lesnar probably until Wrestlemania 34…when he will face off against Roman Reigns. Therefore, the Universal title will be more or less non-existent until that time to appease Lesnar’s part-time status.
Craig: I agree with your assessment on Ambrose, Brian. But I do hope he ditches the comedic act. I also have sympathy with your position on The Miz. I do hope they find something for him other than continuing to win and then lose the IC title.
Speaking from the biased position of having tickets for the Glasgow Smackdown house show next month, and without wanting to sound too much like Corey Graves, I’m glad the Queen is on Smackdown! There was nothing left for her on Raw and I’m intrigued to see a programme with Becky Lynch et all. Let’s face it, it’ll be Charlotte that ends Naomi’s reign, right?
Agree re Crews. Same goes with Shining Stars. They should have been traded to NXT not to the other main show. But what can you do.
Benjamin: Definitely agree that The Miz and Maryse are likely taking a step down. Daniel Bryan and Miz seemed to have some legitimate beef or at least played it on Talking Smack. Don’t see exactly who he will be able to go up against like that on Raw. Angle?
The whole Superstar Shakeup didn’t make much sense, as far execution goes. They didn’t explain why or how someone switched shows. But hey let’s not get carried away.
Ambrose to Raw is interesting as it does bring all three Shield members on the same show so there’s that possibility always looming. While he is “crazy” he needs to tone down the comedy a bit as it comes off real juvenile at times.
Rusev and Lana moving to SD is a great move but he needs to come out on fire and could lead into a number of feuds with anyone there. Just wondering if he’ll be a comedy act or the bruising heel he should be.
Crews to Raw shows that nobody knows about who is and they really need to reintroduce him. He’s not a good talker so SD was a better show for him to just wrestle. He could become the next Titus O’Neil. Tons of talent, no story or character.
Feel really bad for Bray Wyatt. He went from holding the championship and being one of the the main guys on SD to now going back to Raw spewing his usual spooky nonsense. Huge fan of his but this is not the way to go for him…Right now. Hoping he becomes a Champion real soon again.
Brian: It’s obvious that the WWE wants to make Charlotte the female version of, well, her Dad. So I am sure it won’t be long until Charlotte wins the Smackdown Women’s championship. I am actually okay with that.
I am not sure I get the whole Lana gimmick. Is she going to be the female version of Fandango now? Here’s a thought…while Rusev is sidelined with that shoulder injury, have Lana manage Breezedango. That could be a lot of fun and perhaps give that entertaining tag team the exposure it deserves.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.