This past Monday, thanks to the superstar shakeup, Raw got an influx of new talent from Smackdown. While it was interesting to see who switched, the biggest question left in fans minds was “Who will Smackdown get from Raw?”. This past Tuesday we figured out as the following Raw superstars moved to Smackdown.
Kevin Owens – Owens has been one of the best parts of WWE since he debuted almost two years ago. He has held a championship more often than not over his run. When on Raw Owens held the WWE Universal Championship for over six months and then captured the United States Championship from his former friend Chris Jericho earlier this month at Wrestlemania. With this win, it proved that Owens had done everything he could on Raw. By switching to Smackdown, Owens helps elevate a show that already has a stacked roster including WWE Champion Randy Orton, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura. After winning a triple threat match Styles became the next challenger to the US title after Jericho’s rematch against Owens. A potential feud between Owens and Styles could be the highlight of Smackdown going into the summer.
Sami Zayn – Zayn had a very lackluster run after being drafted to Raw this past summer. Even though he beat Kevin Owens in one of the best matches in WWE last year he was put on the pre show at Summerslam the next month. From there Zayn would be beat by Owens and Jericho during the fall many times on Raw. Zayn was portrayed as the underdog from the underground he never got a major win to prove he was more than that. Over the winter Zayn entered a feud with the WWE’s new favorite monster Braun Strowman in which he was thrown around and destroyed. Zayn was even a nobody in the pre-show battle royal at Wrestlemania. By moving to Smackdown, Zayn has a new chance to prove that he can be star in WWE on show with a thin roster.
Jinder Mahal– Out of all of he former employees WWE brought back Mahal was one of the most questionable. He was nothing special when in WWE and did not improve much while away. While on Raw Mahal was nothing but a low card loser. That is why when the pre show battle royal took place at Wrestlemania it was surprising that Mahal was one of the final wrestlers in the match. During the match, he threw a drink at Patriots player Rob Gronkowski who happens to be ,Smackdown superstar, Mojo Rawley’s friend. Gronk then hit Mahal and helped Rawley win. It seems that Rawley and Mahal will feud from here but for the sake of the viewers hopefully it does not last long.
Charlotte Flair– Charlotte has been the most dominant woman in WWE over the last year. She is currently a five time Woman’s champion with four of those reigns coming against Sasha Banks this past fall. As the daughter 16 time world champion Ric Flair her success is not a surprise. Charlotte dominated the Raw women’s division and her switch to Smackdown is easily the biggest move of the entire superstar shakeup. The addition of her to the Smackdown women’s division gives the whole division a greater deal of credibility. The potential matches Charlotte can have with Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi, Becky Lynch, and Natalya will make this division possible better than Raw’s.
Tamina– The daughter of the late Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been around WWE for many years but she has been very forgettable. Even though she is one of the bigger women on the roster she has been stuck as a bodyguard for AJ Lee or in a group with Sasha Banks and Naomi. Tamina has been out with an injury for many months so this new start for her can be very advantageous. With the quality of women on Smackdown Tamina can final have a breakout match that will make people finally remember her.
The Shining Stars –It is shocking that Primo and Epico have been in the WWE for almost a decade. While they have had many different characters they have never really amounted to much. When they were dressed as matadors their mascot, a midget in a bull suit, was more popular than them. While on Raw, now as, The Shining Stars they rarely appeared on television and only did in losing efforts. With a very small tag team division on Smackdown they have a chance to shine. Their attack on former champs American Alpha will allow them to start off by having great tag team matches.
Sin Cara- When drafted to Raw Sin Cara did nothing until the cruiserweight division came around in September. When he was moved to the cruiserweight division he went on to do nothing of note yet again. If Sin Cara’s former tag team partner Kalisto proved anything it is that there is no room for luchadors on Smackdown.
Lana – It is interesting that Lana was presented by herself and not with her husband Rusev. It has been obvious that WWE has always had high hopes for her with her stunning looks. They had previously split her from Rusev but it ended up horribly and the couple was put back together. With Rusev injured it seems that Lana will finally have the spotlight all to herself. The real question is if she will finally be an in ring competitor or just eye candy.
Rusev- Rusev has been a highlight of WWE over the past few years but his run on Raw was disappointing. After losing the US title to Roman Reigns in October he was stuck in comedy feud with Enzo Amore and Big Cass. This feud did nothing to help him and the last time we saw Rusev he was destroyed by Big Show at Fastlane in March. He is currently out with a shoulder injury but when Rusev returns Smackdown will change. What will be the dynamic between Rusev and Lana upon his return? Who will he target upon returning? With a roster of great talent Rusev can help reestablish himself as a top guy again.
New Day– The New Day has been an immensely popular act in WWE. They broke the record for longest WWE Tag Team title reign in history all while being wildly entertaining. However, after losing the titles in December the New Day has been lost. They were not in title contention and they had already beaten every team anyways. For Wrestlemania the New Day did not even have a match on the show. Instead they were slotted as the hosts of Wrestlemania. After the Revival debuted the next night and injured Kofi Kingston it was clear the New Day were at a low point. With this change of scenery the New Day can help bolster a tag team division that has been almost nonexistent. The potential matches with the Usos and American Alpha could final get this division some television time.
When looking at how the superstar shakeup played out it is clear to see that Smackdown got the better end of the deal. When the original draft took place this roster was so thin. Now with the influx of former Raw superstars Smackdown may now give Raw a run for its money.