Who moved brands in the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-Up?
WWE spectators are living in the aftermath of WrestleMania 34, which tends to be an exciting time of year when there are returns and movers in the Draft, which is being referred to as the Superstar Shake-Up. The Hype Train takes a look at who moved brands from RAW, SmackDown, who got called up to NXT, and who stayed put on their respective shows. All aboard.
WWE Draft 2018: Monday Night RAW
Who joined RAW?:
Bobby Roode: Like many other NXT call-ups in recent years, Bobby Roode hasn't been used properly, so hopefully a shift in brands can help Roode shine, but with so much stacked talent on the red brand, it's looking unlikely.
Jinder Mahal: Jinder's probably going to win the Universal Championship, and everybody will hate it, especially for the audience who love that so many people will hate it.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: We knew it was happening, and perhaps for the best that they will fill Miz's bouts as a workhorse on Monday nights, annoying the GM, Kurt Angle.
Dolph Ziggler: We highly rate Dolph Ziggler here, but aren't too fond of how they've booked Ziggles this year. Stupid return at the Rumble, underutilised against on SmackDown, hopefully a potential team with Drew McIntyre can give Ziggler the steam he needs to have another good run in the company.
Natalya: We guess that Nattie's been moved over on RAW to help transition and protect Ronda Rousey in the ring, and to potentially train her behind the scenes for a supposed big-money match against Charlotte at WrestleMania next year.
Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott): It makes sense that they would trade identical factions with RAW and SmackDown.
Breezango (Fandango, Tyler Breeze): With the loss of a few tag teams, Breezango have been given a promotion and look set to be featured more on weekly WWE shows going forward.
The Ascension: You couldn't move Breezango without their sidekicks coming along for the ride.
Mike Kanellis: Just to pad out the roster and give some bigger stars an easy win on RAW. We can't see Mike being the next Jinder Mahal and winning the Universal Championship this year.
Zack Ryder: See above.
Baron Corbin: Unfortunately Baron will still be on our television sets, with RAW constantly reminding us that they completely ruined Corbin last year.
Chad Gable: Shelton Benjamin's sorry not sorry to see the back of his former tag partner, and why would he be? Their experiment on SmackDown failed.
Mojo Rawley: The deeper we get into this list, the less we care about the guys positioned here, and Mojo is rock bottom.
Who stayed on RAW?:
Titus Worldwide (Titus O'Neil, Apollo Crew, Dana Brooke)
The Miztourage (Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel)
The Revival (Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder)
Dean Ambrose (currently injured)
Jason Jordan (currently injured)
John Cena ('free agent')
Any returning Superstars or call-ups from NXT?:
Bobby Lashley (free agent): Lashley rejoined WWE after his contract with Impact Wrestling expired and will most likely be pushed as a single's star in the upper-mid card. We can't see him being 'thee' guy, but he'll have some nice matches and has massively improved on his ring work.
Drew McIntyre: Joins up with Dolph Ziggler, most likely as a heel, and have effectively replaced the workhorse team of Sheamus and Cesaro.
Authors of Pain: We're massively bummed out about AOP ditching Paul Ellering as their Manager on their first night on the RAW after WrestleMania. He offered something fresh for the tandem and we wanted to see the collective unit. Now it's just a couple of big guys with an ego. Why brake a formula that worked?
Ember Moon: With Asuka packing her bags to the blue brand, Ember's arrival plugs the gap left behind by the Japanese competitor.
No Way Jose: The most surprising call up from NXT is most likely going to sit right in the mid-card to put over guys, similar to what Tye Dillinger does on SmackDown.
WWE Draft 2018: SmackDown Live
Who joined SmackDown?:
Samoa Joe: SmackDown has Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe. How can this go wrong?
The Miz: The seeds for a long storied rivalry with Daniel Bryan look like they'll finally become reality, and personally we'd push it to Mania next year. It could be a feud of the year contender.
Asuka: Well, she's just kind of there now. Asuka needs a bit of a reboot, so no better place than SmackDown to reinvent yourself.
Jeff Hardy: The big singles push is under way, and Jeff's proven that he is still a top-draw talent for WWE. Felt like a big moment when he beat Jinder Mahal for the US Championship. Hardy even made Orton feel like an afterthought by interrupting his entrance, so that'll likely be the feud heading into the summer.
The Bar (Cesaro, Sheamus): Sheamus is crippled (have you seen the way he moves in the ring?) and unless they repackage them slightly, which SmackDown did great with The Usos, they could be a big deal on the blue brand. Getting stale right now though.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson: The Good Brother's won't be paired with AJ Styles even though they're on the same brand again, which is a darn shame. Pair them with Nakamura, that'd be gold going into the summer.
Big Cass: Cass felt like a big deal on SmackDown and has been put in a good spot. The perfect time for everyone to forget about Enzo.
Sin Cara: Wasn't he on 205 Live?
R-Truth: Shucky ducky quack quack. The immortal one is on SmackDown.
Absolution (Rose, Deville): Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were obviously traded to do Paige's bidding on SmackDown
Who stayed on SmackDown?:
John Cena ('free agent')
The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Big E)
Chris Jericho (well, technically he is on SmackDown still)
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper, Rowan)
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Any returning Superstars or call-ups from NXT?:
Paige: Her retirement was short-lived as she became the SmackDown Live GM.
The Iconics (Peyton Royce, Billie Kay): Joined to a big reception and made their presence known, essentially costing Charlotte the Women's title with Carmella cashing in after a beat-down on the champ. Hopefully booked right as the audience love the pair of them.
Andrade "Cien" Almas (w/ Zelina Vega): Involved in a 5-star match in NXT, Almas is surely going to quickly ascend the ranks on SmackDown, but we're scared he'll get the Roode treatment and be forgotten about pretty quickly.
SAnitY: Eric Young and his wrecking crew should just show up once a week to destroy wrestlers, then leave (pretty much how the Shield showed up). Nikki Cross will be a good addition to the women, which makes the jump up even sweeter.
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