For some reason, this year just felt like the WWE Superstar Shakeup had more to offer. Maybe it was due to the addition of some NXT talent, maybe it was because of the needs of each brand or maybe it was just because certain wrestlers weren’t being utilized to their proper abilities.
Whatever the reason, I went into this week feeling like some good could come out of the shakeup.
For the good, AJ Styles being moved to RAW. Styles has literally RUN THE PLACE when it comes to SmackDown and he did so so very well that he eventually ended up having little to nothing to offer other than a few selected tag team matches with various partners.He didn’t have much of a storyline at the end of the year has he ended up feuding with Randy Orton and going over at Mania. But throwing him onto the red brand is a brilliant idea in my opinion. It gives him the opportunity to really test his abilities against some top-notch wrestlers and hopefully one if his first battles will be against Drew McIntyre.
I feel like WWE has somewhat been teasing a feud between the two and McIntyre could definitely use the push.
One of the bads for me is Sami Zayn’s new identity of “I don’t care what you think.” His heel persona when he was with Kevin Owens was flawless. He showed that he didn’t care what others thought rather than promoting it at every turn. For someone who’s already proven he can play a good heel, the reinvention was unnecessary to me and feels disingenuous.
For the good, the Usos moving over to the red brand. It seems like every year RAW steals the top talent of SmackDown and then eventually leads to doing nothing with them. This year, I’m going the Usos can bolster a lackluster RAW tag team division. They’ve already proven to be a premier tag team and after dropping the belts to The Hardy Boyz, their move to Mondays was inevitable.
Another positive on the night is the aforementioned Owens. He’s just constantly proving he can get over any which way he wants. While adding him to The New Day was a stroke of brilliance, I’m just awaiting the eventual heel turn and betrayal of his newfound bud Kofi Kingston.
A low on the night had to be Paige’s introduction of “new” wrestlers in Asuka and Kairi Sane. While some casual fans may not know Sane, Asuka has been an (underused) member of the main roster for over a year. It seemed like a bit of a force to me and was out if the clear blue sky with no reasoning.
Another low would be Bayley’s introduction to SmackDown. My, my, my how she has fallen from when she was atop the NXT roster.
Chalk it up to an inability to win over even a small percentage of main roster fans. Hopefully, she can turn it around on the blue brand and get back to where she was a few years ago.
Featured image: 2017 Topps WWE