Roster Moves We Need To See In This Year’s WWE Superstar Shake-Up

During Monday’s crazy Raw after WrestleMania we saw the announcement that starting next Monday, WWE would have their semi-irregular Superstar Shake-Up™. If you aren’t familiar, that’s when stars from Raw and Smackdown are “drafted” (or traded, or whatever) and sent to different brands. It’s a great idea to keep the shows fresh, and it always causes a ton of speculation and conversation.

We decided to share our own picks for who should go from Raw to Smackdown and vice versa, with a few bonus options thrown in for fun. When you’re done reading, make sure to drop down into our comments section and let us know who you think should go where, and why. There are no wrong answers. Brock Lesnar to NXT! Sam Roberts to 205 Live!

Daniel Bryan To Raw

The most important thing that needs to happen in this year’s Shake-Up is either The Miz going back to Smackdown to pick up his feud with a now-cleared Daniel Bryan, or Daniel Bryan heading to Raw to pick up his feud with The Miz. One of the two. I like Bryan to Raw a lot more than sending Miz back, because (1) Miz and the Intercontinental Championship should never be that far apart, (2) the feud should involve that title belt since it was important to the legendary Talking Smack showdown between the two, and (3) Bryan showing up on “Miz’s show” as a wrestler and not an authority figure would cause the most hilarious indignation in Miz.

Also, let’s get Daniel Bryan on the same show as Kurt Angle before Kurt’s legs officially turn into cooked spaghetti and we miss out on a dream match forever.

Bálor Club To Smackdown

With the Bálor Club image and vibe picking up steam, I say let’s go all-in on it (cough) by putting all the important former Bullet Club types on the same show. Bálor himself is stuck as a third wheel in secondary championship feuds right now, so sending him over to Smackdown as a tweener — or better yet, a full blown heel — would create instant friction and fantastic content for WWE Champion AJ Styles. Those two need to have their rematch after all, don’t they? Best case scenario, Styles ends up joining The Club for his feud with Nakamura. Bring everything full circle.

As a bonus, the fake Killer Elite Squad Bludgeon Brothers get another tag team roughly their size to have championship matches with. Don’t you want to see the Bullet Club on Smackdown holding all the championships?

Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas To Smackdown

While we’re fantasy booking New Japan Pro Wrestling content on our WWE shows, why not bring up the former La Sombra, now sans NXT Championship, to start Los Ingobernables de Smackdown?

That’s (mostly) a joke, but Almas would slip right into the United States Championship scene and give Smackdown another super worker in the undercard. Maybe Almas could be the guy to finally get great matches out of guys like Dolph Ziggler again.

Note: If you’re building LI-SD, who do you pick? Almas gets to be the Naito now, Kalisto can be BUSHI. Let Nakamura join in as Sanada (which is a funny thing I just typed). Who gets to be Hiromu? Natalya?

The Usos To Raw

The Usos vs. New Day feud ran its course and the Bludgeon Brothers can only beat the same teams so many times in a row, so I’d recommend sending the Usos over to Raw. Not only do you get another strong team in Raw’s far-too-small tag team division, but they can work heel or face as your needs change. And why not finally let them form a formal alliance with Roman Reigns? The Bloodline stepping in to do the work The Shield couldn’t make happen last year is a good story, especially if Seth Rollins and a returning Dean Ambrose get bummed about it and we get a ton of Shield vs. Usos matches.

Asuka To Smackdown

Now that Asuka can take wins and losses without it being the biggest deal in the world, Smackdown could really use her. She’s beaten everyone on Raw already, Smackdown needs some heavy hitters besides Charlotte Flair, and the matches with folks like Becky Lynch and Naomi would kill. You’d get her on the same show as Charlotte now, too, which makes it easier to build up to a WrestleMania rematch at SummerSlam, or whenever you’d want to do it. Bonus: Asuka and Ember Moon stay separated for a while.

(They’re totally moving to Charlotte to Raw, aren’t they?)

Ruby Riott To Raw

Ruby heading to Raw would replace the hole left in the roster by Asuka and get her the hell away from Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. She could finally be her own character, or hell, you could have her step into Paige’s role with Absolution and turn them into a three-pronged faction again. Rose, Deville and Riott would be a hell of a squad. Just don’t call them “Absolutionn.”

John Cena To Either Brand, And Then He Stays There

“Free agency” doesn’t mean you’re employed wherever you feel like, John. It means you’re unsigned. Sign with somebody! Raw, probably, since it’s the flagship show and there’s more for you to do there. It lets you build to Cena vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam, which you totally know is happening to give John his 17th championship win and bring the Lesnar story full circle at the show where Cena was squashed in legendary fashion.

Cedric Alexander (And The Cruiserweight Division) To Smackdown

It’s never, ever made sense to have the cruiserweight division on Raw and then tape 205 Live immediately after Smackdown. Doesn’t it make more sense to have the show taped after Smackdown be an extension of Smackdown? You’d be able to tie the shows together more effectively and keep the crowds interested. And honestly, very few cruiserweight matches on Raw have ever mattered. Lose the “they’re easy filler” crutch, stop padding Raw with stuff you don’t care about, and give these guys their due. It’d have to make travel easier too, wouldn’t it?

Nicholas To Fifth Grade

The wrestling world was saddened on Monday when undefeated WrestleMania legend and Raw Tag Team Champion Nicholas was forced to relinquish his title and go back to fourth grade. I think having “defeated Cesaro at WrestleMania to become a WWE champion” is a hell of a thing to have on your resume when you’re ten. What’s the fourth grade got left to teach him?

Chad Gable To Raw

If we’re sending Bryan to Raw with the first pick, we’ve got to send Chad Gable in a later round. It gets him on the same show as Bryan (his Tout father), Kurt Angle (probably his actual father), and former American Alpha partner Jason Jordan. Jordan and Gable can make up and become Team Angle like they were destined to back in the day, American Alpha continues to bolster Raw’s tag team division (working with teams like the Authors of Pain and The Revival, which we know they’re good at), and Shelton Benjamin’s freed up to join one of the New Japan factions we’re pretending to build on Smackdown.

NIkki Cross To Raw (And The Rest Of Sanity To Smackdown)

Nikki Cross is great. Nikki Storm is even better. WWE took one of the biggest personalities in the history of independent women’s wrestling and made her a mostly mute crazy person, so this would be a chance to start fresh. Sending the rest of Sanity to Smackdown gives you an easy “breaking Braun Strowman away from the Wyatt Family” situation, and lets you reunite them in the future if it doesn’t go how you’d like and you want her biting ropes again. Necky Storm and Ruby Riott are a good one-two punch to replace Asuka, and Ember Moon and Nia Jax are going to need foils that aren’t Alexa Bliss.

Tommaso Ciampa To Smackdown

The Psycho Killer just finished his two-year-deep NXT story with Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, and it ended with Gargano defeating Ciampa to win back his contract with NXT. So if Gargano’s on NXT going forward and the story’s over, why keep Ciampa around? You’d just dilute the impact of the story.

I’d send Ciampa to Smackdown, where you can either use him as a lower-card heel (until the crowd reactions inevitably move him up the card) or toss him into the cruiserweight division we moved over. And then whenever you’re ready, you’ve got a ready-made story of Gargano deciding to follow him up and protect 205 Live from him, because only Johnny really knows how.

Rusev Day (And Lana) To Raw

When the crowd chanted “RUSEV DAY” at Shane McMahon, he said it was noted. Then he kept Rusev off television for weeks. There were rumors that Rusev only got added to the United States Championship match at WrestleMania because he’d asked for his release, which is INSANE for a guy with such a groundswell of popularity. Send him to a show that has an extra hour to fill and take advantage of the fact that people like him, like Aiden English, like Lana and want to see them being cool and doing stuff. Rusev and English as forgotten favorites and Lana as a joke that can’t wrestle are both bad moves.

The Raw women’s division gets another hand (if you want), we can put Rusev and Lana back together in some approximation of Lana’s old persona, Raw gets another strong tag team if they want it to replace the Good Brothers, and maybe Rusev can move into the main event scene with guys like Reigns, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins and more.