In the latest WWE rumors, professional wrestling fans are buzzing over the upcoming superstar shakeup mentioned by Vince McMahon. The WWE’s head honcho made a special appearance on Monday Night Raw in which he said the rosters of Raw and SmackDown Live would be shaken up next week. That immediately created the image in many people’s minds that it meant this would be the 2017 WWE Draft, where each of the two brands would be selecting superstars for their rosters. However, it appears this is not the case heading into next week’s shakeup.
Earlier today, the Heavy website reported on the WWE Draft rules. The report mentioned that it’s actually not going to be like the draft fans saw last July to split up superstars between the Raw and SmackDown Live brands. During that event last summer, fans might recall that Raw drafted Seth Rollins as their No. 1 pick and SmackDown drafted Dean Ambrose as the No. 2 pick for their brand. Raw also snatched Charlotte Flair, Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and The New Day in the top 10, while SmackDown picked up AJ Styles, John Cena, and current World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.
This won’t be like that draft held last year where Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon of Raw or Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon of SmackDown announced their draft picks at a podium one by one. Instead, the “Superstar shake-up” will feature trades going down between the two rosters, or possibly signing new acquisitions to the respective rosters. The big event is scheduled to begin on next week’s episode of WWE Raw and continue on the WWE SmackDown Live program, both of which are televised on USA network.
As mentioned in a Bleacher Report article with regard to this past week’s “shake-up” news on Raw, several superstars were predicted who could possibly switch brands. Over the past few weeks, AJ Styles has had plenty of issues with his brand’s commissioner Shane McMahon. The two were WrestleMania 33 opponents and seemed to show one another respect via a handshake on this past Tuesday’s SmackDown episode. Styles also said he feels he built the show on his back, so he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Could that be a sure sign he’s moving to Raw?
There had been rumors over the past several weeks that Styles would move over to Raw while Roman Reigns heads to SmackDown. WWE certainly has a delicate situation on their hands with Reigns just based on the reaction he got on Monday night, just one evening after defeating the now-retired Undertaker. However, shifting him to a different scene could be just what is needed. Many people believe now is the time if ever to turn Reigns heel based on the crowd heat he’s drawing.
Other superstars that BR brought up include The New Day and The Miz heading to the red brand, while Sami Zayn, who has issues with Stephanie McMahon, could switch over to SmackDown. Keep in mind that Zayn had a sincere talk with the new General Manager Kurt Angle backstage, so it’s quite possible that was foreshadowing him leaving Raw next week. Zayn has been teased for a move to the other show for months.
The shake-up also comes a week after some major star power just hit the WWE. Just over the past week following WrestleMania 33, both rosters got upgrades in the form of NXT stars debuting or stars returning. On Monday Night Raw, former NXT tag team champs The Revival finally joined the main roster. Later in the night, Finn Balor made his big return after being out of action since he was injured on SummerSlam last year.
Meanwhile, on SmackDown Live, it was Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan returning to join forces with Bray and “Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger getting a debut in a match against Curt Hawkins. A bit later in the show, former NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura made his big debut on the main roster but didn’t wrestle on television. It would seem that these various stars are staying put based on where they showed up this past week, but anything’s possible in the WWE.
The other interesting aspect of this shake-up is that the Raw brand has an exclusive pay-per-view on the way later this month with WWE Payback 2017. One match was mentioned during Monday’s show in Orlando, as Chris Jericho suggested he’d have a rematch with Kevin Owens. That may have been canceled out when Owens attacked Jericho with the help of Samoa Joe. With that in mind, the changing up of the two rosters could certainly create some interesting match possibilities for the upcoming Payback event on April 30.
WWE fans, which superstars do you think should switch brands to make things more interesting? What new wrestling feuds do you want to see happen with the superstar shake-up?
[Featured Image by WWE]