Last night on Raw, a lot of WWE Superstars moved from SmackDown Live to Raw during the first night of the “Superstar Shakeup,” but many people are wondering why WWE officials took so many stars away from SmackDown and sent them to Raw. Monday Night Raw as been WWE’s flagship show for a long time, but WWE fans have been praising SmackDown for their storytelling and strong roster since the brand extension.
During the first night of the “Roster Shakeup,” WWE officials sent The Miz and Maryse, Mickie James, Bray Wyatt, Alexa Bliss, and Dean Ambrose to Raw along with some others. As of this writing, it looks like WWE officials are keeping AJ Styles on SmackDown, which many within the WWE Universe will be happy to see.
There will be another night of “shake-ups, ” and WWE has selected stars from Raw to move to SmackDown, but the WWE Universe can’t help but notice how many SmackDown stars were sent to Raw last night. Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Miz, and Alexa Bliss were all performers who thrived as a result of being a part of the “B” brand. They were pivotal to the show’s identity, but now that has changed for SmackDown overnight.
Many of these issues will be fixed tonight on SmackDown, but WWE officials sent the Intercontinental Title to Raw along with The Lunatic Fringe. Because of that, the WWE Universe is expecting Kevin Owens to be sent to SmackDown and take the United States Title with him. It’s understandable that WWE is looking to fill the gap on Raw while Brock Lesnar is on hiatus, but SmackDown may be left without a mid-card title.
Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are now on Raw, which means that WWE officials will likely send Charlotte, Sasha Banks, or both to SmackDown as a result. That would be a really great trade for SmackDown, but that may take away what made the women’s division on the show unique. Raw had most of the star power from the women’s division, but WWE made new stars on SmackDown. On paper, that may no longer be the case.
It’s worth noting that WWE officials are keeping AJ Styles on SmackDown and brought Tye Dillinger as well as Shinsuke Nakamura to the brand. Not to mention, Randy Orton is the WWE Champion, and John Cena is on hiatus. The show has a lot of star power, but the WWE Universe noticed how much talent was taken from the brand on Raw. Apparently, there is a specific reason why WWE booked the “roster shake-ups” as a way to keep WWE programming moving forward.
It’s being reported that WWE officials view SmackDown Live as an “incubator” for talent to be “promoted” to Monday Night Raw once they’re reached a certain level of success. It was a huge part of the philosophy of the brand extension that NXT would develop new stars, SmackDown would groom them, and eventually the powers that be would bring them to Raw when they were ready. A lot of people aren’t going to like that idea.
Under this system, WWE will take some of the best SmackDown Live has to offer and continue to keep it as the bridge between NXT and Raw. Many WWE fans genuinely felt that most weeks, SmackDown had a more consistent and better show than Raw. That competition was fun but fans will get the wind taken out of their sails once they learn that SmackDown is yet another developmental brand to keep Raw as the flagship show instead of WWE genuinely creating two different brands that could bring real competition to WWE TV.
[Featured Image by WWE]