WWE’s Superstar Shakeup should help breathe some new life into Raw and SmackDown over the coming months, and for the most part, there were some good moves made. It will be interesting to see how Kevin Owens and Charlotte fare on SmackDown, and perhaps we could see a Shield reunion on Raw. There are certainly things to like about it.
However, there were also a few other wrestlers who were sadly overlooked in the Shakeup who badly needed to find a new home to boost their careers. Here are five of them:
5. The Big Show
On Raw, The Big Show has pretty effectively moved into becoming the second most important giant on the show. Braun Strowman is clearly more beloved by the creative team, and even the audience at this point. As we saw on Raw, Show knocked out Curt Hawkins, but it’s highly unlikely there will be a feud coming out of that. He’ll just keep showing up on TV without much of note to do.
Had Show moved over to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup, he could have worked with Luke Harper, Baron Corbin and Erick Rowan in some intriguing big man matches, or he could have been used to put over A.J. Styles to lend him some extra credibility.
No matter what, Show is not going to hold a World Title again, but he’s done a good job of getting himself in fantastic shape, and it seems he has more to offer to the blue brand than Raw in the twilight of his career.
Yes, Sheamus and Cesaro are a pretty popular pairing on Raw, but if WWE is ever going to make The Swiss Superman a top star, then they need to give him an honest chance as a singles act before it’s too late. In fact, it may already be too late. Still, it’s at least worth a shot.
After the initial brand split went down, Cesaro was disappointed that he didn’t land on SmackDown. The Superstar Shakeup was a chance to fix that, but he looks destined to remain on Raw for a bit, stuck in the tag division. We could have seen him battle the likes of Styles and Nakamura, but instead, he’ll have to settle for being in the second most popular tag team on Monday nights.
3. American Alpha
While management was briefly interested in pushing American Alpha, it seems like those days are over for now. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan dropped their tag titles unceremoniously to The Usos, and are now working with The Shining Stars, who have been among the biggest jobbers in the company over the past few years.
Had the two been moved over to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup, they’d have a more exciting tag division to compete in, along with some fresh new opponents. They could have worked with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Sheamus and Cesaro and The Hardyz. Not bad. Plus, Gable would have Kurt Angle to play off of!
Since they’ve lost a lot of momentum as of late, American Alpha would have at least had the benefit of feeling fresh again. Even if they go over on Primo and Epico 10 matches in a row, it’s not going to do anything for their careers, due to how poorly the Shining Stars have been positioned.
Emma’s WWE run has been a troubled one. While she got over in NXT as an awkward, Bayley-like character (pre-Bayley), it didn’t translate so well to the main roster, and she soon found herself suspended over an alleged shoplifting incident, and then was demoted back to developmental. When she finally returned to TV, she was quickly injured. And then, Emmalina was born, and went on, and on, and on, without any sort of payoff. Now Emma is back to being plain old Emma.
Perhaps a better course of action would have been to give her a new start in the Superstar Shakeup with a move over to Tuesday nights. Currently, there are only six women in the entire division, so at the very least, she would likely have likely received some more screen time. She’d also have fresh matches with Becky Lynch and Naomi to look forward to.
It’s unlikely to think she’ll leapfrog Nia Jax or Sasha Banks on Raw, so a move to SmackDown would have been a much better move for her career at this point.
1. John Cena
It was teased, but the face that runs the place would have been a good move to jump on over to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup…whenever he does return.
Right now, there just isn’t a lot of compelling opponents for him on SmackDown. He’s already defeated Baron Corbin, and had a series of matches with A.J. Styles. After some rematches with Kevin Owens in the not-so-distant future, Cena will likely be directionless. The company probably isn’t going to run a face vs. face battle with Nakamura, so they are going to have to dig deep to find Cena some credible opponents.
Had he jumped to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup, he’d have Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Reigns to contend with. Those feel like bigger money matches for him at this stage in his career than what SmackDown has to offer. Plus, as much as fans may not like it, Cena is still far-and-away the biggest name in the company, so having him on the most-watched show just feels like a natural.
Well, there’s always next year.
[Featured Image by WWE]