After the first night of WWE’s Superstar Shake-Up, 11 different superstars left SmackDown Live and joined the roster of Monday Night Raw. Once the evening was over, one more move was made off the air, and it was really the only actual trade announced by the company. The next night, 13 superstars departed Team Red and moved to Team Blue on Tuesday nights to even things out. Now, one addition will not make their debut with their new brand for at least six weeks.
Once Monday Night Raw was over, WWE announced that an official trade was made and it saw two announcers switch brands. Byron Saxton was moving from Mondays to SmackDown Live while David Otunga would be heading to Team Red in his place.
This past week on SmackDown Live, Byron Saxton made his debut less than 24 hours after learning of the trade during the Superstar Shake-Up. Those looking forward to Otunga’s debut on Raw next week shouldn’t hold out hope as it isn’t going to happen as quickly.
The official website of WWE has announced that the former WWE Tag Team Champion is not actually going to start out this upcoming week on Raw or even the next. No, David Otunga’s debut on Team Red is going to be delayed by six weeks at the very least due to being cast in the lead role for a new action movie franchise.
While this isn’t overly surprising as Otunga has been doing more movie work in recent years, it is what WWE says next that is quite intriguing.
“Otunga’s latest film endeavor leaves a temporary vacancy on the Raw commentary team. Who will serve as his replacement?
“Stay with WWE.com as more information becomes available on both David’s new movie role and the immediate future of the Raw announce team.”
Who could WWE possibly get to fill Otunga’s vacancy on Monday Night Raw during his time away?
Raw has been a three-man announce team for quite a while with Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton. Over on SmackDown Live, there was a four-man team for months with Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, and David Otunga.
With the trade of Saxton for Otunga, it looked to shake things up for the announce teams, but there is much more to it.
All wrestling fans know a good bit of what has been going on with Mauro Ranallo over the last few weeks, and it appears as if he may be done with WWE. After reports of depression and issues with JBL, CBS Sports is reporting that Ranallo is not expected back on WWE TV for the remainder of his contract.
One might think that Ranallo could end up on Raw during Otunga’s absence, but it wouldn’t make much sense with Cole already there. No announce team needs two very good and experienced play-by-play men which kind of puts that idea right out the window.
For now, WWE could go with a single replacement for six weeks or bring in different names to fill the spot each week. Then again, even though two play-by-play men aren’t needed at once, WWE could throw good ol’ Jim Ross on the team just as a temporary answer to fill the vacancy.
Despite the Superstar Shake-Up moving around a lot of superstars between the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live rosters, the announce positions in WWE have brought about the most drama. With all the issues going on behind-the-scenes with Mauro Ranallo, his time with the company may be over for good. Now, David Otunga was traded to Team Red, and he won’t be there to partner with Michael Cole and Corey Graves for at least six weeks.
[Featured Image by WWE]