The latest WWE rumors seem to indicate that after facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, Roman Reigns will be dealt from Monday Night Raw to SmackDown LIVE either by trade or another WWE Draft. Moving from SmackDown to Raw could be huge for any WWE Superstar who currently feels stuck on the blue brand without any real options to grow. At the same time, if WWE wants fans to accept Reigns as one of the company’s top-tier talent, the red brand will have to get something pretty significant in return to give up the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and multi-time WrestleMania headliner.
What follows are the six of the best trades that Stephanie McMahon could ask for from Shane in exchange for the contract of Roman Reigns, if the trade rumors are true.
Kane, The Miz and Maryse
Kane is the versatile sort of superstar that can thrive in almost any environment in which he’s used — heel or face, destructive or comedic, corporate or demonic. While he’s certainly past his prime, he’s still a legitimate threat to anyone in the ring and still gets a reaction from the WWE Universe. Despite his versatility, he’s been seriously underused on SmackDown LIVE.
Meanwhile, the blue brand has been teasing a trade for The Miz since the first time he butted heads with General Manager Daniel Bryan. Assuming they have no plans for him to wear the WWE Championship in the near future, there won’t be much left for The Miz to do on SmackDown after his program with John Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33.
Then, upon their arrival to Monday Night Raw, Mick Foley could force Kane and The Miz to be a tag team, creating an odd couple dynamic that would be a fun way to bring them over to Monday nights. Both have had success in similar situations, when Kane was part of Team Hell No with Daniel Bryan and The Miz teamed with Damien “Mizdow” Sandow.
Since John Cena is now owning up to the fact that he often takes time off from WWE to fulfill other Hollywood obligations, it makes more sense for Cena to be a part of Monday Night Raw, where the roster is larger and his absences would be felt less. And since John Cena and Roman Reigns are very polarizing in almost the exact same way, it makes sense to keep them on separate programs.
Randy Orton and AJ Styles
It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if WWE billed the Roman Reigns move as a “blockbuster” trade with multiple main event stars involved. The recent coverage of the NBA trade rumors shows that big names equal buzz, so why not send another big name from Monday Night Raw along with Reigns to SmackDown LIVE? If you packaged Reigns with Seth Rollins, a fair trade could include the pairing of Randy Orton and AJ Styles. A trade like this works on many levels.
For starters, it would mean that all three members of The Shield would be working on the same brand, always allowing for an impromptu reunion that the WWE Universe goes crazy for. It also provides AJ Styles with a fresh selection of opponents, after he spent a significant portion of 2016 as the WWE Champion on SmackDown. It would also give Randy Orton the opportunity to work with relative newcomers like Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman and Big Cass.
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American Alpha and Mickie James
Roman Reigns just recently defeated Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a Handicap Match, so the WWE clearly thinks Reigns is worth more than even their best tag team combined. By giving Monday Night Raw a way to shake up both their Tag Team Division and Women’s Division, losing Roman Reigns will seem totally worth it.
If WWE keeps the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on American Alpha through WrestleMania 33, stripping them of the titles and sending them to Monday Night Raw immediately puts them over as a serious threat on Monday nights. At the same time, Mickie James can mix it up with WWE’s premiere female athletes of the New Era, including Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Nia Jax.
Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Eva Marie, Kalisto, James Ellsworth
Another way to show that Roman Reigns is still a valuable commodity is to force SmackDown LIVE to give up a large number of wrestlers to get his contract. In a group like this, Baron Corbin could be seen as the most valuable piece. Since he’s poised to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 33, stripping him of the title and forcing him onto Monday Night Raw (while also implying that he’s significantly less valuable than Roman Reigns) makes him a viable main event performer almost immediately.
Meanwhile, any or all of Ziggler, Eva Marie, Kalisto and Ellsworth could play up the underappreciated angle. Fresh off of a heel turn, it would be an easy transition for Dolph’s character. Eva Marie has been off camera for a while now and is essentially undergoing a re-branding already. Kalisto and James Ellsworth, neither of which are making significant waves on SmackDown, would have 205 Live as another option to find their best fit in WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]