Superstar Shake-Up: SmackDown’s Success

This is certainly not the only analysis of this week’s Superstar Shake-Up, but it sure as shit has the most alliterative title. When Vinnie Mac dropped this bombshell last week my initial thought was, “cool another draft”. Obviously this was not a draft but more like that time the Baltimore Colts packed up their shit and moved to Indianapolis overnight. Wrestler’s showing up on RAW, then showing up on SmackDown. It all seemed a bit lazy, but it had its high moments. I popped for some stuff, I bitched about some stuff, but all in all I thought they did a good job with the angle.

What I Popped For

The biggest pop of the week was when SDLive opened and KO’s music dropped. As a dedicated KO mark, my reaction seemed typical, but in assessing the entire situation this makes a lot of sense. Obviously with Miz moving to RAW they needed a mid-card belt on the brand. Furthermore, with AJ seemingly turning baby and Wyatt shipped over to the red brand, KO has a prime opportunity to work heel at the top of the card.

Staying with this opening segment, when Sami Zayn’s music hit I also got a tingling in my nether regions. Look, while his gimmick is cheesy and his promos are equally tawdry, he can work a match and work baby with the best of them. His program on RAW seemed unnatural and annoying; always getting the short-end and having to overcome weird and unnecessary obstacles. On SDLive he can work 5-star matches every week with the likes of AJ, Nak, KO, and Ziggler. Since SDLive is the “wrestling show”, this is where he should be.

The best move of both nights is easily Rusev to SmackDown. Dude was getting buried on RAW. Guy is a super athlete (which I know seems oxymoronic since he’s always hurt) and can also work heel at the top of the SmackDown card. So yeah, I popped for this like a smarky smark.

Honorable Mentions: New Day to SDLive (tag team division needed it), Charlotte to SDLive (women’s division needed it) and Wyatt to RAW

What I Bitched About

There really wasn’t much to bitch about. Most of the moves were mid to low card talent. And that’s not a knock, because I think there is talent up and down the card. But the point is, most people are workers who do jobs and will do well on either brand.

The biggest issue I had was moving Miz to RAW. He was doing inspired work on SDLive: working programs with Cena, Ambrose, Ziggler and continually fucking around with Daniel Bryan (which was my absolute favorite angle on both shows). Furthermore, I think he should have been pushed into a program for the WWE Heavyweight Championship because he deserves it. I think Orton is a lukewarm champ and Miz could have been a great transitional heel champ to take the promotion through the Summer. Miz and AJ could have worked a program with the blowoff coming at SummerSlam and AJ going over as baby.

I do not like to fantasy book, but fucking come on. Now who the fuck knows what will happen to Miz on RAW. Can’t really see him going up against Lesnar or Reigns, so he will probably remain mid-card and not get the push he rightfully deserves.

Dishonorable Mentions: Primo and Epico to SDLive, Slater and Rhyno (still hoping for a 3MB reunion) and Tamina.

Takeaways 

IMO SmackDown was the ultimate winner in Vince’s shoddy attempt at free agency. They got some great talent that can work with the great talent they already have. RAW’s acquisitions will reinforce the fact that RAW is a show about wrestling, while SmackDown’s acquisitions will reinforce that is is a wrestling show.  Or however Cheap Heat explained it.

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