What a week in WWE programming, there were shocks, surprises, highs, and lows during the Superstar Shake Up; where fans saw SmackDown LIVE talent move to Monday Night RAW and vice-versa. Here are my thoughts of the highs and lows:
I thought the switch up of the Intercontinental Champion and United States Champion was a brilliant idea. I wanted to see Kevin Owens head to SD LIVE and I think with having all three Shield members on RAW now (and they are all faces), we could see reunion matches booked for special pay-per-views. Charlotte Flair, without Sasha Banks in tow, is the perfect addition to SD LIVE. I also like the idea of Alexa Bliss and Mickie James on RAW now. While I will miss the Miz and Maryse on SmackDown, the “It” couple might just be what RAW needs to spice things up a bit; those three hours can feel grueling at times and maybe the Miz and Maryse can help change that.
Two words: Bray Wyatt. I felt like Wyatt was finally gaining incredible steam on SmackDown LIVE and I fear that he will get lost in the mix on RAW. I also fear that RAW’s Creative team (no offense, okay WWE Creative) might not book the character or know what to do with him creatively. To me, Randy Orton or AJ Styles might have been a better main event talent to head to RAW, but perhaps there are other plans for Wyatt, with or without his cult-like family. Another overall Shake Up ‘low’ was it felt like RAW had tangible superstars that arrived at their new brand and dove into matches and programs. SD LIVE? Well, they got Kevin Owens and then a slew of ‘coming soon’ superstars in Lana, Rusev, and The New Day. Creative, I get that injuries and recovery prevented them from making a bigger splash. The New Day should have been advertised the way they were, since Xavier Woods and Big E. were on RAW the previous night, but could Rusev and Lana not have debuted as a surprise on SD LIVE when they were ready? It just seemed to burst the whole Shake Up bubble, in my opinion.
Regardless of the highs and lows of the Shake Up, I thoroughly enjoyed this week in WWE programming. WWE fans love surprises and despite the internet, there still were plenty on both shows. The true key to all of this, however, is if you can keep this momentum going.
Until next week, WWE Creative!