Last year WWE decided once again that it was going to have a crack at splitting it’s roster in two. The company has had mixed success in the past when it comes to this way of going about things, but for the most part it’s so far so good in the roster split’s latest manifestation. Not only have WWE tried to avoid treating Raw as the flagship show by giving SmackDown some top stars, but they also moved the show to a live Tuesday night slot. It means that there are certain top Superstars who cannot currently meet, in theory, because they’re on completely different shows. For the most part I would applaud WWE for being patient and keeping certain stars apart, but in my next breath I’m about to contradict myself.
In April we witnessed what Vince McMahon dubbed a ‘Superstar Shakeup.’ Rather than starting a whole new draft from scratch, a few Superstars from each brand switched to the other. It kept things fresh and made for some new match ups. Well now there are rumblings of another Shakeup coming after SummerSlam. It may have only been a matter of months since the last time the roster was shaken up, but there’s no denying some Superstars are in dire need of a shot in the arm and this may very well be it. Some wrestlers have been off of television while others have done everything they can in their current status. Whatever it may be, these fifteen Superstars could certainly do with a brand change sometime soon.
15. Luke Harper
At the beginning of 2017 things really did look like they were on the up and up for Luke Harper. Although his beloved Wyatt Family was in the process of folding in on itself, during WrestleMania season Harper was very much a part of the turmoil between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. At one point it looked as though Luke may even be a contender to Bray’s WWE Championship. Six months later and Harper is nowhere to be seen. Rumors continue to circulate that he’s on the cusp of teaming back up with Erick Rowan, but there is no sign of that so far. A shift to Raw might do the former Intercontinental Champion a world of good, and he could even pick up where he left off with Wyatt.
Someone in desperate need of something, anything, is Bayley. The former Women’s Champion was set to become one of WWE’s biggest stars following her successful time in NXT. On Raw however it simply hasn’t happened. Bayley’s lack of ability to take to the main roster came to a head recently when she was vociferously booed by fans in Toronto after trying to thank those who were sympathetic to her injury. Ironically it’s that injury that may rejuvenate Bayley’s career. Take the leader of Hug Life off of TV for a while and then when she returns insert her right onto SmackDown Live. If WWE keep Bayley away from the eyes of the fans for long enough they can effectively start again and have a second chance at making her gimmick work in the spot light.
13. Dolph Ziggler
Speaking of Superstars who have been absent from WWE television, where oh where is Dolph Ziggler? This time last year The Showoff was facing off against Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship and now he is nowhere to be seen. It has been an extremely up and down twelve months since then for Dolph. The only time the WWE Universe was actually particularly interested in Ziggler during that time was when he put his WWE career on the line against The Miz. The thirteen year veteran survived that one, but has done little in the way of anything since. Being away from TV will likely not be enough for Ziggler to bounce back, and the former World Champion should switch up as much as he can, starting with a move to Monday nights.
12. Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa
First up don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind, I am fully aware that Johnny Gargano and Tomassa Ciampa are no longer a team and are currently at odds with one another. There is a reason I have paired them together for this entry though. Rather than putting them back together and placing them on Raw or SmackDown Live, it would be good to see the best friends turned bitter enemies clash for the first time since the Cruiserweight Classic after both being called up. What’s more, the best place for that to happen would be 205 Live. WWE needs to keep looking for ways to spice up their purple brand, and what better way than moving this blood feud to their cruiserweight show?
11. Mickie James
There was something of a buzz surrounding Mickie James when she first arrived back on the scene in WWE. Originally brought back into the fold for a one off match against Asuka, James would later be revealed as the masked Luchadora helping Alexa Bliss overcome Becky Lynch on SmackDown Live. The pairing of the returning veteran and new face of women’s wrestling really worked, and you felt that somewhere down the line Mickie would turn on Bliss for a chance at her title. Well the two did battle, but it was in a throwaway match and that momentum was wasted. Now Mickie is on Raw and is lucky to get any TV time at all. Get her back on Tuesday nights and have her chase whoever leaves SummerSlam as SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Honestly I had to check WWE.com before writing this particular entry in order to find out which brand he’s currently on, so that should tell you more than anything that Kalisto’s career needs shaking up right now. He shouldn’t be moved back to SmackDown Live, nor should he be paired back up with Sin Cara simply because they both wear lucha masks. Along with Gargano and Ciampa I am of the firm belief that Kalisto could really further the plight of 205 Live. He’s a tenured WWE Superstar who Vince McMahon has at least a little faith in, and he could really add something to the cruiserweight division. Kalisto is also a hit with a lot of the younger fans so could also bring more eyeballs to the hour long show that follows SmackDown Live each week.
9. Becky Lynch
At WrestleMania 32 Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks made history. The Women’s Championship was reinstated and the trio arguably put on the best match of the night. A few months following that the draft happened and Becky went to SmackDown Live while Raw got Sasha and Charlotte. Following that Banks and Flair engaged in a career defining feud and continued to smash through glass ceilings. Lynch is yet to have that moment. She feuded with Alexa Bliss on the blue brand but it was overshadowed by what was going on between Charlotte and Sasha on Raw. Move Straight Fire to Monday nights, turn The Boss, and have the pair battle over the Raw Women’s Championship. It could reach the heights of Charlotte versus Sasha.
8. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is an odd one, in a variety of ways. We may be on the cusp of something special with him and Seth Rollins, and by the time you read this the pair of them may very well be Raw Tag Team Champions. His move to Raw initially though was an odd one. All it did was elongate his already tired out feud with the also shaken up Miz. Up until his recent will they-won’t they situation with Rollins, that’s been it for Dean. Just a year ago he was WWE Champion and defending his title at SummerSlam. Admittedly once he lost that belt his stock dropped and continued to for a number of months, but moving him to Raw hasn’t changed that. If this Lunatic-Architect experiment works out then forget you ever read this, but if not get Ambrose back on SmackDown Live.
7. Heath Slater and Rhyno
Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion. Drew McIntyre may soon be NXT Champion. In terms of the three men that made up 3MB that only leaves one man, Heath Slater. Unfortunately for Heath he isn’t enjoying as much success as his former band mates. Heath is currently paired up with Rhyno on Raw, and as was expected the team has faded into the background since being transferred to Monday nights. On SmackDown Live they were a hit with the crowd and even won themselves Tuesday night’s Tag Team Championships at one point. They unquestionably had more luck before being shaken up so will likely want to head back to the blue brand. There’s an awful lot of teams breaking up on Raw right now though, so maybe a spot will open up for Slater and Rhyno and they won’t have to move.
6. Bobby Roode
Be honest with yourselves, if you’ve watched NXT and seen Bobby Roode come to the ring to his Glorious entrance theme even once, is there anything you can imagine right now that would be better than that catching you by surprise on an edition of Raw or SmackDown Live? The Glorious One needs to be on the main roster. Yes he’s NXT Champion, or at least he was at the time of typing this, but so was Kevin Owens when he shocked the world and emerged on Raw to challenge John Cena. Roode may be new to WWE but he has been in the pro wrestling business for a long time. At the age of 40 WWE needs to cash in on him sooner rather than later and move him on up.
5. Bray Wyatt
A few of the Superstars who switched from SmackDown Live to Raw during the Superstar Shakeup really haven’t fared so well, hence their appearance on this list. Needless to say even though Bray’s stock had started to drop on the blue brand, it was far higher than it likely ever will be on Raw. For starters he had just come off the back of a WWE Championship reign. Yes it may have felt like a token gesture to shut up the fans, but it’s a lot closer than he has come, or will for the foreseeable future, to Raw’s Universal Championship. The best option for Bray on Raw right now would be a feud with his former follower Braun Strowman, but in the eyes of WWE at least it would appear that the Monster Among Men has since ascended to a higher pedestal than his former master.
4. Charlotte Flair
Don’t worry, in the unlikely event that some higher ups in WWE read this article and heed my word it won’t just be everyone heading back to SmackDown Live. Arguably Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s biggest acquisition during the Superstar Shakeup is the one that’s flopped the hardest, Charlotte Flair. Between the draft and the shakeup Charlotte dominated Raw and became the most highly regarded female in all of WWE. Some were even starting to label her as being nailed on to become the best female performer of all time. Somehow on SmackDown Live though that success has faded. It made sense for her to come straight in and win the championship, yet here we are four months later still waiting.
3. Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore, the final piece in the theoretical puzzle to make 205 Live a huge success. During this list we’ve already added Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, and Kalisto to the cruiserweight roster, so with Enzo WWE would be adding something completely different to even those suggested additions. At the moment 205 Live is almost solely about what happens in the ring, and that’s all well and good. However in the same breath WWE are also trying to add entertainment and story lines to the brand, and it isn’t really working. Throw Enzo and his mic skills in there and you lift that section of the show greatly. Plus with 205 Live performers wrestling on Raw, Vince McMahon can still use Smacktalker Skywalker on Monday night if he so chooses.
2. AJ Styles
I may be getting a few puzzled looks for this one, but hear me out. AJ Styles has done incredible things since being the exclusive property of SmackDown Live. WWE Champion, United States Champion, not to mention his feud with John Cena. Come Superstar Shakeup time rumors would have had you believe that The Phenomenal One was destined for Raw, yet it didn’t happen. If there is another shakeup on the horizon then now is the time. Styles has done everything there is to do on Tuesday nights, and if there’s one man big enough and believable enough to compete against any of the big guns on Raw for the Universal Championship, it’s AJ Styles. That would take him away from Shinsuke Nakamura though, a match that looks destined to take place at WrestleMania 34.
At the time of typing this Asuka has been NXT Women’s Champion for over 500 days, and unbeaten for even longer than that having not lost yet since signing for WWE. When that incredible streak comes to an end it will be a big deal no matter where it happens, but arguably it should happen on the main roster. That leaves the tricky situation of her NXT title, although there is a simple solution. When Paige moved on up she relinquished her NXT gold, so why not have Asuka do the same? It would free up the title for somebody else in NXT, all the while keeping the Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak intact as she begins life on either Raw or SmackDown Live.
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