The brand split is one of the most important things WWE has done to bring excitement to their shows. With the roster divided between RAW and SmackDown, it’s given the stars a chance to shine, while also continuing the debate on which is the better show.
Since its return in the summer of 2016, the Superstar Shakeup has become a huge part of WWE television. Every year after WrestleMania, the roster is put through a draft in which stars switch brands. Earlier this year, we saw stars like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn return to the red brand, while Samoa Joe Asuka got a new start on the blue brand.
With the next Superstar Shakeup coming soon, fans are already speculating on which wrestlers could be making a move. The upcoming draft is going to be important because with SmackDown moving to the FOX network, WWE is going to want their top stars on the blue brand. As for RAW, they could use some improvement too since a majority of their stars are out of action due to injury.
While the shakeup is a few months away, WWE is planning ahead for the big move, deciding which stars will carry which brand. There’s a couple of wrestlers who could use a change to help boost their career, while there are others may be more suited to stay on their current brand.
For today’s article, we’re looking at 10 stars who could be moving to RAW and 10 who could be moving to Smackdown.
20 To RAW: Mandy Rose
It’s been over a year since the NXT star made her main roster debut alongside former Tough Enough co-star Sonya Deville. The two women debuted on RAW before moving to Smackdown during the recent draft. Like many other wrestlers, Mandy and Sonya don’t get featured as often as they should. But with WWE teasing a break up between the team, it looks like Mandy and Sonya are ready to star their singles careers.
With their split imminent, it could be possible that one of the ladies will be moving to the opposite brand. WWE is said to be high on Mandy and see her as a star in the women’s division. A move to RAW would give Mandy the chance to shine.
19 To SmackDown: Bobby Lashley
After nearly a 10-year hiatus, Bobby Lashley made his return to WWE. However, since making his return, Lashley has been in a slump. He had a shot at becoming the number one contender for the Universal Championship, but lost to Roman Reigns. Since then he’s been stuck in a variety of midcard feuds. A heel turn and pairing with Lio Rush helped bring personality to his character, yet based on his booking, it’s obvious he’s not going to be a main event star any time soon. But a switch to SmackDown could be what Lashley needs to prove to the WWE Universe that he’s got what it takes to be a top tier champion.
18 To RAW: Andrade "Cien" Almas
Former NXT champion, Andrade Almas alongside his manager Zelina Vega made their main roster debut earlier this year on Smackdown. However, like other NXT stars before him, Almas has struggled a bit on the main roster. He’s had some good matches with Rusev, AJ Styles, and Rey Mysterio. Yet, most of the time Almas may not be featured due to Smackdown’s time limit. Since WWE is said to be impressed with Almas and see him as a main event star, SmackDown may not be the place for him. On the red brand, he’d have plenty of chances to show off his athleticism and maybe work his into becoming a championship contender.
17 To SmackDown: Dana Brooke
For most of her WWE tenure Dana Brooke as served as valet for other stars. In NXT, she was teamed with Emma. Then when she debuted on the RAW roster, she became the enforcer for Women’s champion Charlotte Flair. After her partnership with Flair dissolved, she joined Titus Worldwide with Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews. But recently, Dana departed Titus Worldwide to branch out on her own.
With the RAW women’s division having so much star power already, Dana’s getting lost in the shuffle and stuck in short tag matches. The star would fare better on SmackDown, where she’ll have a chance to be featured more as a singles competitor.
16 To RAW: Sanity
The trio known as Sanity was one of the most popular factions in NXT. In April of this year Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killan Dain made their debut on SmackDown. The group had a promising start as they feuded with The Usos and The New Day. Yet, in recent weeks the group hasn’t been featured much. With their momentum waning, Sanity could use a huge boost and what better way than moving to RAW. Since the red brand is lacking star power in its tag team division, having a big NXT name like Sanity could revitalize RAW’s tag division and give the trio a better shot at the tag team championship.
15 To SmackDown: Ember Moon
Former NXT Women’s champion Ember Moon made her debut on RAW, the night following WrestleMania 34. So far her time on RAW has been met with a few accomplishments. She was a participant in the Women’s MITB match. She’s also had matches against Mickie James and Alexa Bliss. Currently, she’s in a feud with her former best friend Nia Jax.
While Ember’s run on RAW so far has been pretty decent given her ability to put on awesome matches, she, like a few stars could benefit from a roster switch. A move to SmackDown would put her together with her friend/nemesis Asuka. Given their history in NXT, Ember and Asuka could team up to rule SmackDown’s women’s division.
14 To RAW: Randy Orton
There’s no doubt that Randy Orton is one of WWE’s top stars. Throughout his sixteen-year career, he’s won multiple championships and shown that he can be a babyface or a vicious heel. Since being drafted to SmackDown in 2016, Randy has continued to be a dominant force for the blue brand. He’s won the tag team championship, WWE Championship, and United States championship. Plus, he’s also reverted back to his heelish ways. Yet, for the past few years, Orton has faced criticism with fans believing he’s gone stale. In order to freshen up Orton’s character, a switch may be long overdue. With RAW needing more heels, The Viper’s new future home could be the red brand.
13 To SmackDown: Bayley
Bayley is one of WWE’s most lovable stars. With her sweet personality, she’s a hit with fans of all ages. When she made her main roster debut on RAW, fans were thrilled. Her debut got off to a good start when she beat Charlotte Flair for the RAW Women’s Championship. However, after losing the title to Alexa Bliss, Bayley’s momentum began to falter. Since then, she’s been teaming with her bestie Sasha Banks and the two are possibilities to win the upcoming women’s tag titles.
Yet, given how unpredictable WWE is, there’s no telling how long their partnership will last. With the shakeup coming after WrestleMania, WWE may decide to split the two and Bayley’s cheerfulness could expand to SmackDown.
12 To RAW: The IIconics
The heelish duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce better known has The IIconics were popular in NXT. When they debuted on SmackDown in April of the year, fans were anxious to see what antics the duo would be up to. Yet, so far, The IIconics have struggled on the blue brand. WWE crowds are having a hard time getting behind the duo and find them a bit annoying.
Given the crowd’s reaction along with WWE’s creative booking, it looks like Billie and Peyton’s main roster run has been a dud. However, there’s still hope in revitalizing the duo’s career by drafting them to RAW, where they’ll be featured more prominently.
11 To SmackDown: Elias
If you’re looking for a current star who’s over with the crowd, look no farther than Elias. The musician/wrestler is one of the hottest acts in WWE right now. Whether he’s singing or competing in the ring, the crowds are always walking with Elias. The wrestler started off as a heel as sat in the middle of the ring and sing a ballad about how bad a city was. But recently, he’s switched to a babyface, which has earned him even more reactions from the crowd. While Elias is red hot on RAW, one has to wonder how he’d do on SmackDown, especially a feud with The Miz to see who the real A-lister of WWE is.
10 To RAW: Shinsuke Nakamura
To say Shinsuke Nakamura’s main roster run has been lackluster is an understatement. The former NXT champion was set to have an amazing year following his debut. He won this year’s Royal Rumble and went on to face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34. Unfortunately, Nakamura lost and his feud with Styles was met with negative reactions.
A heel turn seemed to pep up Nakamura’s character along with winning the United States Championship. However, once again Nakamura’s stock has taken a fall. Despite being a champion, Nakamura hasn’t been featured as prominently as he should be. With RAW lacking in the heel department, Nakamura could bring some much needed drama on Monday nights.
9 To SmackDown: The Revival
In NXT, The Revival won the tag team championships twice. However, since debuting on the main roster, they’ve come up empty in their pursuit of the RAW tag team championship. A series of injuries early in their debut derailed their momentum. It appeared The Revival was starting to get a push earlier this year when they won a series of matches to put them in contention to battle the B-Team for the titles. Yet, once again The Revival’s push was derailed when WWE decided to put the belts on Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. The Revival is one of WWE’s best tag teams, but if they ever want to win the tag titles, Smackdown would be the place to go.
8 To RAW: Naomi
Naomi has been a huge star in the SmackDown women’s division since being drafted to the blue brand in 2016. She quickly rose to the top when she won the SmackDown Women’s Championship twice. Yet, after losing the title a second time, Naomi has been pushed aside for the other ladies. With women like Charlotte and Becky Lynch taking control of SmackDown’s division, Naomi is reduced to sporadic appearances where she competes in tag matches with Asuka. While Naomi was a huge part in forming SmackDown’s women’s division, a change is long overdue for the star. Maybe it’s time that RAW felt the glow with Naomi on board.
7 To SmackDown: Finn Balor
Finn Balor’s career started out promising when he was called up to RAW. He became the inaugural Universal Champion, however less than 24 hours later had to relinquish the title due to a shoulder injury. Since returning from injury, Finn has struggled to regain his status as a main event star. He’s been in stuck in the midcard scene and included in a series of pointless feuds.
Fans of Balor have grown frustrated with his booking and wish he’d be given the chance at the championship again. But with RAW being stacked as it is, Finn’s not getting anywhere near the main event. However, on SmackDown he’d have a better chance at winning a championship, plus he’d reunite with Gallows and Anderson to reform The Bullet Club.
6 To RAW: The Usos
RAW’s tag division has come under scrutiny in recent months, mostly due to the lack of star power. Meanwhile on SmackDown, they have a stacked roster of tag teams that are flourishing. One of the teams that’s making SmackDown the superior tag team show is The Usos. Jimmy and Jey captivate the crowds with their high-flying moves and their promo skills. Whether they’re fighting for the championship or not, The Usos always put on awesome matches that has the audience on their feet. With RAW needing help in their tag division, they could swoop up WWE’s most popular team in next year’s Superstar Shakeup.
5 To SmackDown: Sasha Banks
There’s no arguing that Sasha Banks is one of the most popular female wrestlers in WWE. With her Boss gimmick and athleticism, Sasha is a fan favorite. The Boss is already a four-time Women’s champion and will no doubt reach more accomplishments before her time’s up. After losing her last title to Alexa Bliss, Sasha has been pushed out of the championship picture.
While she continues to be a main presence in the women’s division, Sasha’s fans feel like she is getting misused on RAW. Sasha has stated in the past, she would love to move to SmackDown and a change could help get The Boss back into the Women’s Championship scene.
4 To RAW: Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair has lived up to her name of being Queen of the women’s division. She’s already a seven-time women’s champion and will break Trish Stratus’s record in the near future. After ruling over RAW, Charlotte moved to SmackDown where she continues to assert her dominance as WWE’s top female wrestler. Her most recent feud with Becky Lynch was SmackDown’s top storyline this year.
With Charlotte having had an angle with Ronda Rousey back at Survivor Series, that can't be the only time the two have an interaction. Odds are that Charlotte will wind up moving to RAW to start a feud with Ronda, if not before WrestleMania, then definitely after.
3 To SmackDown: Dean Ambrose
With his recent heel turn, Dean Ambrose is bound to have a breakthrough year. The wrestler is currently in a heated feud with Shield brother Seth Rollins. The main reason for Dean’s return to RAW was to reform The Shield, then turn his back on his brothers. His rivalry with Rollins is supposed to last until WrestleMania, then afterwards one of the men will be moved in the draft.
Since Rollins has proven that RAW is his home, Ambrose is the logical choice to move to SmackDown. He was the blue brand’s first pick in the 2016 draft, and he thrived as WWE Champion. With him now being a heel, Ambrose could wreck havoc on the SmackDown roster in the next shakeup.
2 To RAW: AJ Styles
AJ Styles has proudly proclaimed that SmackDown is his home and he’s “The Face That Runs The Place.” There’s no denying that Styles has been a huge reason for SmackDown’s success. During his time on SmackDown, he’s feuded with Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and Daniel Bryan. All these feuds were considered dream matches by the WWE Universe.
Yet, looking at the current roster, there doesn’t seem to be many good opponents left for Styles. With AJ now having lost the WWE Championship, his days on SmackDown are numbered. While AJ’s departure will be missed by SmackDown fans, he’ll have a new place to run when he joins RAW.
1 To SmackDown: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman undoubtedly has what it takes to become WWE’s next top guy. Not only does he have the physique, but he’s also super over with the audience. Every time his music hits, fans watch in anticipation as he unleashes his path of destruction. Despite all his popularity, Strowman has continued to come up short in his championship conquests. He lost his MITB cash-in attempt, and recently he was defeated by Brock Lesnar in their match for the Universal Championship.
If the WWE won't give Braun the Universal Championship, then the next best thing would be moving him to SmackDown, a show that's generally less crowded and in need of a top face, especially if Styles is about to undertake a reduced schedule.