WWE Smackdown Live Superstar Shakeup Recap 4.16.19 w/ The Chairman
Usually I like to go over what I think are the hits and misses of Smackdown Live. However this week I’m going to instead breakdown all newest acquisitions to Smackdown Live.
One of my predictions came true and I was nervous about it not happening since we didn’t see Samoa Joe last night on Raw. However the Intercontinental Champion is bringing the Balor Club to Smackdown Live. A move that many fans have wanted to see for quite some time are finally getting it. Not only will there be new opponents for Balor on Smackdown Live, but he’s far far away from Lashley and Baron Corbin. Leaving Raw is definitely a positive for Balor and he could have a huge 2019 as Intercontinental Champion and dare I say possible WWE Champion?
After seeing him on Raw last night I was hoping he’d stay there, but turns out he showed his ugly head on Smackdown Live. I wasn’t a fan of him in NXT and not a fan now. He’s just another generic looking big man who’s going to get a monster push because that’s how Vince is. After he squashes half the Smackdown Live roster, six months from now he’ll probably get conquered by a top babyface and then turn into glorified enhancement talent. If Braun Strowman can’t capture singles gold, no way in hell Lars should.
Another one of my predictions came true with Ember Moon. She was fantastic in NXT, but unfortunately things didn’t work out for her on Raw. After returning from injury and appearing in the battle royal at Wrestlemania, I figured a change of scenery would do Ember Moon good. Ember confronted Becky Lynch tonight making her intentions clear that she wants the championship. Ember will definitely be a key part in revitalizing a previously weak women’s division.
This was one that I was kicking around in my head, especially after dropping the women’s tag team titles. Bayley hasn’t been part of the Smackdown Live roster yet spending all her days on Raw, but now she’s on Smackdown. She declared tonight that she left all her hugs on Raw and she’s entering singles competition. Bayley will definitely be another strong add to the Smackdown Live women’s division. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a possible Bayley vs Becky Lynch feud in the works possibly?
When Paige announced that she was bringing a new tag team to challenge the Iiconics for the women tag team championship, many speculated it’d be Kairi Sane and Io Shirai. However it was just Kairi Sane that was called up and she will be joining forces with Asuka. Having Paige being the mouthpiece for Kairi and Asuka is a smart decision and having them team together is also a smart decision. The Iiconics need a feud and this could definitely be a good one.
If you’re not familiar with Murphy, he’s a former Cruiserweight champion from 205 Live looking to translate his success to Smackdown Live. Ali has proven that superstars from the 205 Live brand can thrive on the main roster hence why Cedric Alexander was also selected to Raw. Starting Murphy in a feud with Ali would be a great way to introduce him to folks that aren’t familiar with him and let it unfold from there.
Mr. McMahon made an announcement that he was going to introduce a superstar that was going to be the biggest addition ever to the Smackdown Live roster. Fans were buzzing that it’d be Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar. Instead we got Elias. With the way Smackdown Live is, I think Elias could thrive better on Smackdown Live than Raw. There are plenty of babyfaces on Smackdown Live for Elias to target and a good majority of them are going to be fresh feuds for him to rip on in a song or get interrupted by performing.
After seeing AJ Styles show up on Raw, it was all but official Reigns would make the jump to Smackdown Live. With Smackdown Live going to Fox this fall, the show is going to need a major superstar and Reigns is the guy. I figured Styles and Reigns were getting swapped and they did which helps them both out. With Ambrose leaving and Rollins the Universal Champion, it’s time for Reigns to move on and carve his own path again. I already see fans fearful that Reigns is going to end Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship reign, but I don’t see Reigns getting put into that conversation until at least Summerslam and by then Kofi could already lose the title. Creative needs to be very careful how they handle Reigns or a good portion of fans will turn on him again.
Apparently more superstars were swapped just as I finished this article so here are the ones that weren’t televised.
This was a strange choice. I figured if they were going to split up the Riott Squad that Ruby would be the one going solo being she had the most success as a solo superstar in NXT. Be interesting to see if Liv Morgan drops her blue tongue and Harley Quinn punk gimmick now that she’s been sent packing.
So is Gable going to track down Shelton Benjamin and reunite their tag team? Definitely a good thing his failed tag team with Bobby Roode has come to an end. Roode is a better singles performer and I think Gable could be as well if given the chance. I always liked Chad Gable, but just seems like success has never followed him to the main roster. Hopefully a change of scenery once again helps.
If you read my picks on the website, you would’ve seen that Apollo Crews was one of my picks. Like I said, not every pick in the shakeup is going to be a sexy one. However there are guys that could benefit with a switch and I believe Apollo Crews could be one of those guys. The man has talent far as in ring ability goes. I think the biggest problem is that he got called up from NXT way too quick and of course most NXT guys that get called up usually get lost in the shuffle because creative lets them down.
I’m honestly surprised she’s stuck around this long for how poorly they’ve utilized her since coming back a few years ago. At this point nobody cares about Mickie James anymore, but I guess if she’s going to stay around then at least she’ll be part of the revitalized Smackdown Live women’s division. Now whether or not she makes an impact remains to be seen.
I’m not going to say Raw or Smackdown Live won the shakeup yet until we see where all the cards fall in a couple months. Usually though one show tends to dominate the other. I’m definitely excited for some of the changes on Raw with the new superstars they acquired. I’m also excited for the changes coming to Smackdown Live as well. I really think the women’s division has improved dramatically, but I can also see the tag team division taking a step backwards after losing the Usos and didn’t acquire one tag team to replace them.
What are your thoughts on the Superstar Shakeup? Let me know on twitter @ChairmanSV and thanks for reading.