…I Just finished reviewing my posts on the Post-Wrestlemania Shake-Up. Goes without saying while it helped some superstars but didn’t do any favors for others. Let’s review that now, shall we?
First, RAW to Smackdown:
- Jinder Mahal: Who could have seriously imagined right after being moved to Smackdown, The Maharaja would become WWE Champion? This is the same Jinder Mahal who was fed to other Superstars during his first WWE tenure and was even released. He’s been on a roll since his return during last year’s brand split. While his title run is obviously a marketing move, he has been a pretty good Heel. Getting The Great Khali to help him retain…that right there was a stroke of genius. Assuming he drops the title vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at Summer Slam, he should either be kept near the top or positioned to win the U.S. Championship.
- Charlotte Flair: Since being moved to Smackdown, Charlotte became a Face but hasn’t been pushed much. This was actually planned to help build Naomi’s title run. The fact that alot of folks expected her to have won the Smackdown Women’s Championship at least once by now is probably WWE is keeping her away from it for now. Make no mistake she WILL be the second woman to have won both the RAW and Smackdown Women’s Championships–the first being Alexa Bliss–by the end of the year. It’s just a matter of when.
- Lana: It’s official: Lana in-ring is a wash! WWE hoped having her feud with Naomi would help build her mat skills but clearly that hasn’t happened. She was Over with the WWE Universe as Rusev’s manager and became a Face during her short-lived feud with him involving Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae. Said feud abruptly ended when their real-life marriage was announced. She resumed her role as Rusev’s partner though during their feud, Lana as a competator was heavily teased. Since coming to Lana, the experiment is clearly a failure. At least in multi-superstar matches this could be hidden but her first 3 matches were one on one with Naomi, who is the current Smackdown Women’s Champion so…yeah. Doesn’t get more clear than that.
- Sami Zayn: Zayn has been struggling since moving to Smackdown, mostly since this time WWE is clearly going out of its way to not have him feud with Kevin Owens again. He’s not in the running for either title picture, nor has his name come up for Summer Slam yet. He needs a push but the obvious problem is there are several people ahead of him at the moment.
Now, Smackdown to RAW:
- Dean Ambrose: Let’s be honest and not kid ourselves: Ambrose was brought to RAW to reunite The Shield. His current storyline involving Seth Rollins, who backstabbed Ambrose and Reigns three years ago to break up The Shield is part of the process. Rollins mended the fence with Reigns last year so that just left Ambrose. Speaking of, Reigns is part of Summer Slam’s main event involving himself, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. His being brought in to work with Ambrose and Rollins is sure to come sometime after Summer Slam is over.
- Alexa Bliss: I touched on this above but The Wicked Witch has become the first Superstar to hold both the “RAW” and “Smackdown” Women’s Championships and she did it within 4 weeks of each other: She dropped the Smackdown Championship at Wrestlemania to Naomi, got shipped to RAW two weeks later and then won the RAW Women’s Championship from Bayley the week after moving to RAW. Goes without saying she’s Over with the crowd just from her Harley Quinn-like appearance and has been for some time. It goes without saying she is one of the top superstars in RAW’s Women’s Division.
- Apollo Crews: Unfortunately, he’s yet another one of those Superstars who fell through the cracks after changing brands. His working with The Titus Brand could work for him but only if he’s either put in the hunt for the IC Title or works with an established vet. He’s in the proverbial Midcard Hell: Not good enough to get to the top tier but not bad enough to be fed to other Superstars.
- Bray Wyatt: The Eater of Worlds got street cred when he won the Universal Championship back in the day. Since losing it to Randy Orton at Wrestlemania, not much has been done with him. He has been doing promos with Finn Balor but it’s clear his character just isn’t the same without a stable. Wyatt’s Cult Leader Persona works at its best when he has people by his side. WWE needs to turn things around with him and as a former Champion, he has hope unlike Eric Rowan and Luke Harper.
Those are just 8 of the nearly two dozen Superstars who changed brands 4 months back after Wrestlemania. This obviously doesn’t account for the head-scratching breakup of American Alpha: Jason Jordan was moved to RAW as part of his new storyline as Kurt Angle’s biological son last month. Prior to the move, Jordan hadn’t been seen on Smackdown for a few weeks and we saw his former partner Chad Gable compete solo. Jordan is obviously being pushed as a solo competator on RAW for storyline reasons.
Gable doesn’t have the same problem Enzo Amore has but he needs to be either added to a stable or paired with someone. Gable and Aiden English could be interesting if done right but he could also mesh Sami Zayn, the Hype Bros. or even Dolph Ziggler. Unless he gets pushed HARD like Jinder Mahal, I don’t see him having much of a Singles run.
Speaking of Enzo. Big Cass eluded to the reason they were split up: He apparently loves to run his mouth in the locker room and everyone was getting tired of it. Enzo was reportedly kicked off the bus right when the “Who’s Ambushing Enzo and Cass?” Storyline started because he was being disrespectful. So the story goes. Once you get kicked out of the locker room, your career is prettymuch done. The Miz is the only Superstar to have had a successful career after getting shut out but only because he’s a workhorse. Enzo, on the other hand…it’s a safe bet he’ll be on his way out sooner or later. A shame given his promo is such a hit with the WWE Universe. WWE will keep him around as use him as long as he’s still Over with the fans though.
Big Cass, on the other hand. I honestly don’t know. Let’s not forget we went down this road before with The Prime Time Players. Darren Young is currently doing promotional work for WWE while Titus O’Neil is a Manager trying to build a stable. When he first came in, alot of folks thought he’d shine as a solo competator but not so much. Unfortunately, I’m expecting the same for Big Cass. I hope I’m proven wrong, though.