After notable names like Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and The Miz (among others) showed up on Raw this week as part of roster re-drafting mechanism that the WWE is calling “The Superstar Shake-up,” most wrestling fans expected a handful of talent to make opposite switch from Red to Blue during Tuesday’s SmackDown Live.
The show opened with perhaps the largest name of the bunch making his presence felt. United States champion Kevin Owens took to the ring, issued an open challenge to anyone in the back, and immediately attracted the attention of Barin Corbin and A.J. Styles. Oh, and Sami Zayn of course, who followed Owens from Raw because the two men are cursed/blessed to feud forever and ever, until the end of all humanity.
The other big names moving to SmackDown are former women’s champion Charlotte Flair and the record-holding former tag team champs The New Day.
Here’s the entire list of new SmackDown wrestlers:
- Kevin Owens
- Sami Zayn
- Jinder Mahal
- The Shining Stars
- Charlotte Flair
- Sin Cara
- The New Day
It should be noted that Owens will still fight Raw superstar Chris Jericho at Payback, with the winner earning the title AND the SmackDown roster spot.
Fans will rejoice that Shinsuke Nakamura and A.J. Styles were left on the same brand, because there is potential there for some insanely memorable matches. Otherwise, hopefully this Superstar Shake-up can inject new life into some characters that were maybe getting a bit stale. The New Day seemed out of ideas in the crowded Raw tag team scene, and Sami Zayn almost felt wasted as a member of Raw. Kevin Owens will be dominant heel on SmackDown, and Charlotte, who is perhaps the best female wrestler in the entire company, should immediately jump into a championship feud with Naomi on the blue brand.