Smackdown Wins The Superstar Shake-up

Smackdown to RAW:
Jinder Mahal, Singh Brothers, Ruby Riott – Liv Morgan – Sarah Logan (Riott Squad), Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Tyler Breeze & Fandango (Breezango), Natalya, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Zack Ryder, Mojo Rawley, Mike Kanellis, Chad Gable, Bobby Roode, Konnor & Viktor (The Ascension)

RAW to Smackdown:
The Miz, Jeff Hardy, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Samoa Joe, Big Cass, Asuka, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Sheamus, Cesaro, R-Truth

NXT to RAW:
Drew McIntyre

NXT to Smackdown:
Eric Young – Alexander Wolfe – Killian Dain (Sanity), Andrade “Cien” Almas (with Zelina Vega)

The RAW and Smackdown after Wrestlemania brought us another Superstar Shake-up and it looks like Smackdown came out on top. RAW got some good talent, and they’ll be fine, but Smackdown set up some great feuds/matches. The most exciting (my opinion) move is The Miz to Smackdown. This reunites him a newly cleared to wrestle, Daniel Bryan. We never did get that resolution to their verbal feud that started on Talking Smack. This should be fun. I just hope WWE doesn’t hot-shot it, but gives us a nice, slow burn. Damn, bring back Talking Smack while we’re at it. The Miz and Daniel Bryan should not touch each other for months. This should last until SummerSlam or, if we’re lucky and it’s done right, it should culminate at next year’s Wrestlemania. Please WWE, don’t mess this up. It could be something very special.

Samoa Joe joining Smackdown is huge. Along with The Miz, Joe elevates Smackdown’s promo game. He’s as good as anyone on the mic right now. Think of the possible feuds between Joe and Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, Cesaro, Almas, or Jeff Hardy. Not to mention a match or two with Shelton Benjamin. Hell, think of the possible combination of matches between any of those guys. There should not be a Smackdown going forward where two of those guys aren’t in the ring together. The show should practically write itself.

Asuka going over to Smackdown makes the Women’s Division look pretty solid. Asuka could team up with with Charlotte for a while to keep The Iconic Duo and Absolution at bay before squaring off again. Charlotte eventually needs to be a heel because she’s such a natural at it. Asuka, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Naomi should be able to have some great matches.

On the tag team side, The Bludgeon Brothers, The Bar, The Usos, Sanity, The Club, and New Day also have the potential for some decent feuds. Sanity, specifically Killian Dane and Alexander Wolfe against The Bludgeon Brothers would be a lot of fun. Luke Harper and Killian Dane face-to-face? Yes, please.

It all looks good on paper. Now WWE needs to do the things that made Smackdown a must see show before last year’s Superstar Shake-up. Smackdown is set up to be the wrestling-centric show with RAW having more characters. There’s nothing wrong with that because RAW is three hours (one hour too long), so they need to build up characters and storylines deeper. Smackdown just needs to let the talent do what they do best, wrestle. I hope we don’t get bogged down with too many talking segments. It would be a shame to take away from so much wrestling potential.

Team Blue all the way!!!!

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Welcome Back Daniel Bryan

Smackdown 3-20-2018

In February 2016, Daniel Bryan went on RAW and told us what we didn’t want to hear. Years and years of concussions had taken a toll on him and doctors told him that he shouldn’t and couldn’t wrestle anymore. It was a huge blow for wrestling as a whole. Who didn’t like Daniel Bryan?

Daniel Bryan was a wrestler, a real wrestler. It was his life and it was hard for him to be around the business but not in the ring giving us everything he had. You could see that he appreciated having a job in WWE, but he didn’t look like he was totally into it. Eight months later on an episode of Total Bellas, we saw Daniel Bryan break down in tears at the realization that he wouldn’t be allowed to wrestle ever again. There were stories of him being understandably depressed and now it was confirmed.

Fast forward to 2017 and there were signs that Daniel Bryan might actually be cleared to wrestle. The verbal feud between Bryan and The Miz on Smackdown and Talking Smack was gold. The Miz got real with Daniel Bryan and said things that hit close to home. It seemed as though a match was the only way this could end. At the same time, Daniel Bryan was talking about going to specialists and getting good news. Could this be true? Unexpectedly, The Miz was shipped over to RAW and the whole angle was dropped.

Three weeks before Wrestlemania, WWE and Daniel Bryan announced that he has been cleared to wrestle. Yes! Yes! Yes! Just when it looked like he would go elsewhere when his WWE deal expired, he’s back. The wrestling world lost their minds. What’s next? His first order of business was to fire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn only to get beat down by them. They didn’t take it easy on him. He took some nice shots and even a powerbomb on the edge of the ring. Way to get thrown right back into the fire. This is gonna be fun. I expect Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon to take on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania. A tag team match allows Bryan to not be the focal point and allows him to work his way back into ring shape. Knowing Daniel Bryan, he probably wants to go all out in that match. Stay healthy Daniel Bryan, wrestling needs you in it.

RAW Twenty-Meh!

RAW 1-22-2018

RAW25 had so much promise. There were so many big names announced and it was the go home show before the Royal Rumble. Easy, right? Somehow, with so much to work with, WWE found a way to make this show underwhelming.

The show was coming from two separate locations, the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center (where RAW was born). The show peaked in the open. Shane O Mac and Stephanie introduced Vince McMahon and he heeled it up for the crowd like we would expect from Mr. McMahon. Glass breaks and the crowd loses it’s mind. Surprisingly, Stone Cold didn’t say a word during this segment, but words weren’t needed. The fans only wanted one thing and Austin delivered. First, Mr. McMahon sacrificed Shane to Stone Cold to take a stunner the way only Shane O Mac can. Vince thought he was safe, but of course he got a stunner. The fans lose their minds even more. Shane gets one more stunner before Austin drank/bathed in several beers. Perfect open. Too bad the writers forget their creativity for the rest of the show.

The rest of the RAW25 portions of the show felt like any other special edition of RAW when they bring back the old-timers/former stars. You had APA playing cards, The Dudleys doing their thing to an unsuspecting mid-carder, DX doing their shtick, and various stars in situations backstage. The DX thing was cooler than normal because HHH, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, X-Pac, The New Age Outlaws, and The Balor Club shared a Too Sweet moment after Gallows and Anderson dispatched of The Revival. Poor Revival, they lost their match with the Good Brothers and then got hit with everyone’s finisher.

The Undertaker cut a promo at the Manhattan Center. It was confusing. I was expecting something big; he would officially announce his retirement or he would call out Cena for a Wrestlemania match. Neither happened. At least, I couldn’t tell if either happened. He said something about his opponents finally being able to rest in peace. Then he left. WTF was that? I’ll give Taker this, he looked to be in good shape.

The fans at the Manhattan Center got screwed. They paid minimum $250 to watch RAW on a screen, a couple of 205 Live matches, The Undertaker, and the DX segment. How do they not have Rob Van Dam show up there? He was only Mr. Monday Night. The fans were getting restless throughout the night. I was worried a riot would break out.

Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt also happened at the Manhattan Center. Why would you have these two guys fight before the Royal Rumble? WWE, that’s why? Of course, Wyatt beats Matt with Sister Abigail. Why? WWE, that’s why. This location and this crowd was perfect for Woken Matt to take it to the next level. Why not introduce Vanguard 1, Senior Benjamin, Brother Nero? Why WWE, why???? Opportunity missed.

As for the Royal Rumble build part of the show, there wasn’t much to it. The Miz beat Roam Reigns for the IC Title with a smooth exposed center turnbuckle move. I guess this opens the door for Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble in Philly? WWE wouldn’t do that, would they?

Osuka showed her dominance ahead of the Royal Rumble by clearing the ring of her tag partners after winning the match against the four heels. Jason Jordan pissed off The Bar and Seth Rollins. Elias had a great night. First he got to interact with Jericho, who called him a stupid idiot and put him on the list. Elias was able to anger the Brooklyn crowd with one of his songs. John Cena comes out and eats a guitar shot across his back for his troubles. The shot looked strong. Jeff Jarrett could learn a thing or two from Elias. The final segment of Braun Strowman putting Brock Lesnar through a table seemed a bit rushed.

I kept waiting for a big thing to happen on RAW25, but it never did. Where was The Rock? Where was Mick Foley? How can you have Steve Austin and not The Rock and Mick Foley? I get that The Rock is some big movie and TV star, but you could’ve at least had a taped segment or something. Are we going to have to wait until RAW30?

The WWE missed a big opportunity with this show. There were probably some fans watching who tuned out long ago and this was the best WWE could do? They had an opportunity to wow some long ago fans and they blew it. Way to play it safe WWE.

  • Match of the night: The Miz vs Roman Reigns
  • Pop of the night: Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • No reaction of the night: Michelle McCool when they brought out the divas….errrr…..women

Too Sweet 5