WWE didn't explain why certain superstars ended up on which brand. Probably for status reasons. What if the General Managers (Kurt Angle and Paige) actually made trades for the superstars? What would they be?
What if the General Managers actually had to make the trades. Well I try to justify what the trades would've looked like during the Superstar Shake-Up.
SmackDown trades Jinder Mahal for RAW's Samoa Joe
If they were trying to make actual deals this one would logically make sense. A former WWE and United States champion for a former NXT champion and future beast.
SmackDown trades Riott Squad for RAW's Absolution
Ironically, both groups copied each other now they are swapped on separate brands. GM Paige was the original leader of the group Absolution so them ending up on SmackDown makes sense. The Riott Squad never truly stood out so they were sent to RAW.
SmackDown trades Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for RAW's The Bar
Although Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn weren't technically on SmackDown. This was probably the wager Kurt Angle would have to give up in order to acquire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. SmackDown gains Cesaro who could potentially become a great singles star for them.
SmackDown trades Zack Ryder and Breezango for RAW's R-Truth
One of the very few "trades" or pickups RAW won that night. Getting Breezango gives RAW the potential to have Fashion Files each week. So that should be some good comedy. Zack Ryder is still popular just remember the reaction at WrestleMania 32?
SmackDown trades Natalya for RAW's Asuka
Most of you probably thought I would dog this fictional trade. Actually I'm quite optimistic about Natalya's run on RAW. Especially now that she gets to be a partner with Ronda Rousey. SmackDown also wins because they pick up an extraordinary talent. How would GM Kurt Angle justify this trade. Really just says he needs another veteran in the locker room, and that there is only room for one dangerous woman (Ronda Rousey).
SmackDown trades Dolph Ziggler, rights to Drew McIntyre, and The Ascension for RAW's Gallows & Anderson
Am I overvaluing Gallows & Anderson? Absolutely not. SmackDown had to do everything in their power to get them on the same brand as AJ Styles. Especially since Styles is currently tangled in a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura. Plus future matches with Sanity and The New Day will be worth it. RAW gets to see if they can reinvent Dolph Ziggler and somehow make Drew McIntyre entertaining. The Ascension is just a throw in. SmackDown actually wins this trade. Just wait and see.
SmackDown trades Baron Corbin and Chad Gable for RAW's The Miz
Let me start off by saying The Miz is worth more than this. Although looking at the haul Angle got back I would not be surprised to see "him" make a deal like this because it seems like his character. To be clueless yet passionate for the show.
Corbin will just be boring on RAW. The real win here is getting Gable. So the American Alpha reunion could potentially happen or a continuation of the Jordan/Gable mini feud that started at Survivor Series last year when SmackDown invaded RAW. SmackDown getting The Miz is a gigantic move. He was the one that originally put the New Era SmackDown Live on the spot. Now we get to enjoy his feud with Daniel Bryan.
SmackDown trades Bobby Roode for RAW's Jeff Hardy
WWE is keeping Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy) away from WOKEN Matt Hardy and his newfound friend Bray Wyatt. We now get to experience a Jeff Hardy singles run. Many dream matches can now take place. Bobby Roode may finally get to shine on RAW. After being jacked around on SmackDown.
SmackDown trades Mojo Rawley and Mike Kanellis for RAW's Big Cass
In the NFL world this is the equivalent of two teams trading 2024 4th round picks and being like "Will see who got the better end of this trade in 2025!" RAW gains Mike Kanellis who has been criminally underutilized. Plus his wife Maria will come back into the picture. It may elevate him to stardom on Monday nights. SmackDown gets Big Cass, who is still living in the shadow of a certain Certified G, and Bonafide Stud. WWE finally got their monster Big Cass but will it even work? I don't think so.
SmackDown additionally signs Andrade "Cien" Almas, Zelina Vega, and Sanity's Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain.
RAW signs Bobby Lashley, Ember Moon, Authors of Pain, and No Way Jose.
I tried my best to make the most fair trades as possible but all I could picture in my head is Paige just absolutely committing highway robbery with each trade and Kurt Angle believing he got someone really good with each deal.
My final thoughts are that although this is a shakeup SmackDown's entire roster got a facelift and was rebuilt to be a freaking dynasty. SmackDown has the potential to be the better show... by far. They have everything going for them. The most over guy (Daniel Bryan), a Women's division (Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, and The Iconic Duo plus more), new incredible pick ups (Hardy, Almas and Vega, Sanity, The Miz, Gallows & Anderson, and Samoa Joe), and WHILE keeping Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, and The New Day.
I have been a religious RAW watcher for years but looking at the current rosters. SmackDown may be a more tempting watch. It's a whole hour less too. Still RAW kept some key guys but they really took on some of SmackDown's "bad contracts." It seems RAW will build around the core of Bobby Lashley, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Plus Brock Lesnar whenever he is there. The shakeup really changed the landscape and it will be fascinating to see what else happens. But for now SmackDown got the better end of the second Shake-Up.
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Creator of ZWrestleTalk. This page I give you my thoughts on the current state of the WWE product. I look back at the history of WWE. Sometimes even predict the future. If your lucky you get comedic articles too.