While Kevin Owens’ place on the Smackdown roster is not officially confirmed, his match with Chris Jericho is only going to end one way – with Owens retaining his belt and his place on Smackdown.
Owens also has his first feud on Tuesday nights lined up. AJ Styles defeated Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn this past Tuesday night to earn a future shot at the US title, meaning the two men are likely to clash in the very near future – probably just after Payback.
Following that it will be interesting to see what happens to Owens. With the roster so short on credible heel main eventers, the former Universal champion is likely to end up back in the WWE title picture very quickly. If that is the case then it is also fairly logical to assume that he won’t be holding the United States belt for too long.
While Sami Zayn has certainly not struggled for TV time on Monday nights, the former NXT champion has basically just been a glorified jobber over the past year and his move to Smackdown will hopefully signal a change in fortunes.
Smackdown’s mid-card is pretty depleted right now, so Zayn getting hold of the US title and having a lengthy feud with someone like Baron Corbin would do his career the world of good. Zayn has all the potential to be a main eventer player on the blue brand if he is booked correctly.
Jinder Mahal is effectively just going to fill the jobber role left behind by Curt Hawkins. The former 3MB man has been taken a little more seriously since his return to the company, but it is highly unlikely he will ever be able to rise too far up the card.
Once his brief feud with Mojo Rawley comes to an end – expect Jinder and his unusually large biceps to slip right back down to the bottom of the card.
The New Day
Moving to Smackdown is definitely the best thing for The New Day right now. The former tag team champions were beginning to go stale on Monday nights, and have not been anywhere near the title scene since they lost the tag team titles to Sheamus and Cesaro back in December.
The Smackdown tag team division will provide them with plenty of new and fresh opponents and a feud with The Usos for the tag team titles would be excellent in terms of both in ring work and promos. It looks as though their debut will be held off until Kofi Kingston is fully fit again, which would create a nice pop for them on their eventual return.
The best move of this whole shake up was sending Charlotte from Raw to Smackdown. The four-time Women’s champion has achieved everything there is to achieve on Raw, and has feuded with every available woman on the roster.
Smackdown will provide her with plenty of new opponents and it seems probable that she will be put straight into a feud with Naomi for the women’s championship, which will no doubt provide us with plenty of excellent matches.
If there is one superstar on the current roster that needs a change in fortune, it’s Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute has slipped further and further away from relevance after losing his US title to Roman Reigns at the back-end of last year and he is in serious need of some help from the booking team.
Thankfully, Rusev will likely get a lot more time to shine on Smackdown, a brand more famous for allowing its mid-card to shine through, and will hopefully be put into a high-profile feud on his return from injury.
Used correctly, Ru-R could prove to be a huge asset to Tuesday nights, and the biggest steal of this whole shake-up.
The Shining Stars
Primo and Epico have had a tough time over the last few years. The former tag champs were first repackaged as Los Matadores – a gimmick taken straight from the 1980’s, and then last year they returned as The Shining Stars – a pair of time-share salesmen.
A move to Smackdown is 100% the best thing for them right now, and judging from their debut they are instantly going to be shoved into a feud with American Alpha. While the two men should definitely not be going over Alpha, the feud should give them a chance to remind us all that they can wrestle when given time, and may help rebuild them as a legitimate tag team.
Tamina’s return to TV this week was a pleasant surprise. Having been off TV for what seems like an eternity, her place in the current women’s landscape is something of a mystery.
She is a great talent though, and while Charlotte and Naomi are likely to be the focus of the division for the next months, expect Tamina to step in following the culmination of the feud. Until then, a feud with Becky Lynch would be a nice way to keep both women occupied.
Interestingly Lana and Rusev were not traded as a pair, unlike The Miz and Maryse, indicating that the two are likely to be going their different ways on the blue brand.
Lana knows how to get over with the crowd, but she remains fairly untested in the ring. Judging from this week’s promo and rumours going around the internet – the Russian bombshell is set to debut with a gimmick similar to what we were going to get from Emmalina, which would be a radical change the role she has been playing for the last year or so.
While I’m sure many of us would leave to see Lana achieve greatness in the women’s division – I don’t see this gimmick being very long-lived. A reunion between her and big old Handsome Rusev seems the most logical thing here.
What did you think of last week’s Superstar Shake-Up? What roles do you think the superstars will play on their new brand? Let us know in the comments below and let Liam know on Twitter, here- @liamhoofe