For Raw, the whole backstage beat down of Roman Reigns by Braun Strowman was something else (in a good way). It lasted about 10 minutes and it was one of the more brutal attacks we have seen. Now, for Roman Reigns haters, they loved every second of this because Strowman absolutely destroyed Reigns by throwing him through tables, throwing him off a loading dock, and flipping the ambulance he got put in! Even though WWE has decided to go the wrong route with Reigns and keep him as a baby face, Strowman just gained a lot of fans and was put back into the spotlight that this guy is an absolute monster.
For Smackdown, seeing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on this show just felt right. After Raw got Dean Ambrose in the shakeup, I definitely expected to see Kevin Owens on Smackdown since the Intercontinental championship got moved to Raw. But, as far as Sami Zayn, this was long overdue and I look forward to his time on Smackdown. These two debuting on the show was pretty entertaining as well because Kevin Owens got so upset when he realized that he was still on the same show as his longtime enemy Zayn. Look for these two to make their presence be known on this show during their time.
For Raw, while seeing Bray Wyatt on Raw will be a good thing for the future, it also didn’t make any sense. Wyatt currently is scheduled to be in a match with the WWE Champion Randy Orton at Payback in a House of Horrors match for the title. The WWE Championship is obviously going to stay on Smackdown so that each show can have a major championship so this move basically is letting us know that Orton will beat Wyatt at Payback. If they would’ve debuted Wyatt on Raw at a different time, it would’ve been more efficient storytelling and doesn’t make the future predictable.
For Smackdown, the debut of the Shining Stars was nothing special. They tried to make an immediate impact by attacking American Alpha after their match, but it really wasn’t a move in the shakeup that was exciting. I really was hoping for Gallows and Anderson to debut on Smackdown since Raw doesn’t know how to use them, but instead we got a tag team that we never saw on Raw and when they did appear, they were losing. We will see how Smackdown plans on using them since the tag team division is so thin.
The Final Verdict
Both shows used this Superstar Shakeup to their full advantage. Each show got superstars that will really help make their show better and help develop new rivalries that fans have been waiting for. As far as which show did better this week though, I have to give it to Smackdown. They put on a great main event with a triple threat match between AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, and Baron Corbin to determine who will face Kevin Owens (or Chris Jericho) after Payback for the US Championship and they also had a classic match between the Usos and American Alpha for the Tag Team Championship. Both shows did a great job at debuting the new superstars on their shows, but Smackdown got the better superstars in this shakeup and did an better job than Raw at debuting them on their show. Overall, this superstar shakeup benefited both shows greatly, so this will be interesting where this leads!