The Raw portion of the Superstar Shake-Up has happened. On the April 16th edition of Monday Night Raw, the flagship show saw a massive change of landscape in its roster. The Superstar Shake-Up is a tactic WWE uses to keep their shows fresh and, in some cases, help a superstar who may not be finding their footing get a fresh start on their own. This was an insane change though. Nineteen total superstars were added. That is a lot of people to find a place for, and it’s easy to lose track of who made a move. Worry not, here are all the new faces you are going to find on Monday Night Raw.
The Modern Day Maharaja has found his way to Monday nights. He busted onto the show early with a list of demands for Raw GM Kurt Angle. After shooting down, those demands Angle immediately made Mahal put his US Title on the line against recently returned perennial crowd favorite Jeff Hardy, to whom he then dropped the title too. Is this a set up for a feud? Or did he show up to immediately job (lose easily) to Jeff Hardy? We’ll just have to see…
The Riott Squad
The three woman stable comprised of Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan has moved to the Red Brand. This is an exciting move because some saw them as the SmackDown version of Paige’s Absolution. But with Paige moving to SmackDown and Riott Squad’s tepid reception on their original show maybe this shake-up will kick the stable into another gear.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
The jobless troublemakers of SmackDown Live have found themselves employment with the rival show. After coming out on the last Miz TV segment on Raw and being confronted by Kurt Angle, the two revealed they had an email from Stephanie McMahon herself overriding Angle’s decision not to hire them. Owens and Zayn have been a excellent Heel duo and should continue to do so on the red brand.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre
Dolph Ziggler is another superstar stuck in the mid-card despite his ability in and out of the ring. After coming out to a less than thunderous response, Ziggler was met in the ring by Titus Worldwide. When asked to join their group he revealed that he didn’t come alone. Drew McIntyre came thundering into the ring and assaulted the doomed group, apparently back from injury and promoted from NXT. Both of these men have had success in the past but were mismanaged by the WWE afterward. Will this team put both men where they belong?
The former SmackDown Women’s Champion has made the jump, and it’s a good move. The WWE has done an excellent job easing Ronda Rousey in, and this is a smart next step. Not only is Natalya one fo the best technical wrestlers in the business she also helped train Rousey. Setting them up in a program is perfect. We know they know how to work together and it’s a good diving off point in Rousey’s career.
I for one am so happy for this. Tyler Breeze and Fandango have turned a silly combination into comedic gold. The Fashion Police and their show, The Fashion Files, are hilarious and a breath of fresh air. On SmackDown they were often underutilized if used at all. Raw’s tag division is a little thinner in ranks than its blue counterpart, so maybe these two will finally get a chance to truly shine.
Speaking of underutilized, the former NXT Tag Team Titans have faded to a whimper on the main roster. Konnor and Viktor were huge in their time with the developmental brand, capturing Tag Team gold. Since their promotion to the main roster, they have been jobbed into oblivion. Hopefully, they can use Raw’s thin Tag roster to jump back into the picture.
Zack Ryder needed a change. A crowd favorite that WWE seemingly doesn’t want to push, Ryder appears to have to consistently put himself over. Hopefully, a change to the bigger brand will help that, because it doesn’t seem like WWE is going to.
As the former friend of Zack Ryder and member of the Hype Bros, Mojo Rawley just can’t seem to connect with fans. Was moving him with Ryder a good idea? Are they going to feud again? The fans aren’t really behind it, will they ever get behind him?
One of the most talented in-ring performers on the roster has been split from another tag team. Separated from American Alpha partner, Jason Jordan, in the last Superstar Shake-Up he has now been separated from current partner Shelton Benjamin. Gable has the ability to be a singles competitor and may get it now. If it doesn’t work out maybe, we’ll get an American Alpha reunion?
Between an absence due to the birth of his child and personal issues, Kanellis has been a bit of a non-factor on WWE since his debut. Maybe a move to Raw will be a good restart and precisely what he and his wife need to get back on track.
Baron Corbin has been unable to gain momentum after failing to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase. The former US Champion needs something new to get back on track, and maybe this is what it is. Though will it help that there are so many other new faces in the line-up?
In the main event of Raw, the final member of the massive 10-man tag team match they were holding was revealed to be none other than the Glorious one, Bobby Roode. Roode has been a significant player in the mid-card of SmackDown Live and a constant in the US Championship picture, so it only makes sense he follows the title over to the red brand. Roode’s run so far has been good, but maybe not great. Maybe Monday Night Raw can make it–glorious.
A huge shake-up has changed what we know about Raw, and it’s only going to get crazier when SmackDown reveals who they have gotten. So far we know The Miz is going over, most likely to continue his feud with Daniel Bryan, but with 19 people coming to Raw we can only expect a large number heading to the blue brand.