With WrestleMania further back in WWE's rear-view mirror, WWE has done a good job remaining relevant with two very newsworthy Superstar Shake-Up specials. The worldwide leader will need to continue to find new and creative ways to get fans to pay attention as it falls victim to a seemingly inevitable post-WrestleMania slump.
Superstar Shake-Up or SmackDown Shake-Down?
WWE's two-night Superstar Shake-up special followed an unfortunate pattern over the years of Raw getting stronger with every WWE draft while SmackDown is sapped of its supreme talent.
Miz seemed destined to capture his second world championship to cap off a renaissance run as the top heel on SmackDown Live, not to mention in the entire company. Instead, he was shipped off to Raw to not only get laid out by an ice-cold Dean Ambrose, where championships go to die, but also lose to up-and-down WWE journeyman Sami Zayn.
Meanwhile, SmackDown's women's division took considerable steps back with a thin roster that has been depleted of former two-time champion Alexa Bliss and future Hall of Famer Mickie James. After endearing itself to more traditional wrestling fans, SmackDown will simply have to start over.
The Del Rios are Running Wild
Paige continues to master the art of the non-wrestling-related headline after former WWE Superstar and her soon-to-be husband Alberto Del Rio went on an apparent drunken rant blasting Triple H and WWE on Periscope (via Wrestling Inc). The rant was punctuated by her own snide remarks on Instagram toward the WWE for its lack of promotion of the controversial couple headed into the new season of Total Divas.
Always the rebel, Paige added to her hall of fame run as non-wrestling lightning rod by publicly mocking Donald Trump on Twitter. Trump is a noted beneficiary of the McMahon family, who donated more money to the Trump Foundation than anyone, according to Rich Scinto of Patch.com. If CM Punk had a contract with WWE in 2017, he would be Paige. And while her antics are certainly entertaining, one has to wonder how many straws she has left to balance on the back of the camel that resides in Stamford, Connecticut.
Dean Ambrose and Renee Young Wed
Dean Ambrose and Renee Young were quietly married recently, according to a TMZ.com story that was more than alluded to on WWE programming.
Kevin Owens made a thinly veiled reference to the nuptials on Talking Smack while Young took to Twitter to confirm that she is indeed a married woman. The two have been dating for years and are currently regulars on Total Divas, which actually is promoted by WWE. Ambrose shies away from social media, a move that could stand to benefit his Lunatic Fringe character once people start caring again.
Braun Strowman Tips His Way Back into Main Event
Braun Strowman went from man-beast to otherworldly species with an insane ambulance-tipping stunt that will do more for his career than a golden statue of Andre the Giant ever will. Strowman's convincing beatdown of Roman Reigns ended with the Monster Among Men tipping over an ambulance truck in a move so shocking it inspired an online petition to get him fired on Change.org.
Though he was cheered heavily by a predictable New York crowd, a petition for one's job is the type of reaction that is elusive to the modern-day heel, who has to constantly commit themselves to being reviled by WWE's disillusioned fanbase. Strowman will figure to play around in Reigns' yard for multiple weeks as the Big Dog recovers from his storyline injury. Curt Hawkins should be running and hiding as we speak.
Finn Balor Injured Again
After recently returning from a serious shoulder injury, Finn Balor looks to be headed back to the shelf after suffering a concussion during a match against Jinder Mahal, who was recently moved to SmackDown Live. Balor has been snakebitten in his limited time on Raw, as the 35-year-old veteran's body may be failing him like fellow longtime indy cohorts Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
Hopefully Balor's issue is not serious, and he'll be cleared to compete in his first pay-per-view since SummerSlam. But with Payback on April 30 and WWE as serious as ever about concussions, Balor may be forced to miss yet another WWE pay-per-view.