Across Monday and Tuesday night, WWE held the 2018 Superstar Shake-up, wherein the rosters of Raw and SmackDown were open for trades between the general managers.
The inherent goal of this concept is always to keep storylines fresh and allow for newer feuds and different pairings of wrestlers than those we've witnessed over the past year.
Rather than have a single-day joint draft, new Superstars from SmackDown were sent over a day ahead of time to pop up at random on Raw, while the blue brand received wrestlers from Raw in return the following night to finish the exchange.
Raw's New Acquisitions
- The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)
- Baron Corbin
- Bobby Roode
- Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
- Chad Gable
- Dolph Ziggler
- Drew McIntyre
- Jinder Mahal
- Kevin Owens
- Mike Kanellis
- Mojo Rawley
- The Riott Squadd (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan)
- Sami Zayn
- Zack Ryder
SmackDown Live's New Acquisitions
- Absolution (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
- Andrade "Cien" Almas with Zelina Vega
- The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus)
- Big Cass
- The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows)
- Jeff Hardy
- The Miz
- Samoa Joe
- Sanity (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young and Killian Dain)
There were a few surprise trades between the two brands, along with even further proof WWE officials do not care how chaotic everything has been these past few weeks.
There was a complete disregard for matches that had been previously announced for the upcoming Greatest Royal Rumble and Backlash events. That alone was surprising to see.
For example, trading The Bar to SmackDown when they are scheduled to fight for the Raw Tag Team Championship means the finish for that match has been spoiled, as it makes zero sense to have the Raw titles on SmackDown.
There cannot be two sets of tag team champions on one show or a Raw championship on the blue brand. It just doesn't work that way.
It was surprising to see the hectic nature by which the midcard titles were treated, as Mahal moved over to Raw with the United States Championship in his possession, only to drop it to Hardy in the opening segment.
With Hardy moving over to SmackDown, that allows the United States title to be back on the blue brand, but the upcoming pay-per-views both have matches that could change this.
If The Miz or Samoa Joe wins the Intercontinental Championship, or Mahal takes back the United States title at the Greatest Royal Rumble, or if Miz defeats Seth Rollins at Backlash in their previously announced match, we could see those belts swapping again.
Despite Mahal being on the Raw roster, there has been no official word of Samir and Sunil Singh joining him, as they are still listed as SmackDown talent on the website. It can be assumed they are staying with The Modern Day Maharaja, since Sunil accompanied him on Monday night. Without any confirmation, though, there's a chance that isn't true.
Likewise, The Miztourage is no more, with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel staying on Raw while The A-Lister moved over to SmackDown.
Nothing was noted about Maryse, nor Maria Kanellis with regard to Mike Kanellis being traded to Raw, but those two aren't a factor at the moment as they've just recently given birth and are not on television as it is.
A new team was formed, though, as Dolph Ziggler was joined by NXT's Drew McIntyre, who turned heel in the process of aligning himself with The Showoff.
Previously, he had said he was heading back to NXT upon his return from injury so he could get revenge on Andrade "Cien" Almas, indicating he was not only staying on that brand and remaining a babyface.
To make things even stranger, Almas was moved to SmackDown Live with Zelina Vega, further separating the two and ending any chance that storyline would continue.
Speaking of NXT call-ups, the members of Sanity are now on SmackDown Live, which isn't much of a shock, but the absence of Nikki Cross was surprising to see.
WWE made a point to call attention to that twice in a row when recalling the trades and showing a graphic that didn't include Cross.
The Balor Club has split up, too, with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows heading to SmackDown without Finn Balor, although their association with AJ Styles should allow for them to team with him instead.
Yet another team fractured by the Superstar Shake-up was Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The former is now on Raw and could reform American Alpha with Jason Jordan, while the latter has already renounced Gable and will be working the midcard singles scene of SmackDown.
The duo of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens remain together and are now on Raw after being signed by Stephanie McMahon, who went over general manager Kurt Angle's head to bring them aboard as free-agent grabs since they were let go from SmackDown.
It remains to be seen just what WWE's plans are for the rosters now they've been changed so drastically, which will be interesting to watch unfold over the next several months.
Tell us what trades you were the most surprised about in the comments section below.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.