WWE SmackDown Fallout: Roman Reigns, Finn Balor Get Fresh Starts and More
The Superstar Shake-up left WWE SmackDown Live with a ton of holes on the roster after hallmarks of the brand headed to Raw. AJ Styles, The Miz, The Usos, Rey Mysterio and more made the jump.
Luckily, there was a plan to fill those spots on the second night of the Shake-up. The biggest move was certainly the arrival of Roman Reigns, who will be competing on the blue brand for the first time in years.
Another major acquisition was the intercontinental champion. Finn Balor made his presence felt instantly on the blue brand, putting on the best match of the night with Ali in their first-ever clash.
No division benefited more from the moves than the women's division. Multiple women made their debut on the blue brand, almost entirely unbalancing the roster, giving Becky Lynch a huge assortment of new challengers.
While all this was going down, Kevin Owens got a chance to bond with WWE champion Kofi Kingston as he became the honorable third member of The New Day. The two worked together surprisingly well alongside Xavier Woods.
This show brought about the end of the Superstar Shake-up, and it signaled a bold new direction for the brand as a whole.
Roman Reigns Just Became SmackDown's Biggest Star
Vince McMahon promised the biggest acquisition in SmackDown Live's history with Elias coming out to perform. The Big Dog took offense, headed to the ring and knocked out the musician and the WWE chairman before declaring SmackDown Live his yard now.
This is a huge move for the blue brand and an important shift for Raw. Reigns was the constant on the red brand for years and arguably its biggest star when he was around. With him leaving, Seth Rollins takes on the top role while leaving an opening for new additions AJ Styles and The Miz.
Hopefully Reigns won't take over too quickly. This should still be Kofi Kingston's brand for the foreseeable future, especially without a big heel changing brands. The Big Dog can be the No. 2 star and work with guys like Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton.
Elias' move to SmackDown may go under the radar here, but he's likely to take on a much bigger role on the blue brand. The charismatic musician has long waited for a chance to stand out as more than a comedy act.
While there were not as many moves from Raw to SmackDown as the other way around, a few key switches have changed the way fans will see the supposed "B show" going forward. This is the brand Fox will be getting when the show moves to its new home in October.
A Fresh Start for Finn Balor Could Make Him a True Star Again
Balor appeared on SmackDown for the first time, bringing the Intercontinental Championship with him. In his first match on the brand, he fought Ali and managed to come out barely on top with the Coup De Grace.
The Extraordinary Man has always made perfect sense for the blue brand, and he should fit more naturally on this card. He will be able to wrestle more and talk less on SmackDown with many athletic smaller competitors to work with.
While it is a shame his feud with Andrade will not come to fruition after this move, the opportunities are far better on the blue brand overall. He already had a better first match with Ali than he did with El Idolo.
The main disappointment is that Styles and Balor again were kept on opposite brands. It may be for the best because the Irishman can take on The Phenomenal One's role on SmackDown without having to try to outshine the former WWE champion.
SmackDown's Women's Division Is Even More Stacked Now
As Becky Lynch was readying herself for her next challenge on SmackDown, Ember Moon and Bayley arrived as the newest members of the brand to make their claims for the women's title. The IIconics interrupted to mock everyone until Paige arrived to debut the new team of Asuka and Kairi Sane.
Naomi and Lacey Evans in exchange for Bayley, Moon and Sane feels like an uneven trade with Raw already losing Ronda Rousey for the foreseeable future. The disparity between the two brand divisions is staggering, even if The Man heads to Raw full time soon.
Asuka and Sane add a huge tag team to the growing women's division, which is crucial since Bayley is likely going solo for a while after her move. Moon could be a big factor in either division and hopefully will get a chance to shine soon.
While Lynch is stuck feuding with Evans on Raw, she could be working with many great performers on SmackDown to make up for it. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville will likely be working the tag team division primarily, but they could also be challengers to The Man.
Kevin Owens Earned His Spot as an Honorary Member of The New Day
"The Kevin Owens Show" featured WWE champion Kofi Kingston and his New Day partner, Xavier Woods.
KO pointed out that Big E was injured and offered to be the third man for the team against Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. He ended up helping them beat the heels and Cesaro.
This was a fun diversion for the short term, but it was odd to have Kingston working a side comedy routine just a few weeks into his title reign. He has no one challenging him for the gold at the moment with Daniel Bryan nursing an injury, and this would have been the right moment for someone to step up.
It is possible this is all a diversion for a heel turn by The Prizefighter, but Owens just returned and is working as a babyface for the first time in his career. It would be a waste to turn him back so quickly even if SmackDown needs more heels.
The roster will continue to shift into focus as these new acquisitions find their place, but this whole segment took up far too much time without delivering anything of substance.
KO has proved for a long time he can be funny, but both he and Kingston should be more than comedy acts.