7 Bold Predictions for 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-Up
With WrestleMania 35 officially done, WWE will now turn its attention to the Superstar Shake-up next week when the Superstars of Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live and NXT could find themselves with a new home.
This is the time of year when WWE usually calls up a few names from NXT, but with Lars Sullivan, Heavy Machinery, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross, EC3, Ricochet and Aleister Black all showing up in recent months, this year's Shake-up will likely see fewer call-ups.
This could be a good thing as WWE can use this as an opportunity to change the way every division looks for the rest of 2019.
Let's look at this year's Superstar Shake-up and make some predictions about who will end up where after Raw and SmackDown.
The Usos to Raw
This past Tuesday on SmackDown, The Hardy Boyz defeated The Usos to win their eighth set of tag titles, but the change likely had more to do with Jey and Jimmy than Matt and Jeff Hardy.
The Usos have been killing it on the blue brand ever since the roster was split between brands, but their talents are needed more on Raw right now.
The red brand's tag team division has a lot of talent, but the way those teams have been used recently has left many fans shaking their heads.
The Usos can breathe new life into the Raw tag title scene and put on some show-stealing matches against teams other than The New Day and The Bar.
Drew McIntyre to SmackDown
Drew McIntyre showing up on Tuesday's SmackDown Live for the post-WrestleMania show may have been more than a one-time experiment.
The Scottish Psychopath has been waiting for the right opportunity to make the jump to the main event scene, but with the universal title held hostage by Brock Lesnar until Sunday's WrestleMania, he never had the chance on Raw.
Moving to SmackDown will give him fresh competition and a greater chance of finding himself in the hunt for the WWE Championship.
He could have some great matches with the likes of AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston and Shinsuke Nakamura, and if his alliance with The Bar continues, it could be the start of a powerful new stable in WWE.
AJ Styles to Raw
AJ Styles has been exclusive to SmackDown since the brand split, but considering he is one of WWE's biggest stars, it would make more sense for him to be on Raw.
A change of scenery is what's needed after The Phenomenal One has accomplished everything he can possibly do on SmackDown, and this is the best time to do it.
His short feud with Randy Orton was a sign that he has gone through every meaningful feud he can have on the blue brand. He would have had a better spot on the 'Mania card if something were available.
Putting him on Raw opens the door for feuds over the Intercontinental and Universal Championships with Finn Balor and Seth Rollins, respectively, and those are matches people would love to see.
The Revival to SmackDown
The Revival had a weird year in 2018, and 2019 hasn't been much better. They won the Raw tag titles but ended up losing them to Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins of all people.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder are the kind of team that can turn a filler match into the most memorable contest of the night, and they will have a better shot at doing that on SmackDown.
For some reason, the blue brand seems to handle its tag teams better than Raw. There is no logical explanation for it since SmackDown has the same creative team and an hour less to work with each week.
They should be having Match of the Week performances with teams like The Bar every week, not struggling to find a place on what is supposed to be the A-show.
Shinsuke Nakamura to Raw
Shinsuke Nakamura seemed primed for stardom when he was first called up from NXT in April 2017. He won the Royal Rumble in 2018 and went on to compete in one of the main events of WrestleMania 34.
Unfortunately, he came up short at The Show of Shows against Styles and has struggled to get back to the main event level ever since.
His run with the U.S. title was alright, but his tag team with Rusev feels completely random and meant as a way to keep them on television more than push them.
Putting him on Raw will give him the chance to start fresh and compete against some new opponents, and that is what he desperately needs right now.
The Sky Pirates to SmackDown
Paige told The IIconics she was bringing a special team to SmackDown next week, and since it is the week of the Superstar Shake-up, it makes sense she would be talking about a new team from NXT.
The only real partnership other than Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir in NXT is Kairi Sane and Io Shirai, known collectively as The Sky Pirates.
Their brand of high-flying offense has been missing from the women's division on the main roster as of late and would be a welcome addition.
They could have some fantastic bouts with the likes of Bayley and Sasha Banks or Natalya and Beth Phoenix should The Glamazon choose to stick around for a while after proving she can still go at WrestleMania.
Bobby Lashley to SmackDown
Bobby Lashley has had a tough go of things ever since he turned heel. He has won the IC title twice, but neither reign was too eventful.
He is the kind of athlete who should always be circling the main event scene, but Raw might not be the right place for him.
Putting him on the blue brand will give him a greater chance of winning the top title. If you look at Raw and SmackDown over the past few years, the blue brand his given more WWE title reigns to Superstars many would expect to remain in the midcard scene.
Jinder Mahal is a great example of someone who won the WWE Championship when nobody thought it was possible.
Lashley needs to drop Lio Rush, switch shows and focus more on putting on good matches than trying to get his heel character over. If WWE allows him to do that, he could be the main event star everyone knows he can be.
What do you think we will see during the Superstar Shake-up?