6 Best and Worst Moves Made During the 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-Up

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2019

6 Best and Worst Moves Made During the 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-Up

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    Elias and Vince McMahon on SmackDown.
    Elias and Vince McMahon on SmackDown.Credit: WWE.com

    The 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-up accomplished its goal of changing the landscape of both the Raw and SmackDown rosters, but some moves were better than others.

    The best part about the two-day event was how every division on both shows saw a significant amount of talent moved from brand to brand.

    Bayley, Ember Moon, Mickie James, Liv Morgan and Kairi Sane will add some variety to the SmackDown women's division, but the red brand only gained three new women in Naomi, Lacey Evans and Zelina Vega.

    A couple of teams were broken up during this process too. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode ended up on different brands, and Morgan was drafted away from the rest of The Riott Squad. More on what happened with Sanity in a bit.

    All in all, 30 people ended up in new locker rooms. Let's take a look at the three best and three worst moves from the Superstar Shake-up.

Best: Finn Balor

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    Finn Balor may have been the first universal champion, but he hasn't been able to return to the main event scene since he was forced to drop the belt because of a shoulder injury the day after he won it in August 2016.

    He has every tool needed to be a successful wrestler. He has a great look, is good on the mic and even better in the ring. He should be a priority.

    Putting him on SmackDown not only opens the door for some new feuds, but it also gives him a better chance of winning another top title.

    The blue brand has been the place for people to win their first WWE Championships over the past few years. Dean Ambrose, Kofi Kingston and Jinder Mahal each won the top title for the first time on SmackDown.

    Balor is going to find new life and gain momentum heading into the rest of 2019. It wouldn't be shocking to see him in the hunt for the WWE title by SummerSlam on August 11.

Worst: Eric Young

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    Who did Sanity make angry backstage to deserve the worst booking any NXT call-ups have received in recent years?

    When they were in the developmental system, Eric Young, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross seemed like they could be WWE's next great stable.

    They had the chaos of The Wyatt Family, the darkness of The Ministry and four talented wrestlers who all fulfilled different roles.

    Moving Young to Raw was the final nail in the coffin after they have spent the past several months doing nothing of note on the main roster.

    WWE even forgot to have Cross pick a brand during the Superstar Shake-up. That's how little the company has invested in these characters.

Best: AJ Styles

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    SmackDown has been AJ Styles' home since WWE split the brands in 2016. He made SmackDown important, but this is the right time to move him to Raw.

    Brock Lesnar is no longer keeping the universal title off of television, so we can expect Seth Rollins to put the belt on the line more often moving forward.

    The Phenomenal One would be a perfect post-WrestleMania rival for The Beastslayer leading into SummerSlam season.

    Even if they don't feud right away, Styles has plenty of options for new storylines on the red brand, so we can expect Raw to see an uptick in quality thanks to his presence.

Worst: The Viking Experience

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    Superstars have been rebranded and renamed by WWE countless times over the years, but that mostly came to an end once NXT became popular.

    The whole point of putting NXT on WWE Network is to give these men and women exposure before they are called up to the main roster, so changing their names once they are established doesn't make any sense.

    Hanson and Rowe came to WWE and called themselves The War Raiders. They were successful in NXT and won the tag titles. They even had a great showing at TakeOver: New York against Ricochet and Aleister Black one week before the Superstar Shake-up.

    When they were introduced as The Viking Experience, many fans vented on social media, but it was renaming them Ivor and Erik that upset people the most.

    Changing a team name is one thing, but there was no point in changing their individual names. They will do fine on Raw, but the way their call-up was handled was poor at best.

Best: Roman Reigns

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    Moving Roman Reigns to SmackDown caught a lot of people off guard since he is still one of the biggest stars in the company.

    This is as big as when Triple H was moved to the blue brand in 2008 because he was also one of the top names at the time.

    Not only does this create some intriguing storyline possibilities, but it also frees up Raw to focus on other talents who have deserved the spotlight for a long time.

    This will be the first time since he was called up from NXT that The Big Dog is not on the same show as Seth Rollins, so it will be interesting to see how he operates as a complete solo act.

Worst: Elias

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    WWE Raw's three-hour runtime can often drag on longer than fans care to watch, but the company has always found ways to fill time between matches, and over the past year, Elias was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping fill those gaps.

    All WWE had to do was send Elias to the ring, have him make a few insulting remarks about whatever city they were in and play a song.

    Then someone would end up coming out to interrupt him and either send him packing or set up a match to take place after a commercial break.

    Moving him to SmackDown means we probably won't get as many long segments featuring him playing songs or just talking to the crowd, but that is what made him so special in the first place.

    Only time will tell how Elias does on the blue brand, but with an hour less to work with every week, his concerts might not be a regular thing moving forward.


    What do you think were the best and worst moves from the 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-up?


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