Trades and Roster Shake-Ups to Improve WWE Raw and SmackDown

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2020

Trades and Roster Shake-Ups to Improve WWE Raw and SmackDown

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    The brand split between Raw and SmackDown has been more successful since WWE stuck to its decision to keep wrestlers on one show or the other, but wrestling fans wouldn't mind some additional excitement.

    It's time to shake up the main roster and introduce trades between the red and blue brands.

    Add in the fact that WWE officials have remained adamant that NXT is the company's third main-roster brand—even though it is clearly still just a developmental territory with a television deal—and the trade possibilities are endless.

    Here are the ideal trades to improve WWE's main roster.

Daniel Bryan for AJ Styles

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    The biggest blockbuster trade possible on WWE's main roster would be SmackDown dealing a newly rejuvenated Daniel Bryan for Raw's AJ Styles.

    For Bryan, losing a feud with Bray Wyatt has resulted in the popular Superstar reverting to the YES! gimmick that helped to catapult him to the top of the card. The red brand needs top faces to carry the load with Brock Lesnar not on television often.

    As for Styles, his time on the red brand has been forgettable. On the other hand, the former WWE champion was the cornerstone of SmackDown for well over a year, and he should return to the house that he built.

    The trade would give both an array of new challengers and provide each show with a shot in the arm at the top of the card. Bryan and Styles are two of the best in the business, and this trade would make waves in the wrestling industry.

Charlotte Flair and Cedric Alexander for Alexa Bliss and Shinsuke Nakamura

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    To make a trade work in other sports, teams will sometimes throw in players who don't fit their schemes. For WWE, one of the most intriguing deals would see Raw and SmackDown dealing both male and female wrestlers as part of a multi-person swap.

    The primary trade would include Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair heading to SmackDown for Alexa Bliss and Shinsuke Nakamura, but Paul Heyman would throw in a prospect like Cedric Alexander to make the deal even.

    Charlotte on SmackDown would keep her away from Becky Lynch following their longstanding feud and it wouldn't affect her path to WrestleMania since she's fighting an NXT star anyway. Add in Alexander, who has been given up on by CEO Vince McMahon, per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Paul Davis of, and the blue brand could find a better use of the talented former cruiserweight champion.

    As for the red brand, acquiring a former women's champion who has been lost in the shuffle as part of a tag team with the talented Nikki Cross would be the shot in the arm she needs to return to elite form.

    In addition, 2018 men's Royal Rumble winner and intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura needs a fresh start, and working under a genius like Heyman would help him to be put in the right position to capitalize on both his elite talent and immense popularity.

Undisputed Era for New Day

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    Two of the most popular factions in recent WWE history are The New Day and The Undisputed Era. SmackDown officials and NXT executives should work out a deal to make a stable-for-stable blockbuster trade.

    New Day has been the most consistently entertaining portion of WWE for years, but they have grown stale since Kofi Kingston lost his WWE Championship in October. Xavier Woods' injury has cooled any remaining momentum, so an arrival in NXT would be an instant boost for their careers.

    As for the Undisputed Era, they have all won gold in WWE's developmental territory and should be called up to the main roster as soon as possible. With more eyes on SmackDown thanks to the Fox TV deal, Adam Cole and Co. would instantly become top stars on the blue brand.

    Both stables are ready for a change, and a multi-man trade would provide the shake-up SmackDown and NXT need.

Asuka and Kairi Sane for Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir

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    Asuka and Becky Lynch have been embroiled in one of the most entertaining storylines of 2020, but the Raw women's champion has shifted her sights to Shayna Baszler after her recent brutal attack.

    As a result, Raw should make a trade with NXT to bring Baszler's friends Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to the main roster as backup. Reforming the devastating trio that ran roughshod on Wednesdays would give Baszler a legitimate shot at beating Lynch at WrestleMania.

    In return, NXT would receive women's tag team champions Asuka and Kairi Sane, who have been mainly forgotten on the main roster. With WWE's developmental brand losing in the ratings war against AEW, adding two bona fide stars like Asuka and Sane would be a major coup.

    From a storyline and TV ratings perspective, this is a win-win trade.


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