Next Monday’s Raw is shaping up to change the landscape of the WWE for the coming months with Vince McMahon’s announcement of a “Superstar Shakeup” on the schedule.
The WWE CEO shocked fans Monday at Raw in Orlando when he announced changes are coming. McMahon is giving both WWE Hall of Famer and new Raw General Manager Kurt Angle and SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan the opportunity to arrange trades, deals and other moves that they feel fit, according to sources at WWE.com.
The news comes as many have viewed SmackDown overtaking Raw in popularity since the brand extension draft for the two shows last July.
Speculation abounds as to superstars on the current roster trading sides, but one theory suggests this is the perfect time for the WWE to promote more NXT stars to the big shows. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tye Dillinger and Andrade Almas are among names expected to make the jump soon.
Perhaps the biggest move could involve A.J. Styles. His impact since joining the WWE is undeniable. Raw could make a bold statement by acquiring the Phenomenal One. With John Cena seemingly set to take some time off soon, Styles’ most prominent feud would be put on hold. A move to Raw would make perfect sense unless WWE creative is set on having Styles start a beef on SmackDown with Randy Orton for the WWE Championship belt.
This might also be the perfect chance for the WWE to find a more prominent role for the Cruiserweight Division, which seems to have been undervalued by WWE Creative to this point. Neville is one of the more impressive showmen in the WWE Universe, and now might be the perfect time to expand the role of the Cruiserweight champion.
It might also make sense for SmackDown to make a play for Finn Balor. If Team Blue loses Styles, it would need a rising star to fill the void. Think of the possibilities of rivalries for Balor on SmackDown. He and Orton would put on a hell of a show for the WWE Championship. Balor’s demon in a match against Bray Wyatt would have any arena in the country buzzing, as would the craziness of a matchup with the Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose.