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RAW: Superstar Shakeup Brings New Faces, Loses Miz

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WWE’s two-part saga of the 2018 Superstar Shakeup began on Monday Night Raw and it saw the arrival of new faces and old company.

Being someone who likes to look at the positive side of the coin, I won’t be giving out grades. Rather I will list each superstar/team and the possibilities to the red brand.

Jinder Mahal and Sunni Singh – the United States champion opened RAW with his arrival, before dropping the title to Jeff Hardy, making the Charismatic Enigma a Grand Slam Champion in the process.

Mahal found new success when he moved to Smackdown during last year’s Superstar Shakeup – whether or not he capitalized on that success is in the eye of fans. Still, Mahal is a hard worker and being on RAW will allow him to be a good midcard heel and allow him to build his momentum once again.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn – arguably two of the top heels on Smackdown are now on Raw. Both Owens and Zayn are regarded as the two best workers in WWE and they can work as singles – even be heels to Roman Reigns if he wins the Universal title – or focus on capturing the Raw tag team titles.

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre – One of the best in-ring workers in the company and one of the top competitors from NXT made a splash after attacking Titus Worldwide.

This is a bit of vindication for McIntyre, who had an impressive, though somewhat brief run, in NXT. It’s been years since he has been on RAW and fans will be excited to see him return.

As for Ziggler, teaming him with McIntyre gives him something new and fresh to do. The two could easily be contenders for the Raw tag team titles.

As singles, both Ziggler and McIntyre can have good matches with the brand’s mid-card and upper talent.

Zack Ryder – A move to RAW gives Ryder a change of scenery and a chance to work with solid talent as a way to rebrand himself as a singles star.

Natalya – Similar to Ryder, Bringing Natalya to RAW provides her an opportunity to work with new wrestlers in the women’s division and have fresh matches against new talent like Moon, Jax and Bayley.

Tyler Breeze and Fandango – One of the popular tag teams from Smackdown Live, Breeze and Fandango will no doubt entertain audiences with the Fashion Files and backstage segments. They could also find themselves in the hunt for tag team gold.

The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) – this was a surprise, given all three superstars debuted on the main roster shortly before the Royal Rumble. WIth Absolution losing Paige, it seems like WWE might want to bring a female stable to RAW.

Their arrival gives Nia Jax a mini heel machine to work with. It also gives Riott, Morgan and Logan a chance to work with top female talent on Raw.

Baron Corbin – Going to RAW gives him a chance to have a fresh start in his WWE run. He has a chance to mix it up with fellow big men like Kane, Big Show and Braun Strowman.

Mojo Rawley – Another former Smackdown superstar who could be thrown into lower to midcard feuds on the Raw brand.

Mike Kanellis – the WWE Universe hasn’t really had the opportunity to see what Kanellis can do. It’s essentially a clean slate for him.

Chad Gable – with Jason Jordan still on the mend from his injury, Gable could get some wins under his belt until his former American Alpha partner returns. They could reform American Alpha or begin an angle against each other.

Bobby Roode – Roode’s reception on Smackdown Live has been lukewarm, but a move to RAW could give him another jumpstart. Raw is considered more of the flasheir brand and Roode’s music and look fits with more with the program.

The Ascension – another tag team for the Raw brand, plus they have good chemistry with Breeze and Fandango.  

Confirmed superstars going to Smackdown Live:

The Miz – the former Intercontinental Champion was moved to Smackdown at the request of Commissioner Shane McMahon, General Manager Paige and Daniel Bryan. Miz has shined during the last two years and he’ll continue to elevate his game on the Blue Brand. What’s special about Miz moving to Smackdown is he’ll come face to face with Bryan, who is cleared to compete.

Fans have wanted to see the two collide since Miz dished out a verbal tirade against Bryan on “Talking Smack,” back in 2016.

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Chicago Host City for 2019 Survivor Series

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Chicago will be the host city for next year’s WWE Survivor Series event and will host 4 events at the Allstate Arena, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune who was quoting WWE’s Executive Vice President of Special Events

  • SmackDown Live (Friday, Nov. 22)
  • NXT Takeover (Saturday, Nov. 23)
  • Survivor Series: (Sunday, Nov. 24)
  • Monday Night Raw: (Monday, Nov. 25)

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 12, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, when Smackdown invaded Raw this week, it was an awesome segment from start to finish. After Alexa Bliss announced that Ruby Riott would be the final member of the women’s team, the cameras cut backstage to Becky Lynch attacking Ronda Rousey. Soon after that, Lynch came out with other Smackdown women superstars and a brawl ensued. Lynch broke her nose and had a few facial fractures after Nia Jax punched in the face during this brawl. This led to Lynch bleeding profusely from her nose, but that didn’t stop her from fighting. Lynch then attacked Rousey with a chair and stood tall in the crowd. This made Becky Lynch look like the baddest women on the planet and the WWE universe seem to agree as they were chanting her name throughout this.

For Smackdown, we have a new WWE Champion! Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles after hitting a low blow and then a running knee. Bryan then attacked Styles after the match and shocked the WWE Universe. Bryan now gets to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and some have considered this a “dream match.”

The Bad

For Raw, the whole ordeal with the tag team Survivor Series elimination match was a mess. Raw opened up with a battle royal to determine who the captains would be for Raw for that match. This battle royal was interrupted by Braun Strowman, so they pushed the match for later in the show. Then, when the match happened, nobody really cared. Lastly, the team that won could only just brag that they were the captains because all the other teams involved in the Battle Royal will be the same teams to represent Raw in the match anyway.

For Smackdown, there was no invasion angle on their show this week, which is confusing. Last year, both brands invaded each other’s show before Survivor Series. But, this time around, Smackdown only invaded Raw. When this doesn’t happen now, it really makes the matches at Survivor Series not feel as important as they should. What really doesn’t make much sense either is that during the show, they showed that security was preparing for an invasion, but it never happened.

The Final Verdict

With these being the go home shows before Survivor Series, WWE usually ramps up the build to these matches by having invasions happen as well as taking a lot of time to talk about these matches. But, with the Becky Lynch injury, she had to pull out of her match with Rousey and find a replacement. WWE also decided to throw the fans a curve ball by having AJ Styles 365+ days reign as WWE Champion come to a screeching halt this week too after losing to Daniel Bryan. As far as which brand had a better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. Raw did a really good job of building up Survivor Series as well as what is to come after the PPV too. They had time to show what is going to happen next between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as well as Braun Strowman and his situations with Baron Corbin and Brock Lesnar. Lastly, the ending invasion with Smackdown was an awesome moment for years to come. Survivor Series is looking to be a solid PPV and it is also intriguing to see what happens after the PPV too.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 5, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, we have new tag team champions this week after the Authors of Pain defeated Seth Rollins. After Rollins called out Baron Corbin for helping Brock Lesnar win the Universal Championship, Corbin retaliated by having him defend the tag team championship against AOP knowing that Dean Ambrose wasn’t going to help Rollins out. That was the case as Rollins tried to his best to win two on one, only to fail. After the match, Ambrose attacked Rollins again. When I stated last week that this Seth Rollins versus Dean Ambrose rivalry is going to be a slow build, this is a prime example of it and doing it in a effective way.

For Smackdown, we had a great one on one match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade Almas. Before this bout, Daniel Bryan picked Mysterio to be on the men’s team, only for the Miz to question it and say that Mysterio will have to prove it against Almas. Both Mysterio and Almas put on a high flying match which ended when Mysterio hit the 619. After the match, Randy Orton attacked Mysterio too, which questions where his intentions are going forward too.

The Bad

For Raw, while I do not mind the Bobby Lashley versus Finn Balor rivalry, having them face off against each other every week is not a good way to build up the rivalry. This is the 3rd week in a row they have faced off against each other and it hasn’t really led to anything for either competitor. There are much better ways to help develop this rivalry. Having them fight every week gets repetitive and boring quickly.

For Smackdown, the reveal for the women’s team at Survivor Series didn’t really have the intriguing impact compared to what they are doing on Raw. For Smackdown, there is no team captain and they don’t even have one fully committed to the team. When it was Charlotte’s turn to get introduced, she didn’t show up, instead we got Mandy Rose questioning why others were on the team in her place. While that aspect of the team is interesting, there are still some things left up in the air about this.

The Final Verdict

After Crown Jewel, it felt like WWE was trying to move past that as soon as possible and move onto Survivor Series. This seems like the smartest decision for WWE considering the controversy that was behind Crown Jewel. But, as both brands moved on, they did a pretty solid job of building up Survivor Series. But, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. They spent all of their allotted time on focusing on Survivor Series and have some pretty interesting stories going into it. While Raw, on the other hand, had some matches that felt like filler and have been extremely repetitive. Overall, WWE needs to ramp up the buildup for Survivor Series, especially considering that this is one of the Big Four PPV’s.

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