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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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Mia Yim Returns to WWE: “I’m Ready to get My Retribution”

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Mia Yim

Mia Yim made her return to WWE during Monday Night RAW following her release from the company back on November 4th, 2021, during a segment between The O.C. and The Judgment Day, by attacking Rhea Ripley.

AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson had been looking for some help as they battle with the faction, and Ripley has been a factor in their battles. Now, Yim joins them to help neutralize Ripley.

Yim commented on her return during a backstage interview, and made reference to the former Retribution stable that spelled the end for many promising runs.

“Oh my gosh, it feels so good to be back. It took me a year to try and find myself but now I’m ready. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to kick some ass and get my retribution. But the boys are waiting on me so I’ll see ya later.”

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WWE Announces Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament

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WWE Women's Tag Team Champions

Following the walkout of Sasha Banks and Naomi, who were at the time the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, details have been mum on what would go on with the vacated titles, but now there finally are some details to share.

With rumors that both Banks and Naomi will be returning to the company with Vince McMahon now in charge, the Women’s Tag Team titles are now back in the spotlight after going off the radar at the time of Banks’ and Naomi’s departures.

WWE has officially announced a new tournament to crown new Women’s Tag Team Champions that will finally begin on Raw this upcoming Monday.

While it seems to lineup the returns of Banks and Naomi, no official word has surfaced as of yet.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? May 7, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, the main event between Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan in a Wrestlemania rematch was a good way to end their show. With this new “Wildcard Rule” being introduced at the beginning of Raw, this led to two Smackdown superstars main eventing a Raw show. While we will look into the “Wildcard Rule” later, the match between these two was back and forth and ended with Kingston retaining his championship. Kofi has all the momentum going into the Money in the Bank PPV, which is great considering he is the WWE Champion.

For Smackdown, after the Hardy Boyz had to forfeit their tag team championships due to injury, the match to determine the new champions was great. After Shane McMahon originally was going to give the titles to Daniel Bryan and Rowan, the Usos interrupted and stated that they should at least get the opportunity to earn them. Daniel Bryan and Rowan ended up winning, which is a positive sight moving forward because it will bring more attention to the division with these two as champions.

The Bad

For Raw, even though things were good for the Usos on Smackdown, they were really bad on Raw. They came out during the Revival’s match and told them that they put Icey Hot on their ring attire. This led to bad acting and just an attempt at humor, which didn’t go well.

For Smackdown, while the Aleister Black promos have been good so far, they are starting to over welcome their stay. This has been going on for about a month, so hopefully we see him in the ring before he loses all momentum.

The Final Verdict

Both brands had interesting shows this week because this new “Wildcard Rule” was introduced.  This “Wildcard Rule” means that four superstars from Raw will be on Smackdown and four Smackdown superstars will be on Raw every week. This idea does seem like a bad one though because it will take time away from superstars in their respective brand. Along with that, this is right after the Superstar Shakeup, which now feels completely pointless. As to who had the better show this week though, Smackdown had better matches and was still able to help put good build towards Money in the Bank. In conclusion, Money in the Bank is still about two weeks away, but proper time has been put into it and all the matches gain momentum in build week by week.

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