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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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