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Which brand won the Superstar Shake Up?


The dust has now settled for the Superstar Shake-Up, and now it’s time to debate which brand came out on top. While neither brand was left in a poor position, I think there’s a clear winner. Let’s break it down by division and see who came out on top?

Tag Team Division

At 9:30 pm, I was going to call this a wash at first. It looked like they’d be trading Heath Slater and Rhyno to Raw for a more vicious Primo and Epico. Feels like a fairly even switch with the edge going to team red. That was until they announced the New Day would be moving to the blue brand as well.

That is a lopsided win for SmackDown tag division. They gave up an often forgotten (but entertaining) Beauty and the Man-Beast and received the longest reigning tag team champions of all time in the New Day. The New Day was the tag division for well over a year and are still one of the hottest acts in the WWE. Primo and Epico are just an added bonus if they contribute.

Not that the Raw tag division is left in shambles. They have the recent returned Hardy Boyz and the newly debuted Revival, but those weren’t Shake-Up Moves.

The Women’s Division

If you want to argue this is an even trade, I’d understand that. Hell, if you want to argue that Raw won, I’d even understand that. But my take is that SmackDown edges this out.

Raw certainly did well. They got the up and coming Alexa Bliss, who is full of attitude and strong on the microphone. Plus she’s already a two time Women’s champion. The red brand also acquired a proficient veteran in Mickie James. I already can’t wait to see her match up with the likes of Bayley, Sasha, and Emma. They also received Maryse, though she serves mainly as a valet for her husband the Miz. If she starts competing more, this would sway things towards Raw for me.

But SmackDown got Charlotte. The Queen has been the top woman on not just Raw but all of WWE. She’s got the look, the swagger, and the in-ring talent. Charlotte is championship caliber, holding the Raw Women’s championship for much of the last year and has main evented multiple Raws and the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Shane McMahon wasn’t exaggerating when he said this may be the biggest get in the entire shake-up.

Tamina returned to SD tonight, but she was never drafted last year so I’m not sure if that’s even technically part of the Shake-Up or a free agent signing. Given she’s been gone so long, she’s a bit of an unknown in all of this either way. Lana is also going to be wrestling now, but that’s also a major unknown. But the blue chip signing of Charlotte is enough for me to give the edge to blue.

The Men’s Division

The low card was a wash. Jinder Mahal and Curt Hawkins swapped. Apollo Crews and Sin Cara swapped. Those are barely ripples let alone waves. Raw gets a slight nod here because they also acquired Kalisto, would would fit into their cruiserweight division quite nicely.

It’s the rest of the trades I believe SmackDown won outright.

Raw received the Miz, Dean Ambrose, and Bray Wyatt. SmackDown Live received Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Rusev.

When it comes to in ring work, SmackDown has improved immensely. Miz, Dean Ambrose, and Bray are all extremely charismatic, and none of them are slouches in the ring. But Dean is more of a brawler. Miz is solid but his biggest moves are lifted from Daniel Bryan. Bray Wyatt has had some good matches, but isn’t consistently blowing us away. On the other side, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are incredible in-ring workers, giving SmackDown some exciting upper midcard matches to look forward to. I’d argue Rusev is as good between the ropes as any of the three men Raw received.

When it comes to prestige, Raw did receive two men who were world champion in the last year. Both Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt held the WWE championship this year. I’d argue they are still upper midcard guys and not perennial main eventers. (The same goes for Kevin Owens despite his holding the Universal title recently.)

There’s also the possibility that one of the New Day could compete as a single’s star as well, bolstering the blue brand even more.

Since Rusev, Zayn, and Owens feel like more complete packages compared to Wyatt, Ambrose, and Miz, the blue brand takes this one for me.


Tallying it up, SmackDown won the tag division outright. It’d be hard to argue that. The Women’s division is the closest call and I understand arguments in both directions. Given the star power of Charlotte, I call it a slight win for SmackDown but Raw did get two women who could be major players. And since Owens, Zayn, and Rusev feel like more complete packages of in-ring work and charisma, I gave them the nod over Miz, Ambrose, and Wyatt. It’s not a blow out, but it’s a win.

On my check list, that’s a clean sweep for SmackDown.

But that’s just me. The best part of this all is we can debate this until we’re blue in the fact. So do so in the comments below and vote in our poll letting us know who you think won the Superstar Shake-Up.


Which brand won the Superstar Shake-Up?

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