For fans, the Superstar Shake-up is interesting for a variety of reasons, the vast majority relating to the onscreen product. For the performers, there’s much more at stake.
The Shake-up affects what days they work and therefore, when they are home to see their family. It affects who they work with, travel with, and overall spend the majority their waking time with. Those who are on separate brands don’t get to see each other often, which is especially tough on married couples. Given the mix of schedules and different days off, spouses would rarely get to see each other. It’s not something WWE does often (though they did split Dean Ambrose and Renee Young for a bit), but it has to be very difficult for those couples when they do.
Thankfully, WWE did not split up any married couples this year.
- Jimmy Uso was moved to Raw alongside his brother last night. It was revealed soon after that Jimmy’s wife Naomi also moved to Monday. (I wonder if Jimmy Uso made sure that he’d always get to work on the same brand as his wife by writing it into his recently signed contract.)
- When Andrade and Zelina Vega moved to Raw, some observed that split up the new couple of Andrade and Charlotte, who remained on SmackDown. But it placed Zelina on the same brand as her new husband Aleister Black.
- The Viking Experience (it’s going to take awhile to adjust to that name) are now Raw talents, putting Raymond Rowe (Erik) on the same brand as his wife Sarah Logan.
- Then there’s the husband/wife duos who are also on-screen acts together and were never likely to be split up like Rusev & Lana and 205 Live’s Maria and Mike Kanellis.
- One couple we still don’t know about is Nikki Cross and Killian Dain. SAnitY is over and there’s been no indication that Killian isn’t on SmackDown still. Nikki wasn’t assigned a brand during the Shake-up.
We shouldn’t hand out medals to WWE for not splitting up married couples, but it is nice that even though it could have happened, it didn’t. WWE’s travel schedule is grueling so at least these couples will get to be with their spouses during that time.
As mentioned above, Charlotte and Andrade are on different brands, so one couple was a casualty of the Shake-up. But relationships come and go, and WWE isn’t expected to build their business around all of them. However, keeping married couples together is an easy quality of life thing they should absolutely do, and this year, they did.