WWE Superstar Shakeup 2018: List of roster moves, changes, surprises for Raw and SmackDown
With WrestleMania out of the way, it's time to freshen the rosters up in WWE
WrestleMania 34 has come and gone, which means that it's time to get the new year started in WWE. With two separate main roster brands, that of course means it's time for the annual Superstar Shakeup. Through two nights on Raw and SmackDown Live, we have seen superstars popping up on opposing brands that they would call their new home. Some of those moves will pay serious dividends. Others, well, probably will not.
Who will benefit from a new show to call home? Time will tell, but beginning at Raw on Monday and continuing into SmackDown on Tuesday, we'll found out who changed brands and how things will look going forward in 2018.
CBS Sports followed the Superstar Shakeup moves live on Monday and Tuesday, so keep on scrolling to see where your favorite superstars wound up.
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New Raw superstars (19)
Jinder Mahal: Mahal arrived to his new home to kickoff Raw with the United States championship, but he didn't leave with it thanks to genearl manager Kurt Angle making him defend his title against Jeff Hardy. Still, Mahal was elevated heavily with his WWE championship run on SmackDown last year, has improved in the ring and could end up being a solid mid-card hand in his move back to Raw.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: The explanation of Stephanie McMahon overruling Angle's decision from last week was logical, but if she was such a fan of Owens & Zayn ... then why didn't she hire them immediately when they were fired from her brother's show? Logic aside, hopefully with this move to Raw we could eventually see the duo clash with the former taking the role of babyface for once. This was teased briefly during their tenure SmackDown and it seemed interesting enough. I would have preferred these two were finally split up, but you have to play with the hand you're dealt.
Dolph Ziggler: Most groaned when this acquisition was revealed, especially when Titus Worldwide made their way down to the ring to welcome Ziggler. But then ...
Drew McIntyre: The former NXT champion made his return to the main roster by aligning himself with Ziggler, annihilating Titus Worldwide in the process. Ziggler's singles shtick was getting tired and McIntyre is much improved since his initial run on the main roster when he was the "chosen one," so pairing these two together is something fresh and interesting -- which is all we really ask for when it comes to the shakeup.
Natalya: Upon her initial appearance on Raw, it seems as if Natalya will be the first singles program for Ronda Rousey. They've already planted the seeds for a future teacher vs. student storyline with Natalya eventually turning heel on Rousey.
Baron Corbin: Vince McMahon is reportedly still very high on Corbin as a major player, and the video package he was given to announce his arrival on Raw made him look like a big deal. Corbin may start his Raw journey somewhere in the mid-card, but it shouldn't be long before he's flirting with the top of the food chain on Monday nights.
Bobby Roode: A necessary change for Roode to get off of Tuesday nights. Now, if they could just make the much more necessary heel turn with the former United States champ on the Monday night show, that would be fantastic.
Chad Gable: This move has the makings of being the sleeper of the 2018 Superstar Shakeup. It's been evident for a while that Gable has all the tools to succeed as a singles star, and now he'll get his chance on Raw. Also, now we hope we get as many Gable-Angle interactions as possible with maybe some Jason Jordan thrown in down the road.
Riott Squad: The concept of the Riott Squad really wasn't resonating on SmackDown since the moment they arrived from NXT, so the move to Raw likely is a last-ditch effort to see if they can be successful as a group before they inevitably split them up.
Mojo Rawley: After his heel turn last year, Rawley seemed destined for a nice mid-card push on SmackDown, but that never really came to fruition. It's doubtful his fortunes change with this move, but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Zack Ryder: Someone to help get mid-card talents over, basically.
Breezango: The "Fashion Files" segments are mostly entertaining, but it finally seems like these two are going to be featured more prominently as an in-ring tandem. They made their in-ring debut immediately on Monday, earning a clean win over former Raw tag team champions The Bar.
The Ascension: Another addition to the Raw tag division. But at this point, what value do they really have anymore?
Mike Kanellis: Kanellis returns from battling through some person struggles as well as the birth of his first child with wife Maria Kanellis, and he will do so as a fresh member of the Raw brand.
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New SmackDown superstars (18)
The Miz: This was a move that some expected, and the announcement was played out to perfection with Angle revealing it was Daniel Bryan who lobbied for Miz to be sent over to SmackDown. Given the extensive history between the two, we now have the formula in place for what could unquestionably be the best feud of the summer, and quite possibly the year.
Samoa Joe: There is a lot of potential with having Joe on SmackDown in the main event scene. If he can stay healthy, it probably won't be long before he's carrying around the first WWE championship of his career.
Asuka: Having torn through pretty much every woman on the Raw roster before losing her undefeated streak to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania, it makes sense to get the Empress not only on the same show as the woman who defeated her, but with some fresh opponents as well.
Jeff Hardy: Hardy and the United States championship that he earned on Monday night by defeating Jinder Mahal were the first big surprise of SmackDown's side of the shakeup on Tuesday night. If the idea is indeed to keep Hardy a singles star for a while, he should be a greatest asset for SmackDown going forward.
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus): Moving these two away from Raw was a change that was necessary, plain and simple.
Andrade "Cien" Almas (w/ Zelina Vega): This was a no-brainer move here to call up this duo. The addition of Vega turned Almas into a bonafide top superstar in NXT, and there's really been no reason to believe the same can't be done on the main roster.
Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose: After the Riott Squad made their presence felt Monday night on Raw, this swap was seen coming a mile away. It'll be interesting to see what sort of interactions they have with former Absolution leader Paige who is a company authority figure now, though.
SAnitY: Heavily rumored for a bit now, Eric Young and his band of misfits will finally get the chance to shine on the main roster. However, it appears they're leaving Nikki Cross out of the group, which quite frankly is a terrible decision.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson: Hopefully they can finally be utilized as the great tag team they truly are now that they're getting a change of scenery. The Good Brothers are way too talented to constantly be pushed to the back burner the way they've been for a good amount of time now.
Big Cass: The big man is officially back from the injury he suffered last summer as a member of SmackDown now, and they did what they could right off the bat to make him seem like a big deal by getting in the face of Daniel Bryan. Now, whether he can hold up his end of the bargain going forward is another story.
Sin Cara: He has been off television for a while since Kalisto moved over to 205 Live. Now he has the opportunity to do the job and work dark matches on SmackDown.
R-Truth: Is what it is. That's all there really is to say on this one.
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