April 11, 2017
More roster upheaval is on its way on Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown.
A night after the blue brand lost the likes of The Miz and Bray Wyatt to Raw, the second half of the Superstar Shake-up is set to unfold. That means fresh faces are headed to SmackDown and more personnel moves are on their way.
Last week, AJ Styles announced he wanted to remain a flag-bearer for the brand. Tye Dillinger joined the SmackDown crew. And Shinsuke Nakamura sauntered in from NXT.
Uncertainty looms as none of those wrestlers are guaranteed to stick around.
Which #RAW Superstars will head to #SDLive as the #SuperstarShakeup continues LIVE TOMORROW NIGHT at 8/7c on @USA_Network?! https://t.co/n98stkGcK0
Who will show up to the brand-altering event? Who will SmackDown pluck from Raw? How will the company handle the WWE Championship picture not that the titleholder is a part of one show and the No. 1 contender is on the other’s roster?
Backstage news, storyline analysis and the on WWE.com help answer those questions ahead of the climax of the Superstar Shake-up. SmackDown’s makeover will continue starting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
News, Potential Spoilers
Unless The Miz and Maryse transfer their parody act back to the blue brand, it looks as if we won’t see John Cena and Nikki Bella on Tuesday’s show. noted on Figure Four Online, “John Cena and Nikki Bella are gone for now and won’t be on SmackDown this week.”
We won’t see Simon Gotch at all. that it has parted ways with Gotch of The Vaudevillains, releasing the SmackDown talent on April 5.
BREAKING: WWE has come to terms on a mutually agreed upon release with Simon Gotch as of today, April 5, 2017. https://t.co/zYX4XsZL53
That leaves Aiden English without his tag team partner. That either opens the door for a push as a solo act or leaves him without a rudder.
SmackDown won’t have its play-by-play announcer, either. Mauro Ranallo is reportedly set to warm the bench.
“Ranallo, 47, is not expected to appear on camera for the remainder of his WWE contract, which he signed on Dec. 15, 2015,” of CBS Sports reported.
The show, though, could receive a jolt of exuberance and championship pedigree. Meltzer reported in Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t of Wrestling Inc) that The New Day is rumored to be heading to SmackDown.
WWE Universe @WWEUniverse
It seems @TrueKofi is here in spirit as @WWEBigE and @XavierWoodsPhD head to the ring for action! #RAW #NewDayRocks https://t.co/ex6gA1vlHr
That would help balance things out after Raw added Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Revival and The Hardys over the last two weeks.
Luke Harper may have broken out of a slump.
The big bruiser finally tasted victory when he teamed with against his old faction on the most recent edition of SmackDown.
He hadn’t won a match on SmackDown outright in eight tries before that, per . He and AJ Styles tied in a Battle Royal in February. Even with that result and his success alongside Orton last week, Harper still only boasts a .
If English steps into the ring on Tuesday, it will end a growing streak of inactivity. The Artiste hasn’t competed on the blue brand since Feb. 7, as seen on . That’s now eight SmackDowns he’s missed in a row.
Leaving the tag team division could be a boost for him, as SmackDown has struggled to showcase that side of its roster.
Shake-Up Pt. II
Raw had all the fun on Monday. It’s now SmackDown’s turn to bring in talent.
Sami Zayn may be on the move. Raw general manager Kurt Angle told him on Monday’s Raw that the blue brand was very interested in him.
WWE Universe @WWEUniverse
“You’ve been a huge asset to #RAW, but there’s a LOT of interest from #SDLive…” – @RealKurtAngle to @iLikeSamiZayn #SuperstarShakeup https://t.co/46YDdRGSOn
In addition to the roster changes, Tuesday’s show will also potentially feature a tag team title match.
The Usos are scheduled to give American Alpha a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The show’s preview on WWE, however, expressed uncertainty about the bout: “Will the match even take place?”
Fans have seen the tag division get shafted before. The Usos’ titles were the only ones not defended at WrestleMania 33, for example.
Nakamura briefly crossed paths with The Miz during his debut last week. The Awesome One is now a member of the Raw roster, though. So, that’s not where The King of Strong Style will find his first SmackDown challenge.
In addition to questions about who he will feud with first and what tier he’ll occupy, it’s not even certain Nakamura stays with the blue brand. The Superstar Shake-up could, in theory, send him to Raw, but that’s a long shot.
SmackDown needs star power after seeing three former world champs in Dean Ambrose, Wyatt and The Miz depart on Monday.
It’s unclear how WWE will handle the rivalry over the world title. The champ Orton is a SmackDown star. Wyatt, his top challenger, is now with Raw.
As Ryan Pappolla , Orton vs Wyatt in a House of Horrors match is now officially on the card for the Payback pay-per-view on April 30, Raw-exclusive event.
How much of the build will happen on each brand? How will tell the enemies’ story with them on two different shows?
Until that PPV is over, brand crossover aplenty is to be expected. Much like with the Orton vs. feud last summer, WWE will likely have its two worlds bleed into each other for the time being.
And for now, Raw and SmackDown won’t be recognizable, as soldiers switch armies once more on Tuesday.