Raw raided SmackDown's roster in the first night of the superstar shakeup, welcoming Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Bray Wyatt and former SmackDown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss.
SmackDown will reveal its new additions to the roster Tuesday night (8:00 p.m. ET, USA Network), and it's going to have to be an impressive haul to match what is now a loaded Raw roster. You can see all the moves from the first night of the shakeup here.
Here are eight stars (including tag teams) that can save SmackDown:
The first night of changes could have been worse for SmackDown, but it was still a very, very bad night for Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. Prior to tonight’s roster announcements, the lineup of main-event level stars left on SmackDown is incredibly thin. I’m all for giving Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles a half-hour each every Tuesday, but WWE’s going to have to give SmackDown a couple huge names if the company wants the Raw-SmackDown rivalry to be a fair fight.
We know Seth Rollins is staying on Raw, but Finn Balor would be a perfect fit on SmackDown - and he’d be one of the two or three leading men on the show, as opposed to being another star in a very deep lineup. Bray Wyatt teased an eventual feud with Balor following his WWE World Championship rematch at Payback, however, so WWE could be planning to keep Balor on Raw.
With Alexa Bliss and Mickie James off to Raw, what was once a comparatively deep lineup in the SmackDown women’s division was just slashed by a third. Raw should be giving up one of it’s four leading women, but WWE shouldn’t break up Bayley and Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax for Bliss and James isn’t exactly a fair trade.
Charlotte would be a major addition to the SmackDown lineup that could help make up for their losses, and she’s also best friends with Becky Lynch behind the scenes. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Dean Ambrose taking the Intercontinental Championship to Raw means there’s an imbalance in titles between the two shows, and Owens could also transition to the main-event scene on SmackDown fairly easily. While the United States Championship isn’t quite as prestigious, it’s been a total afterthought for months on Raw. A switch to SmackDown could help revitalize the magnitude of the title.
One complication is that Owens is already scheduled to face Chris Jericho at the Raw-exclusive pay-per-view Payback in three weeks - which would suggest Owens will remain on the Raw roster. SmackDown’s Randy Orton will also face Bray Wyatt on the show, however, so anything is possible.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Give fans a Club reunion on a show that might actually be able to make it work. AJ Styles would likely also enjoy having his good road-trip brothers back.
Enzo and Cass
Enzo and Cass are the perfect jolt of energy in the middle of a long three-hour episode of Raw each week - but they’ve also been somewhat stagnant in what is a relatively loaded tag team division on Raw. With the arrival of the Hardys and The Revival, it’s not likely Enzo and Cass will be Raw Tag Team Champions anytime soon, if ever.
Daniel Bryan *loves* Sami Zayn, and has been campaigning to bring him to SmackDown for a long time. He was already adrift on Raw before all of the recent arrivals, and things likely won’t improve for him should he stay.
A surprise debut or return
In addition to all the SmackDown talent that arrived, Raw also welcomed “The Drifter” Elias Samson from NXT.
SmackDown has proven itself to be the perfect place for young stars to gain a foothold on the main roster - look at how much Alexa Bliss and Carmella developed since their debuts - and there are a few NXT stars that appear ready to make the jump. Andrade “Cien” Almas has been rumored as a potential debut, and Asuka would be a phenomenal addition to either roster.
Tuesday night would also be an excellent opportunity for Shelton Benjamin - who had initially been aligned with SmackDown - to make his comeback, following his announcement that he’s been cleared for action.
This would be a shocker, and I’m not entirely sure Reigns would fit in on SmackDown. It would be easier to envision a long Roman Reigns World Championship run on SmackDown, where he wouldn’t have to deal with a part-time Brock Lesnar and the long list of other potential main-eventers, and giving Reigns a major title seems like a very WWE thing to do in a post-Undertaker world.
Reigns is *the* face of Raw, though, and the arrival of Dean Ambrose opens up a bunch of Shield-related storylines. He's almost certainly staying on the flagship program.
Ultimately, things could be worse
SmackDown lost a shocking amount on Monday, but the brand did hold on to arguably the best wrestler in the world in AJ Styles, along with a few other major stars in Becky Lynch and Randy Orton, and emerging talent like Baron Corbin and Luke Harper. The core of a good show is still there, and John Cena should come back from Hollywood at some point.
SmackDown won’t pick up all of the stars listed above, but if it can snag four or five of them, the show could remain as the must-watch weekly show that it has been for months.