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WWE 2019 Superstar Shakeup Night 2 reaction and analysis



Since the WWE first split its roster in half in 2002 between Raw and SmackDown, drafts and Superstar Shakeups have served to redistribute talent between the two shows, set up fresh stories and offer new opportunities to underutilized performers.

That process has taken several different forms over the years, but since the brands were split for the second time in 2016, the post-WrestleMania Superstar Shakeup has served as a fresh starting point for a new year of WWE.

Over the course of two days, WWE stars will move between Raw and SmackDown (and in some cases, from NXT and other WWE brands) to a new home. The first night saw some heavy hitters shift to Raw throughout the night ̵

1; from The Miz at the start to AJ Styles to close it all out, and everything in between.

So who will move on Night 2? Follow along throughout the night as we break down what each change means to superstar and show alike.

To read up on how Night 1 played out, click here


Night 2 (SmackDown)

Finn Balor

Well then. Who saw that one coming? Finn Balor was the first star to switch to SmackDown Live on Tuesday, which means, for now anyway, three of the four primary men's singles championships now live on the blue brand. Will that last? Is this a way to give SmackDown more juice moving forward?

Balor, who took on Ali in his first match on SmackDown, can finally move away from his long feud with Bobby Lashley and move on to new stories. A renewed showdown with NXT rival (and fellow inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic) – current United States champ Samoa Joe – or another NXT rival in Shinsuke Nakamura could suit Balor well. Whatever the plan is, this is a move Finn needed, and a terrific start to replenishing SmackDown with some star power after the loss of AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, Andrade and others on Monday.


Night 1 (Raw)

The Miz

WWE did not take long to get the night's action underway, as The Miz moved from SmackDown Live to Raw. It's a move that makes sense, and should not be that surprising. As The Miz himself noted, he has moved shows in every single Superstar Shakeup to date, and this gives him a clean break from Shane McMahon and the story that culminated at WrestleMania 35. Miz got a few shots in on McMahon for good measure in the moments after he ran to the ring, and being on Raw should not be much of an adjustment.

As far as whom he could face, the options are plentiful. As the newly reimagined babyface Miz, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley would seem to fit the bill, but a freshly returned Sami Zayn might be the most compelling opponent out of the gate. Something just feels right about Miz, one of the WWE's most visible presences in mainstream media and a reality star on the USA Network (via "Miz & Mrs."), returning to the WWE's flagship program.

The Viking Experience, the NXT champions formerly known as War Raiders, moved from NXT to Raw on Night 1 of the 2019 WWE Superstar Shakeup WWE

The Viking Experience

After taking a breath to fully process the absurdity of the name change to the NXT tag team champions formerly known as War Raiders and coming down, Ivar (previously Hanson) and Erik (previously Rowe) joining the Raw roster is still likely a net positive. Raw remembering it has a tag team division is good news, and as they showed in their debut match, Ivar and Erik are incredibly versatile big men. They got the win, alongside The Revival, over Aleister Black, Ricochet and tag team champions Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder.

If we can get away from the silliness of the tag team name (perhaps a tweak along the way, please? ), Ivar and Erik are actually pretty strongly tied into the history of Vikings and are not nearly as problematic. There are a lot of horror stories of NXT call-ups going sideways, but if they're given as strong and as powerful a platform as it seems, they can be anchors of a revitalized tag team division in a hurry.


Cedric Alexander

The former cruiserweight champion hopes to follow in the footsteps of Ali by making a big splash after leaving 205 Live. He had taken a backseat of late to rising cruiserweights like Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese, so now is as good a time as any for a change of scenery. A matchup with the likes of a Chad Gable could showcase the best of what both guys have to offer, while a bigger opponent like Baron Corbin might be a good jumping off point.


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