Thursday, April 13, 2017

Who Won the WWE's Superstar Shakeup?

Pro wrestling is still real to me, damnit. So I wanted to look at all of the Superstar Shakeups to see the reasoning that each show would have to make these moves. I matched up guys in the most logical sense, and then ranked these trades from least to most important, marking a winner for each trade. There were basically nine trades, so the least important will receive one point, and the most important receiving nine points to see whether Daniel Bryan or Kurt Angle (who might be kayfabe racist, but we’ll get to that later) is the superior general manager of their show.

9. Raw trades Jinder Mahal to Smackdown for Curt Hawkins
Kayfabe Logic: Here is how I imagine this conversation went.
Side A: I will literally trade this guy for anybody on your roster.
Side B: Anybody?

And so it was written, the jobbers switched shows to lose to different guys.

Raw Motivation: They get rid of Jinder Mahal.

Smackdown Motivation: They get rid of Curt Hawkins.

Winner: Raw, although maybe Smackdown if Jinder Mahal shares his fitness tips with the rest of the roster. (Raw leads 1-0)

8. Raw trades Tamina to Smackdown for Mickie James
Kayfabe Logic: Neither of these ladies were able to make it to the top in limited opportunities, let’s switch it up and see what they can do.

Raw Motivation: Kurt Angle’s been gone for a really long time. This may be the only women’s wrestler that he recognizes. He may have initially tried to trade for Trish Stratus, something that I endorse 100%.

Smackdown Motivation: I guess Daniel Bryan wanted more size on his women’s roster.

Winner: Raw (Raw leads 3-0)

7. Raw trades The Shining Stars to Smackdown for Rhyno and Heath Slater
Kayfabe Logic: Rhyno and Heath Slater have fallen off the map recently, which is something you never have to worry about the Shining Stars, because you can always find them in Puerto Rico.

Raw Motivation: Rhyno and Heath Slater were over for a very short period of time. Will it happen again? Probably not, but being over once is more than The Shining Stars can say.

Smackdown Motivation: Daniel Bryan is interested in a timeshare in Puerto Rico? Daniel Bryan had already traded for Jinder Mahal and knew that he had to get rid of Heath Slater, so he could avoid 3MB chants when Drew McIntyre gets called up? Those are my two best explanations.

Winner: Raw (Raw leads 6-0)

6. Raw trades Sin Cara to Smackdown for Kalisto
Kayfabe Logic: Raw wanted to boost their Cruiserweight division, and since Smackdown doesn’t have one of those, it made sense to get a bigger guy who also fills their affirmative action of guy in a mask.

Raw Motivation: Yeah, basically boost up the cruisers, because this is where Kalisto should have been the entire time.

Smackdown Motivation: Um, Kalisto framed Daniel Bryan?

Winner: Raw (Raw leads 10-0)

5. Raw trades Sami Zayn to Smackdown for Apollo Crews
Kayfabe Logic: Two tremendous wrestling talents that can’t seem to find a way to win on their current show, so it’s a challenge trade to see if either guy can reach their potential on a different night of the week.

Raw Motivation: Kurt Angle went from a guy in Zayn who talks too much to a guy in Crews who has never said anything memorable. Also, not sure if you noticed this, but this is the first white person that Kurt Angle has traded, and even Zayn is a Canadian. Actually, looking through the roster, he traded away one white American, every other person he traded was a foreigner or a minority, many times both. Meanwhile, Apollo Crews is the only minority that he traded for in the Superstar Shakeup, and every single one of his picks are Americans (not counting managers). I did not notice this until I got to this point when writing, and it’s got me shook. Kurt Angle is a kayfabe xenophobic racist.

Smackdown Motivation: Sami Zayn is basically new age Daniel Bryan, so this move couldn’t make more sense for their side.

Winner: Smackdown (Raw leads 10-5)

4. Raw trades Rusev with Lana to Smackdown for The Miz with Maryse
Kayfabe Logic: I can’t lose a dude with a hot chick without getting a dude with a hot chick in return.

Raw Motivation: The Miz has been doing some of his best work and part of that should be attributed to Maryse who has really helped elevate the stakes for The Miz. Also, John Cena’s the biggest superstar in the WWE, so if you can’t get him, you might as well get his number one impersonator.

Smackdown Motivation: Miz couldn’t get the job done against John Cena, so at this point, is he really worth the hassle for Daniel Bryan? Rusev has more untapped potential than anyone in the WWE, as he’s legitimately one of the funniest people on the show, and he’s a hoss in the ring. That’s a nice return.

Winner: Raw. The Miz deserves it for what he’s been doing these past six months, but the only reason that people don’t think Rusev hasn’t been doing just as good stuff on the microphone (his promo where he called out Cass and E for calling themselves Big before calling himself Handsome Rusev belongs in the Smithsonian), just with a Bulgarian accent. Raw leads 16-5

3. Raw trades Charlotte Flair to Smackdown for Alexa Bliss
Kayfabe Logic: One former champion for another.

Raw Logic: Let’s face it. This had to be part of getting Mickie James for Tamina earlier. I love Alexa Bliss, but she’s no Charlotte.

Smackdown Logic: Uh, yeah, definitely do what you can to get Charlotte on the roster. I love Sasha an uncomfortable amount, but Charlotte has been the MVP of the Women’s division as long as it has been around.

Winner: Smackdown (Raw leads 16-12)

2. Raw trades Kevin Owens to Smackdown for Dean Ambrose
Kayfabe Logic: This is probably the most straight forward trade, as each side is trading their secondary champion in order to mix things up. And yes, this trade should probably be listed as number one, but as a writer, I needed a grand finale, and the final trade is way more hilarious.

Raw Motivation: Getting Dean Ambrose means that they have all three former members of The Shield on their roster, which will lead to endless speculation about the Shield reforming.

Smackdown Motivation: They get a better pure wrestler for their pure wrestling show, and he’s also better on the microphone, and he’s also not Dean Ambrose.

Winner: Smackdown (Smackdown leads 20-16)

1. Raw trades The New Day to Smackdown for Bray Wyatt
Kayfabe Logic: Bray has supernatural powers, and The New Day have the power of friendship.

Raw Motivation: Here’s what Raw has going for it. Bray Wyatt could win the World Title and give Raw both of the top titles on their show, which is especially valuable since there ain’t no way Brock Lesnar is defending that thing on Raw. Also, while trading three guys for one may seem excessive, Bray keeps pooping out new members at random times, so maybe he can bring in The Drifter or a darker version of No Way Jose? I don’t know.

Smackdown Motivation: They got three guys for one, and now their show is no longer booty. Creepy cult leading Bray Wyatt was cool, supernatural, maggot loving, Bray Wyatt is stupid. I’m not even a big fan of The New Day’s work these past six months, but I’d still rather have Big E alone over Bray Wyatt. Getting Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods along with him is a massive win for Smackdown.

Winner: Smackdown (Smackdown wins 29-16)

Although Raw won the minor trades, when it came to the top talents, Smackdown dominated their competition, and I’m actually incredibly excited about the future of Smackdown. It’s been putting on much better shows for a while, but with the influx of talent they have now, they could blow Raw away, and that is definitely not booty.

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