The WWE Superstar Shake-Up is one of the most exciting times for WWE Superstars and the WWE Universe as it promises to shake everything from the ground up and alter storylines, feuds
This concept was far more entertaining when WWE had their old school Draft format in the early 2000s but the Shake-Up still brings a similar element of surprise and shock that can totally flip the WWE on its head.
With that in mind, here are three bold, and three not-so-bold predictions for the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up.
Bold WWE Superstar Shake-Up Predictions
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens Will Win the Intercontinental & United States Championships, Get Drafted to Opposing Shows
The first bold prediction stems around the both the Intercontinental and United States Championships. With this year’s Superstar Shake-Up taking place in Montreal, Canada, it’s the prime opportunity for WWE to give both hometown heroes a significant push on the mid-card.
WWE loves getting the crowd behind hometown superstars and this would be the perfect time to give Owens a concrete storyline of his own after he’s floated around on SmackDown Live since his return while also giving Zayn the singles push he’s long deserved.
This is a two-part prediction, however, that will also see Zayn drafted from Raw to SmackDown Live and Owens drafted from SmackDown Live to Raw as holders of their new Championships.
This may seem counter-productive for someone like Balor who just won the Intercontinental Championship back from Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania and just defended it against Zayn a week ago on Raw. Still, Balor should be in line for a major push in either the Universal or WWE Championship picture.
Adam Cole Will Debut Without Undisputed Era
It wouldn’t be a true NXT call-up if WWE didn’t inexplicably break up a team, even temporarily, upon their debut on the main roster. This has made a lot less sense for some teams, such as when Nikki Cross remained in NXT rather than debuting with SAnitY, Carmella not debuting with Enzo & Cass and other similar situations along the way.
Cole has legitimate star power, though, and doesn’t necessarily need the Undisputed Era by his side to impress on the main roster.
Despite the star power and singles push that Cole deserves on the main roster on either Raw or SmackDown Live, he could be booked as a legitimate heel with his stable of cronies alongside him. In the long-term, it’s always felt like Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish were destined to be a tag-team while Roderick Strong and Cole were meant to be a mid-card star and high-end superstar on the main roster. To start, though, the team staying together to “shock the system” just made sense.
Despite this, WWE has been teasing a breakup with Strong and Cole getting in each other’s faces at both the end of NXT TakeOver New York and on NXT television following the pay-per-view. The team could very possibly find themselves back together on the main roster at some point but Cole will likely debut alone with Strong going in a singles direction and Fish & O’Reilly remaining as a duo.
Lesnar Winds up on SmackDown Live Somewhere Down the Line
This one may be a little unfair as it might not occur as a result of the Superstar Shake-Up. Still, Lesnar to SmackDown Live makes a lot of sense given his history as a fighter and Fox’s desire to create a more legitimate sports feel for their broadcasts.
Lesnar is a former NCAA and UFC Champion and has what it takes to bring a big-fight-feel to any venue he enters. If Lesnar goes to SmackDown Live at the Shake-Up or somewhere down the line, he’ll immediately draw attention to the product. This is exactly what WWE wants as SmackDown Live is still marketed as the B-show despite often having the better matches and storylines than its big-sibling in Monday Night Raw.
Related: Lesnar’s UFC Return Not a Given
With Lesnar’s future in UFC not looking like a certainty at this point, a jump to SmackDown Live on the same part-time gig he has right now just makes too much sense.
Not so Bold WWE Superstar Shake-Up Predictions
Aleister Black and Ricochet Will be Broken Up
When Aleister Black and Ricochet debuted together, their pairing seemed like a temporary way to make two potential top stars look strong together. When they continued to be booked strong and compete for the NXT, Raw and SmackDown Live tag team championships, the latter of which coming at WrestleMania 35, it was clear that WWE was misusing these two unique talents.
With the Superstar Shake-Up taking place, it makes sense for WWE to separate these two with Black being exclusive to Raw and Ricochet being exclusive to SmackDown Live, effectively ending their pairing and working towards strong singles pushes for the former tag team.
Both Ricochet and Black have star potential and could make it huge as singles competitors in WWE. Though they never won any of their championship matches on the main roster, they have been booked incredibly strong since debuting and that should remain the same despite this split.
The Sky Pirates Make Their Main Roster Debut on SmackDown Live
This one just makes too much sense. Paige hinted on SmackDown Live a week ago that she would be bringing a special team to the brand for the Superstar Shake-Up. With Kairi Sane getting a farewell on NXT television, it would only make sense that this is the team Paige is referring to as a special team.
Sane and Io Shirai will instantly be one of the Women’s Divisions best tag teams and could be in line for a good feud against the IIconics who just won the Championship belts from Sasha Banks and Bayley at WrestleMania 35.
Both Sane and Shirai have competed in main roster competition before but neither
Bobby Lashley Drafted to SmackDown Live
With SmackDown Live moving to Fox in the near future and Bobby Lashley having a legitimate MMA background and interest to return to the cage soon, he makes perfect sense for SmackDown Live. Fox reportedly wants a more legitimate sports setting for their show and Lashley brings that more than he’ll ever bring big-time character work to NBC and Monday Night Raw.
Lashley could turn face in any potential move to SmackDown Live as well which might make sense if he and Samoa Joe are in line for any sort of feud. There’s no reason to believe they would be based on clues leading up to the Superstar Shake-Up but Lashley and Joe just make sense as a rivalry down the line given their legitimate fighter personas. It wouldn’t be hard to get a feud going between these two if WWE feels it would grab the attention of the fans.
If Joe isn’t the opponent WWE has in mind, he could compete against Lesnar down the line if he also ends up on the Blue Brand.