An integral part of the WWE every year, the Superstar Shakeup is going to be the next milestone for Vince McMahon’s company in 2019, following the massive success of WrestleMania 35. The WWE Superstar Shakeup, as it is called since 2017, is the WWE draft that allows both the brands to refresh their rosters and exchange stars between them.
The draft was first used in 2002 but saw its official inception two years later in 2004. The entire process was called the “WWE draft lottery” from 2004-2005 and termed just as “draft” between 2007 and 2011. The latter year saw the termination of the brand split and an interbrand competition was promoted between 2011 and 2016. With the brand extension in 2016, the draft also returned gracing its presence in SmackDown for the first time. From 2017, the draft was relabeled as the WWE Superstar Shake-up as instead of a traditional line, the general managers of RAW and SmackDown can trade and make deals between their respective talent. The 2019 draft will be different in that respect, as the position of a brand general manager was discarded in favour of a united front managing both shows.
WWE Superstar Shakeup 2018
Going into the Superstar Shakeup this year, the company should be avoiding making certain mistakes that were pretty obvious after the last year’s edition of the WWE draft. The 2018 WWE Superstar Shakeup on the April 16 and April 17 episodes of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live. The Shakeup that year saw it work perfectly for SmackDown as the brand’s singles and tag team divisions were suddenly well loaded, with the addition of stars such as The Miz and Samoa Joe taking the piece of the cake for the blue brand. However, Raw’s roster, despite having arguably more overall talent than SmackDown, simply didn’t mesh well and really struggled to deliver compelling programming.
WWE Superstar Shakeup 2019
Regarding the forthcoming WWE Superstar Shakeup, the company sent out a press release to promote next week’s annual event:-
“Fans around the world were surprised when it was announced that the WWE roster will once again undergo a seismic shift on this week’s editions of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, both airing live at 8/7C on USA Network this Monday and Tuesday night.
Both sides have been granted an opportunity to make any roster moves that they feel fit.
Tune into this week’s Raw and SmackDown Live on USA to see where your favorite Superstars land, as the WWE landscape prepares to undergo a major change.”
On air for more than 26 years, Monday Night Raw is the longest running weekly episodic television show in U.S. primetime history with 1,350 episodes and consistently a ratings juggernaut in all of cable. SmackDown Live is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history with 1,025 episodes.”
The prospective-move that has fans gripped is definitely that of AJ Styles to RAW. For nearly three years, SmackDown has been the house that he built, but it’s finally time for him to relocate. Styles is hands down one of the best wrestlers on the planet and has proved that in his feuds across the years, but it's fair to say he is running out of opponents on SmackDown. However there are other necessary changes as well, such as balancing out the tag team division between both the brands and give NXT superstars such as Pete Dunne and the Sky Pirates a chance in the main roster.