The 2018 WWE Superstar Shakeup thoughts.

 

The WWE Superstar Shake-up is the 12th edition of the WWE Draft. A select number of WWE Superstars from Raw and Smackdown switch brands from either show with the addition of call ups from their third brand, NXT. The 2018 edition of the Superstar Shake-up had many switches over the course of two days and i will go over each one that got switched over.

FROM SMACKDOWN TO RAW

#1. Jinder Mahal- Mahal coming off a huge push from 2017 is now on Monday Night Raw. He took the United States Championship with him to Raw and his title was immediately put on the line against Jeff Hardy but more on that in a few minutes. His Smackdown run is still debated to this day so hopefully, this will be a fresh start for him on the Raw brand.

#2. The Riot Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan)- With Paige being the new General Manager of Smackdown, it makes total sense to have these three switch brands. But do i think that it was too early for these three to get switched? I do. They have been on Smackdown since November and all three of them have not had a talked about moment at all yet since their debut so lets see what will happen to these three down the road.

#3. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn-I actually did not think that this would happen since they were storyline fired from Smackdown. It appears that Stephanie McMahon (keep this in mind since over 6 months ago, Kevin Owens headbutted Vince McMahon) overruled the decision to keep them off Raw. Will Kevin Owens go back to the main event scene on Raw like he did before, or will him and Zayn will begin in the tag team division. Good pick for Raw in my opinion.

#4. Zack Ryder- His announcement was made via Twitter that he has been drafted to Monday Night Raw. I do not know how they can use him since he has been a comedy act for a very long time.

#5. Fandango and Tyler Breeze- Another comedy act from Smackdown that were never taken seriously by the casual fans. Just like Ryder, i do not know where they will go from here.

#6. Natalya- Natalya i believe is the only female veteran currently on the roster right now. She has had a good year on Smackdown Live last year so i believe that she will be able to help carry the women’s division on Raw.

#7. Mojo Rawley- For some odd reason, i think that either he or someone else who i will mention on the Raw selections will get that “Jinder Mahal push” sometime this year. He was not getting anywhere on Smackdown so i will give him a shot on Raw.

#8. Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre- Drew needed to go to Raw and Dolph is now back on Raw as well. I already see the fans making the Diesel and Shawn Michaels comparison with these two but i think that Drew will get that “push” i just mentioned on Raw so this is a great choice and we will have to see how well he will do. Anyone noticed that the former 3MB members are all on Raw now?

#9. Baron Corbin- Yeah. He has fought a lot of guys on Smackdown in the past two years and he needs a fresh new start since his disastrous summer last year from losing his Money in the Bank championship match, to losing to John Cena at the opening of Summerslam.

#10. Mike Kanellis- I keep forgetting that he is on the roster but i do not think that he will do much on Raw.

#11. The Ancension- Like Breezango, this is just another tag team to add for depth. No major shakeup here.

#12. Bobby Roode- This is a GLORIOUS addition to the Raw roster and i think that he will do great there. He had a decent run on Smackdown and he still gets a good crowd response every week. I think that a heel run from him is where the money is.

#13. Chad Gable- I thought that him and Benjamin would get drafted to Raw but i think that he should have stayed on Smackdown. Unless he teams up with Jason Jordan, i do not have a good feeling for Gable on Raw.

FROM RAW TO SMACKDOWN

#2. Jeff Hardy- The first televised shakeup announcement that happened on Smackdown started with a bang. I initially thought that the Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins will be drafted to Smackdown, but i was totally wrong. Jeff Hardy did great on his previous run on Smackdown from 2008-2009 so he will do great here too.

#3. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville- These two were paired up with now Smackdown Geneal Manager Paige over on Raw and just like The Riott Squad, they were brought up way too quick but the difference is, these two improved far better than Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. I thought that these two would be split up but lets see how long that these two will be paired up.

#4. Samoa Joe- Another great draft pick and one i did not see coming is Samoa Joe. Joe was about to start a feud with Roman Reigns on Raw but now it has been scrapped. Joe will be a big deal on Smackdown and it is an amount of time before he has a match with AJ Styles.

#5. Sanity-Another NXT act that has been rumored for a call up since late last year. About time! I know everyone is upset with NIkki Cross not coming up too, but that is fine. Remember Carmella didn’t join Big Cass and Enzo in WWE either right away. She was called to the main roster on her own and benefited a bunch. Cross has more to do – on her own. If she joins the group down the road, fine. But I like her potential as a stand alone act. Sanity did okay in NXT; I am curious to watch it translate on the bigger stage.

#6. Big Cass- Interesting. I imagine WWE will ride with him for a little bit as an upper mid-card heel. Then we can all check out his progress summer time.

#7. Auska- Oh yeah! I thought she might switch with Charlotte. Instead, they are now on the same brand. That is fine but also ironic following WrestleMania 34. Asuka has wiped the floor with the entire Raw women’s division. Now it is Smackdown’s turn. I am a huge fan of this. Her and Charlotte are kept away from Ronda Rousey until the time is right for them to do battle.

#8. The Club- No Finn Balor. Really, that is the takeaway here. The Club on their own…nobody cares. With Balor, fans care.

#9. Cesaro and Sheamus- Another move that was easy to predict. They have done it all on Raw. My take on this is that this opens the door for new tag feuds but also solo feuds. Sheamus and Cesaro will have to remain their single’s careers again eventually. I am ready for that to happen. They can lose and finish their Raw business Friday at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.

#10. R-Truth- – If No Way Jose is on Raw, then Truth can be on Smackdown. They are simply a fun opening match act that gets the crowd hyped up. If WWE does want to give him a renewed push though, they know he is a well respected veteran and more than capable. Win-win.

#11. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega- The pair of these two will be great for Smackdown. Move over Alberto Del Rio, these two are what fans care about and i think that Andrade will get a shot at the United States Championship sometime within the year.

Follow me on twitter and instagram @julianexcalibur

 

How has TNA wrestling has improved

Julian Cannon back again for another post.and I would like to thank everyone for the feedback I have received on my last post. This time is a follow up to my post last year titled “10 ways to save tna wrestling “..

Within the last year,tna wrestling has changed a lot. Some are good and some are bad.I for one want tna to succeed and oneday compete with wwe THE RIGHT WAY NEXT TIME!. TNA wrestling has been around since 2002 and from that year until 2009, that was their best years. Within the last few years,tna has been compared to Wcw in many ways. Now let me get to the changes that they have made since June 2012..

1.going live

Tna needed to go live for a long time now. Fans who read the results online can hurt the show(this happens sometimes in wwe also). Since they have been live,the show feels different than it did when they were taped. Outside the many botches in the matches they do,the show has been entertaining for the most part. But for some reason, they cannot go higher than a 1.7 rating..the fans wanted them to go live,they got it but they still choose not to watch it..that’s the “internet wrestling community ” for you who cannot decide what they want.
Believe me it has been like that since 1997.

2.world champions

Bobby Roode is now the longest reiging world champion in tna,beating stings record he set in 2009. Bobby has made the belt important again from Jeff Hardy’s tarnished reign in 2011. He then lost it to Austin Aries in July and when Aries had the belt,he was not booked right at all..he held the xdivision title for the longest since Daniels back in 2005 and has had very solid matches and feuds..him with the world title just didn’t seem to click with the fans at all..I was for it but then he made face and heel Turns that didn’t make sense at all..then Aries lost the belt to Jeff Hardy and many believe that Hardy did not deserve it..Hardy has been through a lot before the win and he sells the most merchandise in the company so strapping the belt in my point of view makes sense although I would like to see bully ray or James storm or an styles become champ again.

3.aj styles vs Daniels feud put to rest…or is it?

Styles and Daniels has had over 900 matches (estimated) in total between tna,roh,pwg and new Japan pro wrestling. In bound for glory 2011, their match was tag lined “one last match “..now who think that was going to be their last match..they then wrestled throughout 2012 and at November of that year,they had another “one last match” but this time if an lost, he would not get a shot for the world title until October 2013.. I didn’t believe that would happen but it did. How can tna do this to styles when he has been there from the beginning. For them to do that,that was a slasp in the face to his legacy and his fans..but who knows,these two wrestled a lot of times so we could see it again at bfg 2013 with the championship on the line

4.slashing away ppvs

In December 2012,Dixie Carter announced that tna will only have 4 ppvs a year..this brought confusion to the fans to why she would do this..this may be a good move but a risky one, this worked in wwe when they had 5 ppvs a year back from the “golden age era” to the early stages of the “new generation era”..this also worked for ecw when they had ppvs once every 2 months ..the big question is that can it work for tna..on order to do this,the feuds leading to the ppvs has to be very strong from the start..the problem with feuds is that they are bevy not memorable at all..why, is because after the ppv and then on the next TV show, 9 times out of 10,the payoff match will not get mentioned at all unless it is at the opening segment or music video. So if they want to put a risk for this, they can try.

5.aces and 8’s

The first time this group started in tna I thought that it was a good move.but a few weeks later, I realized that this group can’t be taken seriously at all. They run away from most people knowing that they outnumber those 2-3 people in the ring,they have not won one match until a February 2013 edition of impact, and the members anybody can care less about them. Now taz is the mouth piece of that group but yet he returns to commentary the following week which is ridiculous ..other then Mr Anderson and Devon who were established stars and wrestlers, the other members are ex wwe jobbers and just Eric bischoff son. Fans want to compare it to the nexus but they can’t because they were all new people and rising stars that wanted to get noticed and most of them are very good now in the main event/midcard scene right now..for me I want aces and 8’s to end already.

6. Tna on the road

Also announced from Carter is that tna will no longer tape their show at the impact zone..this is a great move because they have been there since 2004 and every wrestling fan wanted them to get away from Florida for a long time and at March they will start doing that..I am for this 100% but the question is that how long can they do this before the wrestlers get burned out..the one primary reason why ex wwe employees go there because they don’t have a brutal travel schedule..but after March they will hit the road week after week..I’m also for this because not a lot of places know what tna wrestling is so it is good to get your name out there..this year’s bound for glory will take place at the Alamo dome in San Antonio ,Texas..the last wrestling event to have ever sold out that arena was the 1997 royal rumble which would headline Shawn Michaels vs Sid for the wwf championship ..to me this match is the most underrated match of the career of Shawn Michaels and I would watch it over and over again if I had to.

7. The x division

Nobody cannot deny this because the x division is not the same since Hogan and bischoff came along..these were also the matches the fans look forward too and the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the letter “tna”. Rvd is the current x division champion..he was xdivision before the name was even coined. But honestly he does not need to be champion in the xdivision.. Kenny king and a few others are looking good right now..but the wrestlers in this division has been cut down..Alex Shelly is no longer there,Jay lethal is back in roh, Jerry Lynn has retired and few others has moved up to the main event scene..the last person to have made the division important was Austin Aries and since then, it became an after thought. What can improve from the xdivision, the world will never know.

8.the roster /brook Hogan

I can say that the roster of TNA has had a drastic change within the last 7 months..the gut check segments are quite innovative as well..the best they have picked up is Christian York..he has wrestled in ecw with Joey mercury and in ring of honor for several years so for him to make it to either wwe or tna is a great move..also we seen the most dickhead move that tna has ever done which was bringing in brook Hogan..every time she is on tv, I change the channel because she is very awful as a character..not only that, she is the head of the knockouts division..lets give them a round of an applause because that absolutely sucks.

I really want tna to succeed but there is very little that has to be done to do that..we know it does not happen over night but a change does though..my idea is to get Hogan out there as soon as possible because he has not done anything for them other than making the ring four sides again..

Send your feedback. At juliancannon70@yahoo.com

WWE: Retro feud: CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy

2009 was the year where raw was turning into Saturday night live because of the media guests hosts and Smackdown has become way better that raw. Jeff hardy was on the top of the mountain on smackdown along with edge, the undertaker and more.  at Wrestlemania 25, cm punk has become the only person to win the money in the bank ladder match for 2 years straight. on the wwe draft a few months later, he was drafted to Smackdown and had a short feud with Umaga and went on to Jeff Hardy.the feud started when after Jeff won the world heavyweight title from edge in a ladder match at extreme rules. cm punk took advantage of the situation and cashed in his money in the bank and defeated Jeff Hardy(i should also note that Jeff became the first wrestler in the WWE to kick out of the G.T.S during that match) to become the new world champion.His heel turn didn’t begin yet because punk was slowly doing it. so 3 weeks later at the bash ppv, they had their rematch but it was declared a no-contest due to cm punk selling the “eye injury” on that smackdown, cm punk started to bring up Jeff Hardy’s past drug issues.

cm punk would cut promos about him being straightedge(sound familiar, look up his ROH promos) and about him bringing up Jeff Hardy’s firing in 2003 for failing a drug test. the feud went on to cm punk and Jeff Hardy attacking each other on Smackdown for a number of weeks and Jeff hardy got the upper hand when he re-captured the world title at night of champions.a few weeks later on Smackdown, cm punk had a rematch clause, and Matt hardy was the special referee. Jeff won the match and cm punk brutally attacked him again. then teddy long gives him a rematch at SummerSlam in a tables,ladders and chairs match.Matt hardy who was a heel at the time turned face, and the next week at Smackdown, there was a 6 man tag match putting cm punk and the hart dynasty vs John Morrison and the reunited hardy boys in which the Hardy’s and Morrison won. then on Sunday at SummerSlam, cm punk did the unexpected and won the world title for a 3rd time(then the lights went out and went on with the undertaker choke slamming punk)   and on the following Smackdown,punk said exactly what he was going to do and banish Jeff away forever in a steel cage match. Jeff’s final image was when he went to the ramp and cm punk hit him over the head with the title. it was also reported from the dirt sheets that both punk and Jeff did not like each other at all in real life, whenever they are backstage, they would not talk to each other and punk always wanted to kick his ass. in a late 2010 video posted by both the Hardy’s (see video at the  link)  Jeff take some shots at punk. but look where punk is and look where Jeff is LOL. but anyways, this was a great feud and won the award for the best feud of the year by the wrestling observer newsletter.

Jeff Hardy: then and now..and “test run” with certain wwe wrestlers

I wrote a little bit about this a few months ago, so I will repeat a few points right off the bat.

WWE loves to give talent a “test run” in the main event scene before giving them a real run at the top. They have been doing this for years and are continuing the stance in 2012. I will simply list a few examples.

While it was under the elder McMahon, Hulk Hogan was given a “test run.” Remember, he fought Andrew the Giant well before Wrestle Mania III. The man passed with flying colors, went to do other business, and Vince McMahon knew he could trust him. A year later, Hulkamania was running wild folks.

Ultimate Warrior was given a few “test runs” as IC champion and teased some major feuds for him. Obviously, fans were ready for him to take the top spot. At WM VI, they trusted him enough to be one of the few men to beat Hogan clean and win the title.

Shawn Michaels feuded with Bret Hart over the WWE Title at Survivor Series in 1992. Not 1997! Earlier in the decade, HBK was given his “test run” as IC champ and some matches near the top of the card. He did great, so WWE trusted him with the top spot. Years later, the company was all about Shawn.

The Rock, Stone Cold, and many others all got little “tastes” of the main event scene before being given the ball officially. WWE must know if guys can be trusted on top. You rarely see somebody just thrown into the main event and STAY there. Here are a few recent names to think about folks:

Alberto Del Rio – he got a “test run” leading into WM 27. He did great, so WWE trusted him with the title months later. As we saw, Edge beat him, Del Rio built himself up a little bit more, and got his moment at Summerslam later on in the year.

John Cena – in 2003, he was given a little bit of a run against Brock Lesnar. He did a fine job, went on to feud with Underaker and Kurt Angle afterwards, then started his rise to the top. WWE knew they could trust him after he passed his initial “test.”

The Royal Rumble is often used for “lesser known” talent to get a shot at the WWE or World Title. I won’t name names, but just look at the Rumble history. Take a look at the title matches! Clearly, some of those are not major matches – just a way to “test” guys out in the main event scene for a few months.

Dolph Ziggler got a chance last year against Edge to shine. Since then, he has been a constant mid-card to upper mid-card to SOON main event wrestler. All because WWE gave him an opportunity, and he did well. Again, I could go on and on, but the fact remains. From Randy Orton to CM Punk, most big names are given a little “test” before officially given the main event spot.

Others tried but failed. William Regal was pushed to the moon in 2008 and was hugely over as a heel, in great shape, and firing on all cylinders…then failed his 2nd Wellness test.

Carlito, Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin, and MANY others were given a chance. Even The Brian Kendrick was in a WWE Title match on PPV! Either fans did not buy into them or they flopped for others reasons. Nonetheless, WWE was giving new stars a chance to shine.

That brings us to Jeff Hardy.

Hardy had some successes during his first WWE run, but this a new ball game. When he came back to WWE in 2006, it was clear the company had big ideas for him. He was given some vignettes, and major buzz was around his return. Within a few months, he was the IC Champ. After a nice run, he and Matt Hardy had a fun tag team title run in 2007. That was a “nostalgia” run which was destined to be very short-lived.

During all of this, WWE had to be very hesitant in “pushing” Jeff too much. Obviously, it was because of his past drug/behavior issues. Some fans love to just ignore these things, but you can’t. When you run WWE as a publicly traded company, somebody’s life style is a huge, huge factor. By the time, Hardy was catching on with the fans again in 2007, WWE had no choice but to give him a chance.

In 2007, the following stars got injured and/or missed time: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho (already gone), Ric Flair, John Cena, Undertaker, Edge, and many more. WWE HAD to give a new star a huge run to the top of the card. Their roster was becoming thinner and thinner. Hardy was worth the shot.

In a rare sight, he defeated Triple H clean at Armageddon 2007 to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. With Randy Orton in the middle of a long title reign, Jeff had no shot of winning the gold. However, this was all about gauging the audience’s reaction to Jeff Hardy as a main event player. If it bombed, no big deal. He would be moved back down the card. It it caught fire, WWE knew they could always go back to him down the line.

In the weeks leading up to Royal Rumble 2008, the video promos and actions of Jeff Hardy MADE him into a star. During that time-frame, he was a made man. The fact is that Orton was not going to lose his title just a few months away from WM24. With John Cena coming back later on that night, Hardy had to lose. While some cried foul on that decision, it was a MAJOR win for Hardy. He proved he could hang with the “big boys.” he was no longer just some bit player in WWE. Jeff was a major player that money could be made from down the road.

After yet another suspension and a WWE Draft in the summer of 2008, he was moved to Smackdown for the push of his lifetime. Again, he was not just given the title on his first chance. He had to EARN it. He had to FIGHT for it. He had to scratch and claw for it. Losing time after time to Triple H on pay-per-view may seem ridiculous, but it was something that HAD to be done for this story to be properly told.

Fans were just dying for him to get the title at this point. In yet another rare sight, Jeff Hardy defeated Undertaker on a Smackdown episode in late 2008. The momentum was gaining. Fans were loving his chase. People wanted something “new” for the Blue Brand. When Armageddon 2008 rolled around, Edge was defending his WWE Title against Triple H and Jeff Hardy in a triple threat match. This was the final PPV of the year and just the right time to pull off a ‘shocking’ move.

Jeff Hardy pinned Edge to win the WWE Title.

It was never going to be a long reign. It was never going to be some huge run. It was always going to be a nice, little moment for Hardy fans that dragged fans into the following year. Hardy was not going to main event a WM event. Again, his history and tainted past would not headline WrestleMania. However, Hardy was champion. WWE does this kind of thing a lot to close December.

You saw it with Daniel Bryan last year. He was given his “test” with the World Title and did a good job. In 2009, Sheamus was given the WWE Title for a short “test run” on the top. Look at where those two are now…top of their game.

In late 2008, it was Hardy’s turn. Again, his title run was never a long-term project. It almost reminds me of Austin Aries in TNA right now. The momentum was just so large, it had to be done despite other plans. As most remember, Hardy lost the title to Edge a month later. Jeff went onto feud with Matt (brother) for a few months before going right back to the main event scene. Now, WWE TRUSTED him. He had passed his tests with flying colors. No more need to beat around the bush…Hardy was OVER!

He feuded with Edge once again to win back the WWE Title to begin the summer. After that, he had an epic feud with CM Punk where they traded the title back and forth up to Summerslam and Hardy’s final WWE match days later. It may seem like I am over-exaggerating when I state this, but I am dead serious…

In mid-2009, Jeff Hardy was one of the top stars in the entire industry. Behind John Cena, Undertaker, and DX, Jeff Hardy was THE man on WWE TV. If you did not live through that year, you would think I am lying. I’m not. Just three years ago, he was in the main event scene (closing PPV events as well), selling more merchandise than over 95% of the roster, as over as any other top star, and WWE Champion.

That is what makes today so sad to see Jeff Hardy in an Orlando sound-stage in front of 1,000 NON-paying tourists each week for 1.0 television ratings. My, oh my…