So I was in the middle of putting together one of the countless “X superstars who should be shaken up” articles that are currently on the internet, and inspiration struck. I loved putting together those fantasy booking articles last year, so why not use the Shake-up as an opportunity. Instead of just listing some people who I thought should/would swap brands, I could take it into my own hands and actually book the shows.
Before I took one division on Raw and SmackDown and booked months in advance. I see this as the start of more regular posts covering the whole show, maybe covering up to each PPV at a time. Last time I set myself some ground rules, but for this I’m throwing most of them out of the window. If a match has already been announced, I’ll stick to it, but other than that it’s a completely fresh start, and everything – face/heel turns, NXT call-ups, teams forming or splitting up – is fair game. So what would I do with the 2018 Superstar Shake-up? Read on to find out.
Monday Night Raw 16th April
The show opens with the WWE Champion AJ Styles, making his first appearance on Raw in nearly two years. He says that SmackDown Live was the house that AJ Styles built, but now he’s on Monday nights, and he’s going to take over. He says he has to address the elephant in the room, because he has some unfinished business with one star in particular from SmackDown – Shinsuke Nakamura. Styles talks about how they were friends, how there was a respect between them going back to Japan. And at Wrestlemania, Nakamura threw all that away. He says that Styles vs Nakamura was a dream match, but Nakamura forever spoiled that moment. Nakamura couldn’t just accept that on the day, Styles was the better man. He suckered Styles in for a low blow, and then last week on SmackDown Nakamura ruined another fantasy match between Styles and Daniel Bryan. So Styles has one last challenge for Nakamura, at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
The music of Kevin Owens hits, and he comes out with Sami Zayn in tow. They make fun of Styles for being sad that his friend betrayed him, saying that the bond between Styles and Nakamura was nothing compared to Owens and Zayn. They say that while Styles was moping about Wrestlemania, Owens and Zayn put it behind them and went out there trying to make something happen in their careers. Styles asks what they’re doing here, since last week neither man won a Raw contract. KO and Zayn start laughing and mocking Styles, and out comes Kurt Angle. Angle says that he knows the stipulation from last week, and that neither Owens nor Zayn won. But he was so impressed by the performance of both men that he has given them both contracts on Monday Night Raw. Angle turns to Owens and Zayn and tells them not to make Angle regret that decision. Angle says that the last few minutes has given him an idea, and says that later tonight we will see Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn take on AJ Styles… and a partner of his choosing.
A promo video for Ember Moon plays, detailing her NXT journey.
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James come out, complaining about being ambushed by Ember Moon. They say it was a travesty that they weren’t told who their opponent would be in advance, and that it was disrespectful to the first woman to hold the Raw and SmackDown women’s championships in Bliss, and a six time champion in James. They say that they deserve better, and if this is how Kurt Angle is going to treat them then maybe they would be better off on SmackDown. They are interrupted by Naomi, setting up a match between her and James. Nia Jax comes out for commentary.
Naomi defeats Mickie James by pinfall.
Elias is in the ring, and sings a song about nobody remembering who Bobby Lashley is. Lashley’s music hits, and Elias tries to offer him a spot in his backing band, but Lashley attacks him again and lays him out.
We see a promo video focusing on Roman Reigns last week, ending with a graphic saying Roman Reigns has a message for Brock Lesnar next week.
Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt defeat The Revival.
After the match Cesaro & Sheamus attack their new challengers, Wyatt sacrifices himself for Matt but then Matt can’t overcome the two-on-one assault.
We see AJ Styles talking to Seth Rollins backstage, but we can’t hear them.
The Authors of Pain squash Heath Slater & Rhyno.
After the match AOP get a mic and say they were unstoppable in NXT, and they are going to run through the Raw tag division in the same way. The Usos come out on to the stage, but before they can get very far they are attacked from behind by Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, who throw them off the stage.
The Miz comes to the ring with The Miztourage and says that he’s going to become the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time once he gets his title back at Backlash. He says he has the inside scoop, and calls Seth Rollins out to the world so that we can see him with the title on Monday Night Raw for the last time. Seth comes out and asks if Miz has taken something? Seth says there is no way that he is losing to The Miz at Backlash, that Miz is crazy and he can’t believe that Dallas and Axel keep drinking the Kool-Aid. The Miztourage surround Miz, and all three men attack Rollins. Miz gets back on the mic while Axel and Dallas keep stomping away, telling everyone to look at the IC champion, screaming in pain. Then Rusev and Aiden English come out to even things out, chasing The Miztourage to the back.
No Way Jose defeats a local competitor.
We see a hype video for Braun Strowman.
Sasha Banks defeats Bayley in a long, even match. After the match Bayley offers Banks a handshake, but Banks draws her in and locks in the Bank Statement until referees come in to break it up.
Samoa Joe comes out to say that he hopes Roman Reigns beats Brock Lesnar at the Greatest Royal Rumble, because that would mean that when Joe tears Reigns limb from limb at Backlash he can become Universal Champion in the process. He is interrupted by Randy Orton. This leads to a match between them, which Joe wins by submission.
We see a promo video for Natalya coming to Raw.
Kurt Angle is in his office when there’s a knock at the door and Tye Dillinger walks in. Dillinger says he’s been waiting for an opportunity to show that he’s a perfect 10, and he thanks Angle for taking the chance on him. Dolph Ziggler then walks in and says that if anyone is deserving of an opportunity then it’s him, because he’s been busting his ass for over a decade without getting anywhere near the credit he’s earned. Angle says there’s nothing better than superstars as talented as Dillinger and Ziggler with a point to prove, and that they’ll both get chances to prove that they deserve chances, starting next week when Dillinger faces Elias.
Owens and Zayn come out and gloat about how AJ Styles had found a partner, but he got beaten up and is in no condition to compete. They mock AJ again for having no friends, while the bond between KO and Zayn is stronger than ever. AJ comes out for the match, and looks set to go it alone, when Finn Balor comes out flanked by Anderson & Gallows. Balor & Styles beat Owens & Zayn, and the Balor Club and Styles all “Too Sweet” in the ring as Raw goes off the air.
SmackDown 17th April
Charlotte makes her way down to the ring to open the show as replays are shown of how she lost the SmackDown Women’s Championship last week. She says that she doesn’t have an issue with Carmella. That’s how the Money In The Bank contract works, and she timed it perfectly. Charlotte says Carmella has to be careful though, because now Charlotte will be coming for her to get her title back. Charlotte begins to talk about Billie Kay and Peyton Royce when she’s interrupted by Carmella. Carmella asks if Charlotte is threatening her. Carmella says that she did nothing Charlotte wouldn’t have done in the same situation, and she did it all by herself. Charlotte retorts by saying that she knows that she’ll get her title back when she gets her rematch, because The IIconics are the reason Charlotte is no longer Women’s Champion, not Carmella. Charlotte says she’s going to beat Carmella to get the title back, and then she’s going to beat Kay and Royce to pay them back for last week. This brings The IIconics out to the ring.
Kay and Royce brag about playing a part in Charlotte’s ultimate fall from grace – from becoming the first person to defeat Asuka at Wrestlemania to being a loser just two days later. They talk about how Charlotte likes to call herself the Queen, but because of Kay and Royce she’s lost her crown. As they keep talking, Carmella attacks Charlotte from behind, and a three on one assault begins. Becky Lynch runs out to make the save, but gets caught by the numbers game. Then Bayley enters the fray, and Lynch and Charlotte fend off Carmella and The IIconics.
Carmella, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce defeat Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley when Kay pins Lynch.
Paige is backstage talking about how strong the women’s division is, when she’s approached by Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. Vega praises Paige for having the sense to sign Almas, saying she has just brought on board her new franchise player. Paige says there’s a lot of competition on the SmackDown roster, so Almas has his work cut out if he’s going to become the face of the brand, but she’s looking forward to seeing Almas in action next week.
Baron Corbin defeats Bobby Roode. After the match, Corbin grabs a mic and proclaims to be the best big man in WWE, saying nobody can touch him. Big Cass comes out, and Corbin backs away.
Jinder Mahal comes down to the ring to say that now AJ Styles is on Raw, he is the top champion of SmackDown once again. He says that Styles knew that Mahal was coming for revenge now that he had gold of his own, so Styles went to Paige and Shane McMahon and begged to be moved to Raw just so he wouldn’t have to lose to Jinder. Mahal says that the reign of the Maharaja is – and he’s interrupted by Seth Rollins. Rollins says he holds the Intercontinental Championship and is a Grand Slam champion, so he’s fairly confident he’s ahead of Mahal in SmackDown’s pecking order. But Rollins says he’d be more than happy to prove that he’s the better man in a match right here, right now. Mahal refuses, saying that he wasn’t prepared for a match, but that he’d see Seth next week and leaves.
A promo video airs hyping the debut of Sanity, coming soon.
Mojo Rawley is in the ring, and talks about how nobody takes him seriously, even though he’s a former Andre The Giant Battle Royal winner. Rawley says that the Superstar Shake-up and having a new GM is a chance to make an impression, so he’s issuing an open challenge to anybody on the SmackDown roster. Drew McIntyre answers.
Drew McIntyre squashes Mojo Rawley.
The New Day are backstage talking about how Rawley did go down in history by winning the ATGBR last year, but they went down in history when they became the longest reigning tag team champions of all time. They are joined by Heath Slater and Rhyno, who say they made history by becoming the first ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Xavier looks off camera and asks what you’ve done, and we see Titus Worldwide standing off to the side. Titus gets in Slaters face, and they set up Titus Worldwide vs Slater & Rhyno for later. Those four leave, and Kofi nudges Woods and Big E, says talking about making tag team history and points to their other side, and the camera pans over to reveal Jeff Hardy on his way to the ring.
Jeff Hardy squashes R-Truth.
Titus Worldwide vs Heath Slater & Rhyno ends in a no contest when The Revival attack both teams.
Daniel Bryan comes down to the ring. He says that the last couple of weeks have been some of the greatest of his life. He was finally able to return to the ring, and he did it on the grandest stage of them all. He managed to wrestle in front of his wife and daughter, which at one point he didn’t think would ever happen. He says that last week, we were supposed to see the match of a lifetime between him and AJ Styles, and he thought they were on their way to a classic for the WWE Universe. But the chance to have that next level match was taken away from them by Shinsuke Nakamura.
Bryan says he has history with Nakamura, they lived together early in their careers, and he doesn’t know what’s gotten into Shinsuke. Bryan says the Nakamura he knows fights with honour and pride, but that wasn’t what we saw from Nakamura at Wrestlemania, and that wasn’t what we saw last week. Bryan says he doesn’t know what to think, because the last time he tried to help out friends they tried to end his career. Bryan says that if Nakamura has a problem with him, then Shinsuke should say it to Bryan’s face, so they can sort it out like men. Bryan says he doesn’t have any time for someone he thought he respected interfering in one of his matches. Nakamura then comes through the crowd and takes Bryan out from behind. Nakamura hits the Kinshasa on Bryan as SmackDown goes off the air.