WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 4/16: Superstar Shakeup Part II as the rosters take new shape for the new season, Paige’s mystery tag team,

By Frank Peteani, PWTorch contributor

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APRIL 16, 2019

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton


WWE stays put in the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC for Smackdown tonight as for the second week in a row we see Raw and Smackdown emanate from the same arena. We continue to move away from WrestleMania weekend and focus on part two of the Superstar Shakeup.

I apologize as due to scheduling issues with my regular job I was unable to watch Raw last. With the Superstar Shakeup, I want to watch it unspoiled and tonight’s Smackdown certainly ties into last given who moved and who may or may not have debuted. I will break my normal format for today and just talk blindly about what we can expect tonight based on last week and what may have happened last night. You can grade me and hold me accountable on my Twitter account if I got anything wrong.

The Shakeup Continues

Tonight, we wrap up the two-part Superstar Shakeup. By this point, we likely all know who moved to Raw and who debuted from NXT, NXT UK, or 205 Live. I have to believe that was all on the table and I didn’t mention it in yesterday’s primer. Given Buddy Murphy dropped the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania to Tony Nese, and Pete Dunne losing the UK Championship to Walter, you had think they were on their way up. If neither one of them showed up on Raw last night, It’s not crazy to imagine them arriving on Smackdown tonight. Given this was an “International” shakeup, that certainly makes it even more of a possibility.

Last week we saw the Bar on Raw take on Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston in the main event. They teamed with Drew McIntyre on Smackdown to take on New Day. If the Bar didn’t show up on Raw last night, and regardless of whether Drew was on Raw, it’s possible to expect him to arrive on Smackdown tonight and address his walking out on the Bar.

Bear in mind anybody that was on Raw last night could be changing addresses and arriving on Smackdown tonight. My guess is Roman Reigns was on Raw, and depending on what happened, he could be filling out a change-of-address form and showing up tonight.

Braun Strowman and U.S. Champion Samoa Joe got into it last week on Smackdown after Joe attacked R-Truth. If Joe didn’t arrive on Raw last night, it’s not crazy to expect Braun to show up on Smackdown tonight.

It’s always excited to see people on a new brand, and thus tonight we’ll learn the rest of WWE’s plans as we head towards the rest of 2019 and especially Smackdown moving to FOX in the fall.

Frank’s Analysis: As I said, you can grade me on my Twitter account. The big thing to keep in mind is the move to FOX in the fall. You would think Vince McMahon and WWE would want to put some of their big-star, big ticket players on Smackdown. It’s why I feel like Roman Reigns could be Smackdown bound. The other thing to consider is Ronda Rousey’s potential return down the line. If Becky stays on Smackdown, and Ronda plans on returning down the line, Ronda could have a ticket to Smackdown and set up the one-on-one we all had hoped we’d see at WrestleMania.

Paige Bringing a Tag Team

Former Smackdown general manager Paige arrived on Smackdown last night in an interview following new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Iiconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) defeating the Brooklyn Belles. Here’s the interview in case you missed it, and a WWE.com exclusive with the Iiconics reacting to Paige:

Somebody speculated on Twitter that the Iiconics are the modern day female version of Edge and Christian. Watching that video I can’t disagree. One tag team we can rule out is Nia Jax and Tamina as WWE acknowledged that Nia will be sidelined for some time due to double knee surgery. There’s been a lot of speculation as to who the tag team may be. If Kairi Sane didn’t show up on Raw last night, my guess is it’s her and Io Shirai depending on what plans they have for Shirai down the line. WWE has promoted people from NXT early on and worked with them on the main roster. They did so recently with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, who ironically were aligned with Paige in Absolution towards the end of 2017.

Frank’s Analysis: The fact that Paige went out of her way to say she was bringing a tag team has to mean it’s not somebody already on the main roster, although WWE has disappointed us before in this regard. It’ll be interesting to see what role Paige will have with the new team whether or not she will be a full time manager or just oversee the tag team division.

Items From Last Week Expected for Follow-Up

• Harper defeated EC3, with Drake Maverick in his corner, in the dark match before Smackdown. If neither of those gentlemen were on Raw last night I would imagine their address will be Smackdown

• The weird puppet appeared on Smackdown last week, which has to have something to do with a returning Bray Wyatt. He’s been on Raw for two years, and thus if he wasn’t there last night I would imagine we could see him tonight. I’m curious how his character will be framed going forward considered a lot of his run has been a misfire depending on how you view things.

• Look for Smackdown Tag Team Champions Matt & Jeff Hardy to have new challengers. My guess is off the bat it will be foils like Anderson & Gallows to pad their run. If EC3 wasn’t on Raw last night, and is going to be managed by Drake Maverick, then AOP could be in play as well but that’s just me speculating.

• If Lacey Evans wasn’t on Raw last night then I would expect her to arrive on Smackdown to feud with Becky Lynch given what happened last week.

Start Time & Matches Advertised on the Arena Website

The Bell Centre’s website advertises a start time of 7:45 p.m. local time. As they did with last night’s Raw, they advertise no matches nor wrestlers appearing.

205 Live will follow the main show.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani or e-mail fpeteani@gmail.com. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!

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