Whenever things are dire for WWE, one of the quick-fix solutions is to trade superstars back and forth between the three main brands: RAW, SmackDown Live and NXT. The last time we saw a ‘Superstar Shake-Up’ (another loose term for a Draft Night), one of the biggest names in WWE made the jump from RAW to SmackDown, that of course being Roman Reigns, needless to say his appearance drew relatively big numbers for the blue brand’s ratings.
With things not looking great following COVID, WWE are looking once again to a Draft night to make things a little more interesting going forward. With a plethora of talented individuals to pluck out of their comfort zones for a renewed importance elsewhere, we’re going to run down 5 trades that must happen in the upcoming Draft.
This list will include superstars from across all three brands, make sure you leave your own draft night predictions down in the comments section.
1. King Corbin to RAW
Failing to capture any championship success after wrapping up his feud with Roman Reigns, King Corbin has floundered as part of SmackDown’s mid-card scene. Most recently battling with the freshly called-up Matt Riddle in a losing effort, Corbin’s efforts as a detestable heel are almost wasted without any meaningful programmes to benefit from. A transition onto Monday nights could give his kingly gimmick an injection of momentum, allowing for new feuds to blossom and hopefully a title run to boot.
Alongside the usual hustle of Monday Night RAW is RAW Underground, a skit that allows more legitimate fights to relish in what brought them to the dance. Commentators often call back to King Corbin’s days as an amateur boxer, meaning he could bring in that same striking ability to become a dominating force in not-Fight Club. Yes, this could mean yet another feud with Dolph Ziggler.
Either way, I’d like to see King Corbin enjoy some championship success, or at least be given a half-decent run in the main event scene. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, it’s hard to deny that he’s been one of the most consistent acts in WWE, one that has held things together when times are tough and champions are part-time. Also, hopefully a trade to RAW would do away with his King gimmick, enough with that silliness.
2. Rhea Ripley to SmackDown Live
‘The Nightmare’ returned to NXT shortly after her WrestleMania programme with Charlotte Flair. Unfortunately, travel restrictions brought her run to a crushing halt, meaning she was unable to jump straight back into the NXT Women’s title picture until Io Shirai was well on her way to capturing it. Despite what some fans might think, the loss to Flair and her subsequent demotion in the ranks hasn’t hurt her chances of becoming a major player on the main roster, to quote a certain star of the hit movie Bumblebee, her time is now.
I imagine that WWE were biding their time with Ripley’s call up, perhaps waiting for whenever live crowds were to be reintroduced to make the most of a big pop, but with that seemingly still unable to happen in WWE, best make this moment happen sooner rather than later. Rhea could easily jump into either brand’s Women’s division and steadily rise through the ranks to become the champion.
I personally would put her on SmackDown Live, giving way for her to become the one to dethrone the dominant Bayley. Now, I know many have penned Sasha Banks to be the means to an end, but with backstage officials being incredibly high on Bayley as a heel champion, I don’t see her reign coming to an end anytime soon. I think it’s going to take someone new, someone fresh to succeed her, and that is of course going to be Rhea Ripley.
3. Kevin Owens to NXT
With the likes of Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze leading the charge for former NXT stars being called back home, ‘The Prizefighter’ could easily be another alumni to return to his grassroots and rekindle some of his past glory. Kevin Owens recently flirted with the idea of returning to NXT when he joined Team Ciampa at TakeOver: WarGames, fans went berserk for ‘KO’ and the idea of him returning full-time became very appealing.
There’s a lot of fresh talent and new feuds for Kevin Owens to dip into, giving him a slight career rejuvenation and escape from the tedious booking he’s receiving on RAW. Granted, he’s currently involved in a feud with Aleister Black, but once that has passed I can’t see much else for Owens in the pipeline aside from the occasional episode of the KO Show.
Owens is an amazing talent that can’t be allowed to waste away on the main roster. If the ‘call down’ to WWE’s supposed third brand was able to work wonders for the two aforementioned names (who are both now holding onto championship gold), surely it will do the same for KO.
4. Seth Rollins to SmackDown Live
‘The Monday Night Messiah’ has picked off a good few names during his latest heel run: Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio and Drew McIntyre to name a few. Even though it’s a little brainless, the whole ‘Jesus’ gimmick has been a little too comic for me personally, but it’s hard to deny that he’s been a leading name for WWE in 2020. Despite not picking up the WWE Championship during his programme with McIntyre, this new gimmick has enough to propel Rollins into the title picture on SmackDown Live, should they be looking to continue with his holy character.
Perhaps the soon-to-be christened ‘Friday Night Messiah’ could bring his message to a new landscape in SmackDown Live, putting together a few feuds that he’s yet been given to explore during his former babyface run. Rollins could easily ride this wave of momentum through to a mid-card championship or even another Tag title run if they wanted to keep him and Murphy together, or maybe even give him a new disciple on the blue brand.
Obviously with his former Shield partner, Roman Reigns, holding onto the Universal Championship, this could certainly lead to another dream clash being on the cards in the future. I have faith in Seth Rollins.
5. The Undisputed Era to RAW
The Undisputed Era have been the shining stars of NXT since their inception in 2017. Adam Cole, Roderick Strong and the team of O’Reilly and Fish have stormed through the roster and become some of the companies most profitable stars. There’s no doubt that the quartet could make a splash on the main roster if they were so inclined to jump ship, which they should be, seeing as NXT seems to be moving away from UE’s dominance and allowing the rest of the roster some time in the spotlight.
During the brand invasion angle, Undisputed Era were heavily featured as some of the most victorious of the invading forces. Adam Cole in particular picked up few notable victories over the likes of Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, huge wins when you consider he wasn’t even a part of the main roster at the time. Even though the stable have taken a few losses since that time, they’ll surely be considered a massive threat if they were to ‘shock the system’ on Monday Night RAW.
The issue with this particular call-up is the presence of Retribution, another faction looking to bring down the machine. It seems the only way to market a team like UE would be to have them as rebellious usurpers, which is a little too in line with the masked attackers’ MO. Maybe this could wait a little longer, but much like Ripley, they can’t sit on this for too long before their reputation begins to sink.
Undisputed Era are without a doubt one of WWE’s hottest products, they’ve served their purpose well on NXT, so it’s definitely a viable option for them to be called-up alongside the likes of recent debutantes: Keith Lee and Matt Riddle. It would certainly shake things up and maybe prove to be the draw the main roster needs during this trying period of recovery.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.