Vince McMahon loves a good bit of hyperbole: this week he is teasing SmackDown Live’s biggest acquisition in history for tonight’s episode of the Superstar Shake-Up. With a significant amount of SmackDown’s headliners having made the jump to Monday Night Raw, it’s left a pretty big hole in the blue brand for some massive shoes to step into. But who could it be?
Looking back through history, the SmackDown brand has had some huge names make the jump to Tuesday (and Friday) nights: Batista in 2005, and Charlotte Flair in 2017, to name a few. So for this year’s draft to top them, it must be a blockbuster attraction. We’ve compiled a list of five potential draftees for SmackDown Live, names that could indeed be big enough to fit the bill as their biggest acquisition of all time. Make sure to let us know who you think it will be in the comments below.
1. Brock Lesnar
The former Universal Champion has been a perennial member of Raw since the brand extension in 2016. Not that Brock has been about for much of the brand split, but nevertheless, he’s a flag bearer for the Monday night crew. Lesnar is still treated as one of the, if not the biggest draws on the entire roster and it’s hard to disagree with that fact.
With SmackDown Live now transitioning into a partnership with Fox, it would make sense for them to use Brock Lesnar as a star attraction. Lesnar of course has that cross-promotional appeal, gauging both the sports-entertainment and mixed martial arts demographics. The big-wigs at Fox would surely love to have that reach through SmackDown Live.
Not only that, but Lesnar has accomplished all he can on Monday Night Raw. Now a two-time Universal Champion, defeating his Mount Rushmore of the Raw roster in Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, it’d be hard for him to progress now he’s been defeated by Seth Rollins. Similarly to AJ Styles, it makes sense for him to restart on a different brand, bringing the same dominating nature to a new playing field, keeping things fresh during the peak of his career.
2. Seth Rollins
A swerve if I’ve ever seen one would be for Raw’s Universal Champion to be drafted to the opposite brand. In the vein of John Cena in 2005, seeing the other world champion make the jump to another ship would be a game changer, especially while having the two title holders on the same brand. WWE have already teased a unification of the Universal and WWE Championships, perhaps now they’ll go the full way and have Seth or Kofi unify them on the same brand.
Rollins is a big player in WWE, so putting the moniker of ‘biggest acquisition in SmackDown history’ on him would be a huge deal. The Universal Championship hasn’t really been given the best exposure over the past couple of years, so allowing the new champion to flourish on the SmackDown brand and give the title a bit of prestige wouldn’t hurt.
I think this is one of the least likely candidates for Vince’s choice, but if it did happen, the landscape of WWE could undergo some dramatic changes.
3. The Undisputed Era
A very interesting decision for Vince could be to treat the stable of Adam Cole (BAYBAY), Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong as one of the most hyped call-ups in history. The Undisputed Era have proven themselves to be a staple of NXT. Now having lost their iron fist over the tags and singles divisions, perhaps this is the right time to call-up the quartet and begin their dominance on the main roster.
Maybe this could be somewhat of a heelish move for Vince, to consider The Undisputed Era his new henchmen who would ensure the landscape of WWE remains as he sees it, bringing up not just one or two but four young guys to work for him could be a ‘big acquisition’ for the McMahon brand on SmackDown Live.
Whichever way you look at the eventual call-up of the four lions, it’s going to be hype. Whether it happens tonight, we’ll see.
4. Ronda Rousey
Ronda is currently on a hiatus from WWE, which after her run as Raw Women’s Champion, you could say it’s well earned. Rousey had a fantastic first year in WWE which was book-ended by the first ever women’s WrestleMania main event, abd she definitely deserves all the fanfare upon her return. With the future somewhat unclear at the moment, it would be interesting for Vince to plant the seed of her comeback in our minds, having acquired her for SmackDown Live upon her return.
Rousey is, much like Lesnar, one of WWE’s biggest box office draws. She has that marketable factor that Fox will eat up. If anyone should be allowed to take the namesake of biggest draftee of all time, then it could be her.
Ronda could potentially be out for over a year at this point, allowing for the playing field to be completely shaken-up by the time she returns. Hopefully we’ll get to see Rousey make a return and pick up the feud with Becky Lynch or whoever else happens to be on a hot streak by that point. Regardless, I think that should be a part of SmackDown Live.
5. Roman Reigns
The Big Dog is naturally going to be considered a top choice for Vince McMahon, he’s the biggest star of this generation and arguably one of the best of all time. His recent return from battling leukaemia has finally granted him a babyface reception, so if there’s any time to have him and Vince McMahon in the same ring together, it’s now.
Having Roman, Seth and AJ Styles currently on Raw is somewhat overkill. It’s time to split things up and give the other stars a little bit of breathing space away from the steam train that is Roman Reigns. SmackDown Live could desperately do with some big names to help boost their roster’s credibility at this point, and Roman could quite easily fit that bill.
It’s a no brainer at this point, WWE are looking to rebuild Roman from scratch and SmackDown Live are after a big acquisition.
Of course it could be any number of WWE superstars that Vince considers to be a big enough namesake for the blue brand. For all we know it might even be a debuting Conor McGregor. Either way, I look forward to seeing who they put on that pedestal tonight on SmackDown Live. Make sure you let us know who you’ve got for your picks in the comments.