Noah Powers/The Seahawk (Made with Adobe Illustrator)
For the second week in a row, both RAW and Smackdown Live were held in the same city and venue, as WWE’s annual Superstar Shake-up took over the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. With any superstar on RAW, Smackdown, 205 Live or NXT eligible to switch shows, it set up two very exciting and dramatic nights for the WWE Universe. Let’s take a look back on what happened on both shows.
Monday Night RAW
RAW opened this week with both Stephanie and Shane McMahon introducing the start of the Superstar Shake-up. This promo included Shane mocking the Montreal crowd before the first superstar involved in the Shake-up was revealed. The Miz’s music hit as he ran out and attacked Shane with his fists and a steel chair, making his jump from the blue brand to the red brand in exciting fashion and displaying a clear statement to Shane after losing to him at WrestleMania.
Next up, both Ricochet and Aleister Black were announced as full time members of the RAW roster before a new tag team made their main roster debuts. Known as the War Raiders in NXT, but receiving a new tag team name The Viking Experience, Ivar & Erik showed off their power and helped The Revival pick up a win over Black & Ricochet and the RAW Tag Team champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins in an eight–man tag team match.
Along with Zelina Vega, Andrade made his RAW roster debut as he squared off with the current Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. In what ended up being a very physical battle, Andrade walked out with the pinfall victory after hitting Balor with his hammerlock DDT finisher.
For a second week in a row, Elias came out for another performance and once again was interrupted. After declaring last week that anybody who interrupted him was a dead man and appropriately being attacked by the Undertaker, Elias took a different approach. Elias declared that the next superstar to interrupt him would never be able to show his face in WWE again. Rey Mysterio answered that challenge and came out to make the jump from Smackdown to RAW. Mysterio sent Elias retreating but was beaten down by Lars Sullivan to close the segment. Sullivan continues to prove to the WWE Universe why he is the next monster to look out for.
Following a couple of segments and matches including the Usos making their RAW roster debuts and defeating Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, Sami Zayn denouncing Montreal as his hometown in a heel promo, Bayley and the newest member to the RAW Women’s division Naomi defeating the Women’s Tag Team champions The IIconics and Braun Strowman destroying EC3 by putting him through the stage, Becky Lynch and Ruby Riott had a match to show off Lynch’s dominance as the RAW and Smackdown Women’s champion.
Lynch picked up the win after her Dis-arm Her submission, but it was what happened after the match that made the segment. Natalya came out to challenge “The Man” for the RAW Women’s championship before being interrupted by the “Sassy Southern Belle” Lacey Evans. Evans challenged The Queen of Harts to a number one contender match for the title. After surviving a long time in Natalya’s Sharpshooter submission before making it to the ropes, Evans would go on to pick up the win following the Woman’s Right and a moonsault for the 1-2-3.
In the main event, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & a mystery partner battled Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin in six–man tag team action. Who was this mystery partner you may ask? None other than “The Phenomenal One” A.J. Styles. The match closed with Lashley taking a Stomp into a Spear and then a Phenomenal Forearm to give Reigns, Rollins & Styles the win.
The second night of the Superstar Shake-up kicked off with the Kevin Owens Show featuring guests the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods of The New Day. With Big E currently on the shelf due to a meniscus injury suffered last week on Smackdown, Owens proposed to take his place and rename himself “Big O.” After impressing Kingston and Woods with a pelvic thrust, Kingston announced Owens as the newest member of The New Day. The segment closed with Owens wearing a New Day shirt and a unicorn horn on his head to loud cheers from the Montreal crowd.
The first RAW superstar to make the jump to the blue brand was the Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. Balor would go on to win his Smackdown debut match against Ali in an exciting encounter that saw Balor pick up the win with his Coup de Grace finisher.
Following a match between Carmella and Charlotte in which Flair defeated Carmella by submission and Lars Sullivan showing up again, this time attacking R Truth, Becky Lynch hit the ring to cut a promo. This segment was filled with multiple Smackdown debuts including Ember Moon and Bayley making the jump from RAW.
After Bayley and Moon made their way to the ring, The IIconics came out to mock the duo for not having any titles around their waists. Following this, the returning Paige’s music hit as she had a huge announcement to share with the WWE Universe.
As Paige prepared to announce the newest women’s tag team to Smackdown, Mandy Rose’s music hit as she and Sonya Deville came out to interrupt Paige. With Rose and Deville teasing this as an Absolution reunion, Paige announced the real new tag team of Asuka and NXT’s Kairi Sane.
This led to an eight–women tag team match between Asuka, Kairi Sane, Ember Moon & Bayley against Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and The IIconics. Sane would pick up the pinfall victory for her team after delivering her Insane Elbow finisher off the top rope and pinning Royce.
In the main event, the newest member of the New Day Kevin Owens teamed with Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston to face Cesaro, Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura. Owens hit his stunner finisher on Rusev after Owens sent Kingston flying into his opposition to pick up the win and leave the Montreal crowd in a very happy mood as we hit the final segment of the night.
In the closing segment, Vince McMahon came to the ring announcing the greatest and most charismatic acquisition in Smackdown history, Elias. As Elias began to play to loud boos, Roman Reigns’ music hit which sent the Montreal crowd into a state of frenzy.
Reigns delivered a Superman Punch to Elias before McMahon went face-to-face with Reigns. “The Big Dog” dropped the Chairman with another Superman Punch followed by a spear on Elias. Reigns took to the microphone to close the show saying, “I don’t care what he says. Smackdown Live is my yard now.”
With plenty of new faces on both RAW and Smackdown, we are in store for some potential new feuds and plenty of intrigue heading into the summer months.
Staff Writer Brian Carpenter can be found on Twitter @carp_brian28. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected]