It’s been a while since this happened, and we can only surmise it will after Wrestlemania is done. Let’s face it – the Raw and Smackdown rosters need a bit of a shakeup. DraftKings Nation is doing its first annual post-Wrestlemania draft. We peer into the crystal ball and pick four wrestlers and/or groups that we feel need a change in scenery.
DK Nation Culture Editor: Murjani Rawls Picks
Imperium to RAW: I want Gunther vs. Cody Rhodes, but the red brand could use a strong heel faction. Somebody between the Brawlin Brutes and Imperium has to move. I think they’ve milked that fight for all it’s worth. With moving Imperium to RAW, you have Gunther as your top heel and Ludwig and Giovanni as a good tag team. If Brock sticks around, there’s your match for Summerslam.
Judgement Day to Smackdown: If RAW is going to take one heel faction, they have to send another back. Presumably, Rhea Ripley just won the Smackdown women’s title from Charlotte Flair. Hopefully, Finn Balor and Edge will wrap up their feud with the Hell In A Cell blowoff at Wrestlemania. Dom is going to get beat up by Rey Mysterio. The faction needs some fresh matchups and another spotlight. This is what Smackdown can give them.
Bray Wyatt to RAW: Remember that excitement around Bray Wyatt’s return with the White Rabbit marketing? Unfortunately, Bray is currently dealing with an illness, so his Wrestlemania match with Bobby Lashley seems off. That said, the Captain Howdy stuff has..well, nobody knows what’s happening with it. Once he returns, he will need something to make that storyline appealing. RAW may allow him the time and cache to do so.
Seth Rollins to Smackdown: Listen, one of the WWE’s unsung heroes have been Seth Rollins. He’s been the guy they can turn to for quality matches and feuds. It’s time for him to go for a title. Yes, there could be a potential Cody feud if you wanted to. However, I’m looking at the downfall of the Bloodline and Seth possibly being a thorn in Roman Reign’s side while it’s all crumbling down.
Remember, Seth is the only wrestler that hasn’t lost to Roman throughout his entire championship run. If you decide to split the titles up (I hope they do), Seth beating Roman to the punch would be a great full-circle moment.
DK Nation Staff Writer Nick Simon’s Picks
L.A. Knight to Raw: L.A. Knight is the rare star to come out of a Bray Wyatt feud better off than he was when he went in. He has gotten increasingly over with the crown since January, and it won’t be long before they turn him face post-Wrestlemania. Judging by his promo delivery and his “YEAH!” catchphrase, you can tell that he came up studying a lot of promos by the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that line of thinking could make him a legit star in this company.
I think you send him to Raw, where he’ll have a little bit more time to flesh out his character and connect with the audience every week.
Judgement Day to Smackdown: I’m going to agree with Murjani and send the Judgement Day to Smackdown. Rhea Ripley (should) win the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania, and once Finn Balor finishes his feud with Edge, you can make a clean break and move the entire group to Fridays.
With them on Smackdown, you could extend the Rey-Dominik Mysterio feud and get Legado del Fantasma more involved.
Bianca Belair to Smackdown: The “EST” has stood atop the Raw women’s division for the past year, and it may be time to move her back to Fridays if she drops the title to Asuka at Wrestlemania. The Smackdown women’s division is stale and desperately needs new faces. Belair would be an instant top star on the entire show.
I’m also doing this because the company needs to get the ball rolling on setting up a Ripley vs. Belair match sometime soon. They could’ve easily done it at this year’s Wrestlemania but opted to go in a different direction. Here, we’d finally get it on the main roster.
Liv Morgan to Raw: Liv was on Raw last year before cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase on Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey last summer. Even after losing the title, she has stayed on Friday nights and has only improved as an overall performer. She’s developed an edge as a bit of a risk taker and connects with the crowd in a way few other faces do on the roster.
Send her back to Raw, and she’ll be a fixture in the Raw Women’s title picture.
DK Nation Staff Writer Teddy Ricketson’s Picks
L.A. Knight to Raw: I am fully stealing this pick from Nick because I think it is a great one. L.A. Knight is incredibly over, all while not doing a ton. His feud with Bray Wyatt shot him into space, and now it's time for the WWE to send him to the moon. Give him a breath of fresh air on the red brand and let him go to work.
Usos to Smackdown, Street Profits to Raw: This selection is done with a few things in mind. We don’t know if they are going to split the titles, but these moves work even if they don’t. The Usos dropped the belts at Mania like everyone thought they would. There is sure to be fallout, but a big takeaway from the match is that Jey is ready for a solo push in some capacity. Similarly, I think the Profits need to hold gold before the eventual breakup that everyone is clamoring for. Montez Ford is a star in the making and showed at Elimination Chamber that he is ready for the spotlight.
Liv Morgan and Bray Wyatt to Raw: This is the last little inkling of hope to have something come of Wyatt’s return with all the teases. If Alexa Bliss is sidelined from her recent medical diagnosis and procedure, they have actually been planting the seeds that Morgan could, in fact, be the Sister Abigail persona with her pass-out finishes while smiling. If Morgan and Rodriguez win the women’s 4-way tag at Mania night two, bring them both. For Wyatt, his hyped return has largely fallen flat and needs a spark.
Judgement Day to Smackdown: I’m going to make this 3-3 for our staff picks. I love the gimmick that Dominick has, and this move keeps the group together, with Ripley heading to Smackdown after taking down Charlotte. Wrestlemania set up some form of the JD against the Latino World Order for Backlash, with Bad Bunny likely involved. Send them to Smackdown and start building.
The Miz to Smackdown: I know there is going to be a lot of shake-up post-Mania with the draft. I think Miz still has plenty left in the tank, and he has been known to put over anyone. He is reliable and can be a solid piece to build several feuds around as the WWE begins building towards Summerslam later in the year. Also, Logan Paul needs to start picking up some wins, so if he is going to appear more regularly, I wouldn’t hate him taking over Smackdown, and they could start with another Miz feud.