This week on Monday Night Raw, Vince McMahon announced that there will soon be a “superstar shake up,” during which some WWE superstars will be traded between Raw and SmackDown. So could Roman Reigns be headed to SmackDown Live from Raw?
At this time, it appears that Roman Reigns isn’t going anywhere; Dave Meltzer reports on this week’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that Reigns will stay with Monday Night Raw.
Roman going to SmackDown had been rumored for weeks, and there was a decent amount of evidence to support the idea. For one, consider the fact that John Cena is about to leave SmackDown Live for much of 2017 in order to star in films. An AJ Styles trade has also been rumored, and so this would put SmackDown Live in desperate need of another huge draw, and, like him or hate him, Roman Reigns is certainly a draw.
Plus, there’s the fact that the company’s plans seem to currently involve having Roman Reigns facing Brock Lesnar in the ring, but not until WrestleMania 34. It might be difficult to delay this match until 2018, but having Roman Reigns transferred to SmackDown Live would make a delay make perfect sense. WrestleMania, after all, is one of the WWE pay-per-views in which both Raw and SmackDown talents compete.
But on Monday Night Raw this week, viewers received one major piece of evidence to suggest that Roman Reigns is not going anywhere. On the post-WrestleMania show, Braun Strowman very clearly set up a feud with Roman Reigns; he confronted Brock Lesnar in the ring and said that he’s going to destroy Roman Reigns, with the idea being that doing so would get Brock Lesnar’s attention. It would make little sense to start this storyline if Roman Reigns was just going to go to another show the next week.
Plus, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier this week that Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman is currently the plan for Payback, the Raw-branded pay-per-view that takes place at the end of April. Obviously, this can not happen if Roman moves to SmackDown Live.
In fact, we can get a pretty good idea of who won’t be transferred in the superstar shake up based on this week’s Raw and based on which superstars were in active feuds by the end of it. Cesaro and Sheamus likely won’t be traded because they just became the number one contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Chris Jericho likely won’t be traded either since he has unfinished business with Kevin Owens and still has to have a rematch with him for the United States Championship. And based on the Wrestling Observer’s reporting, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and Samoa Joe will all have matches at Payback, meaning they would not be traded in the superstar shake up.
For now, the WWE superstars who seem most likely to be traded are Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and The New Day. Read more about our predictions for the superstar shake up here: