Roman Reigns & More Stars Move to SmackDown in WWE’s Superstar Shakeup

WWE concluded its annual Superstar Shakeup event tonight, and here's a list of all the wrestlers newly headed to Tuesday nights for SmackDown. For all the time WWE has had a brand extension, part of the fun has always been when wrestlers jump between shows, whether as a surprise or as part of a scheduled event. While nothing will ever be as captivating for fans as when stars from the WWF, WCW, and ECW hopped between promotions in the 1990s, the brand extension allows WWE to at least create a sense of division between the rosters that makes it (at least in theory) special when somebody crosses over.

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Last night on Raw, WWE began its 2019 edition of the Superstar Shakeup, in which people from Raw, SmackDown, developmental brand NXT, and cruiserweight show 205 Live end up finding new homes within the company. Raw's biggest acquisition was no doubt multi-time WWE champion AJ Styles,  although they also scored top tag team The Usos, and legendary high flyer Rey Mysterio. We covered the full list of wrestlers to jump to Raw last night, and now it's time to do the same for SmackDown.

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As with Styles' move to Raw, SmackDown came away with a clear front runner for biggest acquisition, that being Roman Reigns, a multi-time WWE champion in his own right. Reigns returned to WWE shortly before March's Fastlane pay-per-view, after an extended absence due to a battle with leukemia. "The Big Dog" is now back at 100%, and will presumably remain a top player going forward on SmackDown. Before that, he'll have one final match alongside his Shield teammates Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose on a WWE Network special this Sunday.

Bayley in WWE

Aside from Roman Reigns, SmackDown also gained a rising star in guitar-playing heel Elias, who Reigns ended up attacking before the episode was over. Reigns also knocked out WWE boss Vince McMahon, but it's not his first time doing that, and probably won't be the last. On the women's side, Bayley made the leap to SmackDown, after being on Raw since the brand split was reinstated in 2016. Asuka also gained a new partner in former NXT women's champion Kairi Sane, while a recently returned from injury Ember Moon also jumped to SmackDown. Oddly enough, Lars Sullivan is also now part of SmackDown, after being announced as part of Raw last night, while Apollo Crews also hopped brands.

In one of the most surprising Raw to SmackDown jumps of the night, Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor made the move, despite U.S. Champion Samoa Joe also still being on the show. One of those titles will move back to Raw at some point soon, one assumes. Elsewhere, cruiserweight star Buddy Murphy moved from 205 Live to SmackDown, and Chad Gable is headed to Smackdown without tag team partner Bobby Roode. Also losing her partners is Riott Squad member Liv Morgan, sent to SmackDown without Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan. Last but not least, future Hall of Famer Mickie James has joined SmackDown's increasingly interesting women's division.

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