While we did not get what the actual trades were, we can make a fair assessment of what they could have been. You could convince me a few different ways to go on these trades, but I tried to go with what made the most sense. SmackDown got two tag teams in exchange for one tag team, and it would not make sense to make that deal, so I had to get creative. Here we go.
Apollo Crews for The Shining Stars
Deal: Apollo Crews was a touted star coming up from NXT, but could not find a direct and the small push he got once coming to SmackDown Live quickly ended. The Shining Stars are former Tag Champs and were lost in the shuffle on Raw.
Winner: SmackDown Live. Crews was doing nothing on SDL and he wasn’t even booked on Raw for the shakeup. The Shining Stars debuted on SDL and instantly got into a feud. We will finally get two tag storylines running at once.
The Miz and Maryse for Rusev and Lana
Deal: The Miz and Maryse were the best part of SDL for a while, while Rusev has been underused. Lana is being stretched out as a wrestler now.
Winner: RAW. Maybe in the long run SDL will win this one, but giving up one of the best pure heels for Rusev, who is really good, seems like a deal that makes up for SDL winning other trades. Miz and Maryse seem like they are starting a feud with Dean, something they have done before. Lana joining the womens division could be good, but they are great as a power couple. Rusev could be a top Midcard heel for SDL.
Dean Ambrose (IC) for Kevin Owens (US)
Deal: More about getting the belts swapped in non kayfabe, and also about getting the first round bust Ambrose off the show while bringing in a guy who will be the top heel on SDL.
Winner: SmackDown Live, by a mile. Ambrose failed as the World Champ and was failing as IC champ. Over on Raw, I don’t see what he will be used for after losing the belt. Owens opened the show to a huge pop, and continued to show why he is so good. Even after he eventually loses the belt, Owens is a top star.
Curt Hawkins for Jinder Mahal
Deal: Chad Hawkins for Jinder is just trading lower midcard/enhancement talent guys.
Winner: Draw. I would have given Jinder the slight edge here, but giving a concussion to Finn may hurt him. Also, being in a feud with Mojo Rawley isn’t going to help him much.
Bray Wyatt for Sami Zayn
Deal: This one was difficult because honestly, it probably should be Sami for Dean and Bray for Owens. Either way, the result is the same.
Winner: SmackDown Live. So, first off, I know Bray is a former world champion, but it was just not working out. His feud with Randy is largely to blame. Sami is a guy who the crowd is getting behind and he was instantly elevated by joining the blue brand. Zayn may have lost his first match, but he was a main event player and the future looks bright for him.
Kalisto for Sin Cara
Deal: Swapping of Cruiserweights.
Winner: RAW (and 205 Live). Kalisto should be great for the Cruiserweight division while Sin Cara will probably be a non-entity on SmackDown Live.
Slater and Rhyno for The New Day
Deal: The very first SmackDown Live Tag Champs for The Longest Reigning Tag Champs in WWE History.
Winner: SmackDown Live. SDL had a tag issue. While there were a few other guys we wanted to see join SmackDown, The New Day not only gives the division a boost, but also forces SDL to book the hottest group in the WWE.
Alexa Bliss and Mickie James for Charlotte Flair
Deal: The 2 time Womens Champ and a 6 time women’s champ for a 5 time womens champ.
Winner: SmackDown Live. Alexa is great, and Mickie is still doing great work in ring, but Alexa has the same issue many heels have today and that is people love her. Charlotte, who is one of the best in ring workers today, gets true heel heat. Charlotte can be the focal point of the division and give a face boost to whoever she fights.
David Otunga for Byron Saxton
Deal: A swap of Color Commentary guys.
Winner: SmackDown Live. Raw not only loses the great dynamic between Corey and Byron, but they also got the worst Color Commentary guy in the WWE (Not counting Percy Watson). Byron did great on SmackDown Live and we got a week off from David Otunga.
Additions: Raw signs The Drifter and SmackDown Live signs Tamina Snuka
Winner: RAW. Mostly because Tamina has very little to offer, but this could easily change.
Final Score: 3-6 in favor of SmackDown Live
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