Opinion

Cook and Lambert’s Mock WWE Superstar Shakeup

illThis coming Monday, WWE will undergo a Superstar Switch, which is basically a trading period for Raw and Smackdown. As a big fan of trades, I’ve asked fellow fan of trades, Steve Cook, to create some fake trades with me. Cook will be playing the role of the SmackDown General Manager, while I will take the reigns of Raw.

The rules are simple: There are no rules. No superstar/announcer/manager/production member is off limits. We’re both working under the assumption that everyone is available.

For reference, my thoughts/ideas will be in bold. Cook’s will be italicized.

I’m going to go ahead and declare that no one on the Raw roster is untouchable. Everyone can be had for the right price.

If this is your way to trick me into putting Shinsuke Nakamura on the table, you’re out of your mind.

We just got him from NXT, I’m not going to tease my audience like that! Anybody else though, fair game. That includes WWE Champion Randy Orton, AJ Styles, John Cena, Alexa Bliss, Bray Wyatt and any potential flunky, and any of our announcers. We’ve got like fourteen of them.

 
Where do you wanna start? With the big dogs?
Obviously, I would love to have Shinsuke Nakamura, but I figured you wouldn’t budge on him. Not yet, at least. And why make a blockbuster right off the bat? I gotta see who I’m dealing with first.
The first guy I want is Kalisto. He’s done nothing of note on SmackDown since his chairs match with Baron Corbin. I’ll give you Bo Dallas. You can repackage him as another Wyatt family member since that gimmick is still going for some reason. 
That works for me. We don’t have much for Kalisto since you guys still have the cruiserweight division. I like the setup of having them on Raw so they can come on after us and not take time away from the rest of our talent, so it’s all good. And I’ll take Bo for the Wyatt Family, absolutely. There’s potential for some comedy with Bray’s horribly inept brother messing his plans up. 

As far as your roster goes, I take a look at your tag team division and I see a good number of guys that we could use. The New Day, for example. When’s the last time you had them feuding with anybody? They’ve been spinning their wheels on your show ever since losing the tag titles. They’re tremendously over with the audience and sell tons of merchandise, do I want them. How would you like American Alpha? They’re full of potential and matches with the Hardys & the Revival (assuming they stay there) would surely get them to the next level with the WWE Universe that they haven’t reached here. 
New Day for American Alpha definitely works for me. New Day are about as stale as they come right now, so maybe you can freshen them up on SmackDown. With Alpha, we can just run Alpha vs. Revival for six months and rake in that tag team money. Oh yeah, we have The Hardy’s, Gallows and Anderson, Sheamus and Cesaro as well. Our tag division is looking mighty good right about now.
In fact, you want Enzo and Cass to further help your tag division? I know that would make Carmella happy. 
We could definitely use Enzo & Cass over here. The idea of them interacting with Carmella & James Ellsworth seems like a pretty good time, and I can either use them as a tag team or go ahead and use Cass as a single because he’ll be doing that at some point anyway. I’ll give you Heath Slater & Rhyno for them, I’m sure Rhyno will be happy to see the Hardys again. 
I have no use for Heath Slater or Rhyno. How about you give me just Tyler Breeze for both Enzo and Cass. 
Deal. We’ve booked Breeze into the ground and he needs a change of scenery. I wish him luck.

What would it take to get Charlotte off your hands?
YES! Gorgeous Breeze and Handsome Rusev about to rule the world. 
For Charlotte, I’d need at least Alexa Bliss. Possibly more. We’re talking about the best female of our generation here. The price is steep.
Would you take Apollo Crews along with Alexa for Charlotte? 
I see no value in Apollo Crews. He should be back in NXT as far as I’m concerned. How about AJ Styles? 
Well, if you’re wanting AJ & Alexa I’m going to need somebody else in addition to Charlotte. We’re talking about the best in-ring guy on the roster here.

How about Charlotte and Seth Rollins for AJ and Alexa? One of the best males & females on each side.
I accept this deal. Rollins feels a little redundant now that Finn Balor is back, hopefully you can figure out what to do with him. Meanwhile, I’ll be turning Raw into NJPW. Speaking of. Nakamura? 
I’m gonna need something big for Nak. He’s going to be a star. I need a guy.

Not a good guy.
Not a bad guy.
The guy.
I want Nakamura, but I have to think long term here. I just gave up a young Seth Rollins for an older AJ Styles. Nakamura is no spring chicken himself. Reigns can be my top guy for another 10 years. He’s also a heat magnet. I’ll need a little more to give up Reigns. 
See, now you’re talking him down. We’ll come back to Reigns later. Let’s take a look at the announcers. I think we will agree that Michael Cole & JBL should be together and Tom Phillips & Corey Graves should be together. So how do we make that happen? 
You can have every announcer not named Corey Graves for Renee Young. 
Dean Ambrose has advised me that he and Renee are to stay together. How attached are you to Kevin Owens?
I’d consider Owens for Nakamura. That’s the only top name I want from your roster at this point. 
You’re not giving me a lot to work with here. I can’t trade Nakamura for Owens straight up and look at myself in the mirror. I might consider Owens, Sami Zayn and maybe Charly Caruso as a fair deal.

I’ve got John Cena, Miz, Bray Wyatt, all kinds of guys. Surely there’s gotta be someone else you want.
I’m not giving up both Owens and Sami for Nakamura. 
I’m a huge John Cena fan, but he’s a part-time guy who won’t be around much longer. Miz is great, but I’m pretty stacked on the heel side and don’t want to give up Samoa Joe or Owens for him. Bray Wyatt is not good and would do nothing for my show. Same with Randy Orton. You want the rights to The Undertaker back? 
Let’s revisit Nakamura for Reigns. Anyone you’re willing to attach to the deal? I’ll throw in the rights to Triple H and Undertaker. 
I’d take Undertaker’s rights back so he can go into the HOF as a SmackDown wrestler, but I don’t need Hunter meddling in things on my show. I wouldn’t mind having the rights to Goldberg, however.

How would you like Dolph Ziggler? He’d fit in well with your guys and I’m tired of looking at him. I’ll also throw in the rights to Eva Marie since she won’t negotiate with me anymore. Or be in the same room with me.

So the final deal is Roman, the rights to Goldberg, and the rights to Undertaker for Nakamura, Ziggler, and Eva’s expiring contract? If so, I can live with that. 
Yeah, that’s a deal. I lose Nakamura, but I have all the Shield members on SmackDown Live. That should be good for interest.
You can run The Shield vs. The Wyatts. That’s a pretty fresh feud
I’ll trade you Cole for Phillips and Mauro. I have no use for Mauro, but I feel bad that JBL bullies him. 
That works for me. I’m going to take Otunga out of the booth and use him as a manager. He’s got the brains for it. Cole & JBL will be joined by Fandango re-packaged as his Southpaw Regional Wrestling alter-ego Chet Chetterfield

Anything else we need to shake up?
The Ascension & Vaudevillains for Braun Strowman?
Hard pass on that one.
Any lower guys you’re looking to offload? I have a lot of unused talent that I could do without. How about your choice of two lower guys for Zack Ryder? I know he’s hurt, but I’m all about love and making Emma happy. 
I’ll take Curtis Axel & Mark Henry. Henry’s a SmackDown guy & Axel’s a fine jobber.

Want Curt Hawkins? I’ll take just about anything for him.
Who? 
Curt Hawkins! The Prince of Queens! Face the facts!
Who?
Oh never mind.

One more big dealBraun Strowman. Y’all have him running like a bitch from people all the time and it’s a waste. People want to cheer him. Who do you want for him?
The Miz and Maryse. I also want Natalya because I just watched Total Divas and feel really bad that Lana has no friends on Raw. I’ll add another lower guy and future considerations.
I’ll take Dana Brooke and dibs on Nigel McGuinness when he graduates from NXT commentary. 
Deal. This is where you screwed up not accepting the right to Triple H. By default, we have right of first refusal on all NXT talent. Don’t ask me why we refused Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura. I wasn’t running the show a week ago. 
That’s a fair point, but if I take Triple H he cuts 20-minute promos and eats away at my two-hour show. I’ll take your NXT leftovers to avoid that nonsense.
Can’t say I blame you. Any last minute deals you want to put together? I’ll give you our third hour for 205 Live. 
I’ll pass. We add another hour and we’ll lose our Internet darling status. Plus USA would never allow it cause Chrisley Knows Best does huge ratings.

Aiden English just lost his tag team partner and needs something to do. He’ll fit in better on your show, anything you wanna throw my way for him would be cool.
You mean you don’t want to package him with Fandango and do a singing/dancing gimmick? Give it some thought. 
OK, there’s something to that. 

Do you actually plan on using Sami Zayn this year or do we need to work something out for him?
Of course I plan on using Sami. I’m going to book him against Kevin Owens. 
SummerSlam: Shield vs. Wyatts, Owens vs. Zayn

I’d buy that show.
You can do Cena vs. Orton, I’ll do Miz vs. Ziggler, and we’ll have a brand vs. brand match: Sasha vs. Charlotte. BUY THE NETWORK! 
ALL THE BUYS.

I guess we’re about done. Who holds the rights to CM Punk? We need to get him involved in this somehow.
I don’t think anyone holds his rights. But I’ll definitely trade you the CM Punk chants. 
I’ll give you the What chants for them.
Do people chant on SmackDown? The crowd always seems silent when I tune in. 
Fair point. Would you like some fans that leave after 10 PM?
Yes, I would. Can you negotiate television views for that hour or do I need to talk to Chrisley’s people?
We can switch nights if you’d like.
This sounds like a good idea, but do you have the talent to accommodate a three-hour show? 
I’d add an hour of Renee Young after the matches are over. 
You’ve sold me on the idea of doing this. I’m also renaming Raw to Tuesday Night Titans.
You need somebody to give Advice to the Lovelorn since Fred Blassie’s no longer with us. You might be able to get P.K. Subban during the off-season.
I’m going to let P.K. celebrate his Stanley Cup in the offseason
YEAH BUDDY
Alright, I think we’re done here. We’ve not only shaken up the Superstars, we’ve shaken the entire foundation of the WWE. 
Vince will be proud. Or horrified. Perhaps both at the same time since he’s Vince.
Final Shakeup
To Raw: Kalisto
To SmackDown: Bo Dallas
To Raw: American Alpha
To SmackDown: The New Day
To Raw: Tyler Breeze
To SmackDown: Enzo and Cass
To Raw: Alexa Bliss and AJ Styles
To SmackDown: Charlotte and Seth Rollins
To Raw: Shinsuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler, Eva Marie’s Expiring Contract
To SmackDown: Roman Reigns, the rights to The Undertaker, the rights to Goldberg
To Raw: Tom Phillips and Mauro Ranallo
To SmackDown: Michael Cole
To Raw: Zack Ryder
To SmackDown: Curtis Axel and Mark Henry
To Raw: The Miz, Maryse, and Natalya
To Smackdown: Braun Strowman, Dana Brooke, the rights to Nigel McGuinness
To Raw: Tuesday
To Smackdown: Monday
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