WWE made some blockbuster moves on night one of the 2021 draft, with the likes of Bianca Belair, Edge and Drew McIntyre all switching brands, but even more big changes should be on the way.
According to a report from Fightful Select (h/t SEScoops), WWE worked closely with its TV partners, FOX and NBCUniversal, when deciding which superstars would land on each brand this year. In fact, Wrestling Inc’s Raj Giri (h/t Cageside Seats) even noted that FOX specifically requested that Charlotte Flair, the current Raw Women’s Champion, move to SmackDown—a surprising switch that indeed happened on night one of the draft on last week’s episode of SmackDown.
The slew of changes WWE has already made to Raw and SmackDown has resulted in an unbalanced main roster, meaning that more major moves should be on the way. Let’s take a look at five stars who should be swapped to the other brand on night two of the draft, which will take place on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.
The Street Profits
SmackDown currently boasts WWE’s three best tag teams—The Street Profits, The Usos and The New Day—but after Bianca Belair was swapped over to Raw, her real-life husband Montez Ford of The Street Profits should follow suit along with his tag team partner Angelo Dawkins.
WWE typically keeps married couples together (for obvious reasons), but this move is also about Raw’s need for more star power. The Street Profits—and Ford, in particular—are solidifying themselves as one of WWE’s most popular acts and would provide Raw with a fantastic duo to build around, whether in the tag team division or the singles division if the creative team decides to go all in on the push of Ford.
It’s a bit premature for WWE to split up The Street Profits, though, and WWE could certainly use the talented duo in Raw’s shallow tag team division, where potentially great feuds with the pairing of AJ Styles and Omos and RKBro await.
After a long stretch of wasting away in mediocrity on SmackDown, “King” Shinsuke Nakamura has gotten his career back on track as of late with another Intercontinental title reign, but his positioning on the card still feels like a major letdown given what he accomplished during his first year on the blue brand.
Within less than a year of debuting on SmackDown in April 2017, the current Intercontinental Champion won the Royal Rumble and faced AJ Styles in a dream world title match at WrestleMania 34. Since then? Things have been up and down for Nakamura, who remains a strong in-ring performer and has a quality babyface act alongside Rick Boogs but has often struggled with staleness and creative woes during his four-year long stint on Friday nights.
Like many other upper midcard stars, Nakamura would benefit from a change of scenery after being on the same brand for so long—even though there remains little hope that he will ever be a world title contender again.
Raw’s midcard champion Damian Priest find himself in a position similar to the one Nakamura was in four years ago. That is, he isn’t necessarily considered to be a “young” star but he’s a fresh face who is incredibly talented and quickly rising up the ranks shortly after his main roster debut.
The question is: How far will he go? Right now, the sky seems to be the limit for Priest, who has a great look, size, elite in-ring work and an important pop culture connection thanks to his association with rapper Bad Bunny. In other words, the current United States Champion has all the tools to make it big in WWE, and what’s more, he has been one of WWE’s best booked stars in 2021.
With SmackDown being WWE’s new A-show and Priest arguably in the best position to cement himself as the company’s “next big thing,” the blue brand is the right place for him right now, and he should get there essentially in a champion-for-champion swap with Nakamura.
With WWE’s TV partners reportedly having some say-so over where the company’s top stars are headed, it’s hard to envision a world where Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Charlotte Flair, The New Day and most of WWE’s top stars are on the blue brand.
Raw needs some love too, and given Lynch’s ongoing feud with Belair—as well as the Raw Women’s Champion Flair’s arrival on SmackDown—it’s logical for Lynch to move over to Raw as the anchor of that show. Lynch’s appeal among fans is undeniable, and she’s arguably the biggest star in the women’s division, if not the company as a whole.
After night one of the draft, the red brand is clearly lagging behind SmackDown in the star power department, and a Lynch-to-Raw move would go a long way toward remedying that situation.
Just as Ford and Belair should remain on the same brand, that is also true of Lynch and Seth Rollins, who were married earlier this year.
That’s just one reason why Rollins should be move to Raw, though. Edge’s move to SmackDown also paves the way for Rollins to land on Monday nights given that their feud appears to be far from over. Rollins following Edge to Raw would allow the top two stars to continue their lengthy rivalry while also paving the way for Rollins to reestablish himself as a top star on Monday.
Rollins has been doing great heel work on SmackDown, but there’s little hope for him to move up the card and into the world title picture as long as the dominant Reigns is there. With a move to Raw, Rollins could potentially be “the guy” there and would serve as a great foe for babyfaces like Big E and RKBro, who have already been drafted to the red brand.