The 2018 Superstar Shake-Up saw 35 WWE Superstars get new homes. However, not all moves are equal and there are few (10 to be exact) that will prove to be more important than the rest.
While some of these may seem negligible now, in a year's time we'll look back on how the Shake-Up altered the path of WWE. But for other Superstars, their impact has already been demonstrated and WWE will use their loud debuts to vault them into championship contention.
So, let's have a look at the most important moves that happened this week:
Asuka looks more human than ever now that her streak is gone and so are her RAW squash matches. However, we'd be foolish to disregard her potential on SmackDown.
While WWE hitched most of her character to be invincible, Asuka reminded us why she was given the undefeated streak, to begin with during her WrestleMania match with Charlotte Flair. The loss did considerable damage to her perception, but she'll look to rebound in the SmackDown Women's Championship picture.prevnext
9. The Bar
Cesaro and Sheamus join an unprecedented talented SmackDown tag division. They'll get their cracks at the belts, but for the near future, WWE may pit them against The New Day.
However, once the dust settles between THe Usos and Bludgeon Brothers. The Bar will back in championship contention.prevnext
8. Chad Gable
Once upon a time, American Alpha was considered to be the brightest young tag team in WWE. Now that Gable and Jason Jordan are both on Mondays, their reunion (or rivalry) seems inevitable.
However, Jordan is still out with an injury and Gable is on the singles market for the first time. The 32-year old is immensely talented in the ring and has a budding personality.
While Gable won't be challenging the likes of Roman Reigns anytime soon, he's a project worth keeping an eye on.prevnext
7. Jeff Hardy
There are a few guarantees in WWE, but one of them is that Jeff Hardy will always be adored by fans.
While may feel slighted by Jeff not joining Woken Matt Hardy as Brother Nero, he's already started off his singles run with a bang. Jeff Hardy wearing WWE gold is vastly more valuable to Vince McMahon than Brother Nero ever could be.
At 40-years old, Hardy still move great and we'd be wrong to underestimate how high he can climb in 2018.prevnext
6. Sami Zayn
Even though his comrade, Kevin Owens is a former Universal Champion, it's Zayn who has the hotter act.
Sami still probably has juice left in his babyface character, but heel Sami has been a blast to watch. WWE typically rewards wrestlers who channel their best characters and sooner or later it will be time to feed Sami a big opportunity.prevnext
5. Andrade Cien Almas
I'm carrying quite the favorable bias for this guy, but there's something so classic about him and Zelina Vega's act that their success in WWE seems unavoidable.
Maybe I'm just excited WWE didn't sign Alberto Del Rio to fill Vince McMahon's Latin Guy Quota, but Almas feels like Champion in the making. His work, character, and accompany of Vega make him a complete act—something most NXT call-ups rarely achieve.
He may be your next U.S. Champion.prevnext
Yes. Natalya's move to RAW is important. In fact, she's arguably been giving the most important task in all of WWE: build Ronda Rousey.
Monday night saw her and Rousey install the first chapter of their drama, but it likely ends with Nattie turning on Rousey only to get her ass kicked a later date.
As one of WWE's best in-ring workers, Nattie is the perfect pick to keep Rousey safe while making her look like the Greek Goddess of Arm Bars.prevnext
3. Big Cass
Big Cass was ready to launch before a knee surgery cost him significant time. But now he's back and all signs point to him resuming that lofty trajectory.
It looks like Cass will start his comeback campaign with an enviable assignment to Daniel Bryan. A feud with Bryan is easily the biggest opportunity of Cass' career and if all goes well, WWE may enter him into championship discussion later this year.prevnext
2. Samoa Joe
If Joe can stay healthy, he'll be WWE Champion by SummerSlam.
An elite heel is an invaluable commodity in professional wrestling, and Joe is exactly that. It will be interesting to see how things play out between he and Roman Reigns but win or lose, Joe will be red hot after a round with The Big Dog.
There's a delectable menu of potential opponents for him at SmackDown and if he can avoid the disabled list, Joe is in for a career year.prevnext
1. The Miz
After legendary work as WWE's perennial Intercontinental Champion, The Miz was due a promotion. Even though SmackDown has had a hard time shaking it's "B-Show" reputation, The Miz is going to Tuesday nights to run the Blue Brand.
WWE looks like they'll keep Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz in their pocket for WrestleMania, likely giving us crumbs along the way, but I have sneaking suspicion that the A-Lister will soon become WWE Champion.1comments
As WWE's top bad guy, The Miz is inherently one of their most important employees. And at 37 years old, he may have just hit his wrestling prime.
This should be fun to watch.prev