We may be two weeks removed from WrestleMania, but WWE is making sure the surprises just keep coming.
As promised last week, the latest episode of Raw focused on the Superstar Shake-up, an annual event in which superstars switch brands between Raw and its sibling show Smackdown Live.
But on Monday night, the first drafted superstar was someone the WWE Universe probably wasn’t looking forward to: United States Champion Jinder Mahal, who brought his belt along with him to “The Red Brand.” General Manager Kurt Angle made it immediately clear that he wasn’t going to go soft on “The Modern Day Maharaja” and offered an open challenge to anyone who wanted to compete against Mahal for the belt. The superstar who answered Angle’s request was none other than Jeff Hardy, “The Charismatic Enigma.”
Hardy and Mahal immediately faced off. Hardy’s high-flying style caught Mahal off-guard, and Hardy even crushed Mahal with a devastating Swanton Bomb. Hardy emerged from the fight as Raw’s new United States Champion, but his reign may not last for long—he’ll have to defend it against Mahal at the Greatest Royal Rumble on Friday, April 27.
Of course, Mahal wasn’t the only Smackdown superstar to arrive on Raw. During the “MizTV” segment, it was revealed that Stephanie McMahon had given Raw contracts to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens (much to Angle’s disdain) after they were dramatically kicked out of Smackdown. Angle had an announcement of his own, and let The Miz know that he would be moving back to Smackdown without his beloved Miztourage (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas).
Ronda Rousey got a pleasant surprise this week in the form of her friend, former Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya, joining Team Red. While Natalya succeeded in pinning Mandy Rose of The Absolution, she was blindsided by Sonya DeVille, which led to Rousey stepping into the ring to fend her off.
The night ended with a chaotic 5v5 tag match, including one surprise mystery entrant from Smackdown: the “Glorious” Bobby Roode. Roode competed alongside Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley, defeating Zayn, Owens, The Miz and the Miztourage.
Of course, this was only half of the “Superstar Shake-up.” We’re excited to see which superstars—and which belts—show up on Smackdown tonight.