A Modest Blog on the 15 Superstar Trade

WWE has decided to shake things up once more. Donald Trump, while he owned Raw, made a huge 15-person trade. First let’s see who went where, then we’ll look at what it means for each brand and performer.

Traded to the RAW brand: Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Alicia Fox and Gail Kim
Traded to the ECW brand: Shelton Benjamin, Goldust, William Regal, Brie and Nikki Bella
Traded to SmackDown: Matt Hardy, Finlay, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd and Natalya

Raw, naturally, got the very best of this deal. They lost Rey Misterio in the last draft, so now they get Evan Bourne, the small flier that the WWE books and uses in almost the same way. The best prospect on ECW was Jack Swagger, the big, cocky heel who can work amateur and is a poor man’s Brock Lesnar. He goes to Raw to help fill out the uppercard since Hunter, Cena and Orton can’t face one another forever, despite what the WWE might have you believe. Last is Mark Henry who hopefully comes with Tony Atlas. With a good mouthpiece and his ECW improvements, he’s been shown to be quite a good monster… of course, what you do with Henry and the Big Show on the same brand remains a mystery. For the individual wrestlers, this move can only hurt Bourne and Henry. Bourne is now likely to get lost in the midcard shuffle, if even that high up. Kofi and MVP already fill his spot as faces, so he’s left below them on the card. Henry might be fun for awhile, but he’s a poor man’s Big Show while the Show is still around. Finally, unless Swagger is unlucky, this is his big break. He proved he can work and now gets to go out and have memorable feuds with Kofi and MVP on his way to the main event.

ECW gets screwed, as usual. First they lose their top young guy in Swagger, then their top heel stable in the Hart Dynasty, their top vet in Finlay, and finally their top young face in Bourne. The replacements are, at best subpar. Women on ECW mean nothing, so we’ll just move past that. Shelton replaces some of the in ring work of Swagger, so that should be, at worst, watchable. Goldust is terrible comedy and I don’t expect him to get much time. Regal does his stint in ECW to replace Finlay as the “player coach.” Ultimately, the WWE’s most entertaining show just got gutted. Ideally some new prospects now come up and fill in the void like this last group did when Morrison, Punk, and Kofi all left, but that remains to be seen. Shelton going back to ECW is a clear demotion. Maybe he’ll get Tony Atlas and become a star; one can hope. Goldust seems to be on his way out, and Regal isn’t being demoted, he’s just doing what Benoit (was meant to) and Finlay have done before him. Ready for Low Ki and Dos Caras, Jr, William?

Smackdown gets some great stuff here without losing anything of note. Finlay is a jack of all trades and immediately replaces Shelton, at absolute worst. He can slot into a feud with anyone from Punk down to R-Truth. Jericho and Edge having the tag belts takes them to Smackdown, which is great news for the Hart Dynasty who now have something to do. As all heels, a third team would need to be involved, but Cryme Tyme is free, as is any thrown together team (yet again) involving Rey Mysterio- I suggest John Morrison. Matt Hardy is hurt for the time being, as he was his whole time on Raw, which was a washout. He’s back on Smackdown and is a Smackdown guy. Now he can go back to screwing over Jeff… unless the WWE run with the reunion idea from yesterday, which is now set up.

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