It is a new season of sorts for WWE with the Superstar Shake-up in the books, so Raw and SmackDown should feel relatively fresh this week. This whole week is capped off by the unusual Greatest Royal Rumble event this Friday, April 27.
Monday Night Raw (4.23.18)
Before we head into the usual preview for Raw, let’s review who they drafted in the Superstar Shake-Up. Of course, the following are in addition to Ember Moon, Bobby Lashley, and No Way Jose joining Raw the previous week:
- Then-United States Champion Jinder Mahal
- The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan)
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
- Zack Ryder
- Mojo Rawley
- Dolph Ziggler
- Drew McIntyre
- Baron Corbin
- Mike Kanellis
- The Ascension
- Bobby Roode
- Chad Gable
This is not as huge of a get that SmackDown had, but there is enough for a solid foundation. Drew McIntyre is reinvented and could easily dominate Monday nights. There is also former United States Champion Bobby Roode and a Chad Gable who is focused on a singles career this time around.
Raw could just give us matches with their new acquisitions and it would be fine. Bobby Lashley’s first match back was in an 8-man tag team match, so seeing him in a singles match is the appropriate next step. Also, it will be interesting to see how Natalya fares now that she is playing the role of Ronda Rousey’s friend.
When it comes to advertised segments, there is only one: Brock Lesnar returns to Raw before defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns again this Friday.
SmackDown Live (4.24.18)
Like Raw, it is only appropriate to check in on SmackDown’s acquisitions in the Superstar Shake-up before moving on. The following wrestlers join the IIconics as new SmackDown Live members:
- New United States Champion Jeff Hardy
- Absolution (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
- Samoa Joe
- SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, & Killian Dain)
- Big Cass
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
- Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega
Last week saw one of the most surprising SmackDown episodes in a long time. Big Cass returned as a major player with Daniel Bryan as his first target. Samoa Joe was probably the most shocking switch from Raw and outside of facing Roman Reigns at Backlash, he could either be gunning for Jeff Hardy or AJ Styles. Of course, the main roster debuts of SAnitY and Andrade “Cien” Almas are very much-anticipated.
205 Live (4.24.18)
Buddy Murphy was planning to be the #1 Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship, but he didn’t make under 205 lbs in his latest weigh-in. To solve the issue, Drake Maverick has scheduled a Gauntlet Match to see who will face Cedric Alexander in Saudi Arabia.
WWE NXT (4.25.18)
It seems like this week of NXT is going to have two huge title matches. The only NXT North American Champion Adam Cole takes on his first challenger in the hard-hitting Oney Lorcan. Also, Aleister Black accepted Johnny Gargano’s challenge last week and will defend his new NXT Championship.
Greatest Royal Rumble (4.27.18)
The incredibly unique Greatest Royal Rumble event takes place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this Friday and features a WrestleMania-worthy card just a few weeks out from WrestleMania itself. Here is the stacked card as of this writing, with a full preview to come later this week:
- Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Gauntlet Match Winner – Cruiserweight Championship
- John Cena vs. Triple H
- The Undertaker vs. Rusev – Casket Match
- Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe – Intercontinental Championship
- Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy vs. The Bar – Raw Tag Team Championships
- The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The Usos – SmackDown Tag Team Championships
- Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Jinder Mahal – United States Championship
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – Universal Championship (Steel Cage Match)
- 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble
- Raw Recap: Sasha Banks Headed to Money in the Bank - May 28, 2018
- SmackDown Recap: Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy - May 23, 2018
- Raw Recap: Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax, Face-to-Face - May 21, 2018
- WWE Backlash Recap: A Co-Branded Mess - May 7, 2018
- WWE Backlash 2018 Odds - May 5, 2018
- WWE Weekly Preview, 4.23.18-4.29-18 - April 23, 2018
- WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Odds - April 22, 2018
- SmackDown Recap: Superstar Shake-Up Night Two - April 17, 2018
- Raw Recap: The Superstar Shake-up Begins - April 16, 2018
- WWE Weekly Preview, 4.16.18-4.22.18 - April 15, 2018