In an announcement that took many by surprise, it was revealed before Raw on Monday that Aleister Black, Zelina Vega and Andrade would be moving to Smackdown, with Samoa Joe and surprisingly Cesaro moving the other way.
This move split up Cesaro and his tag team parnter Sheamus, and it is clear that the former United States Champion will be pushed as a singles star following his win on Monday night over fellow Raw newcomer Cedric Alexander.
Thanks to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio, we now have learnt that Cesaro was not always supposed to move over to Raw, but plans changed as a result of backlash that the company received over one of their other Shake-Up moves.
Meltzer notes that the initial decision to move Andrade to Raw, separating him from Charlotte Flair was not taken well by many in WWE, especially with it now being reported that Flair and Andrade are engaged. This is why Andrade and Zelina Vega were quietly moved back to Smackdown. Vega’s switch to the blue brand meant her husband, Aleister Black, will also now appear on Tuesday nights. As a result of Andrade, Vega and Black moving over, Cesaro and Samoa Joe were chosen to move the other way, explaining why The Bar were split and why Cesaro will now be a singles competitor.
Meltzer also confirmed the claims that FOX requested for Andrade and Vega to move back to Smackdown as they wanted to put a focus on Latino stars. It is being reported that the network wants to focus their Latin American stars on their Spanish language channel, FOX Deportes, when Smackdown moves to the network in October 2019.
Andrade, Zelina Vega, Aleister Black, Samoa Joe and Cesaro were not the only stars to switch brands this week as a former WWE Champion assigned to Raw surprisingly appeared on last night’s Smackdown show.
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