AJ Styles Shoots on WWE Raw Taking SmackDown Live’s Superstars (Video)


AJ Styles went off on Tuesday’s episode of Talking Smack, ranting about Raw taking SmackDown Live’s Superstars.

For a while, it looked like AJ Styles would leave SmackDown Live to join Raw in the Superstar Shakeup. However, he remained on the Blue Brand, while other top names move from Tuesday to Monday nights.

Since this happened, Styles has cut promos about being the Man Who Built SmackDown Live. Whether this holds water or not, he has been positioned as the top star on the show — even when John Cena appears. A minor exception can be made for Cena’s two-week WWE Championship reign from January to February.

On Tuesday’s Talking Smack, Styles defended his brand. He went off on how SmackDown is the land of opportunity, and named-dropped Jinder Mahal as someone who’s trying to “show what he’s got,” and on the right brand. This closed with the Phenomenal One saying SmackDown makes the stars, while Raw takes them. It sounded like as close to a shoot as possible:

Raw has always been perceived as the top WWE show. It was the first of the two, weekly cable WWE programs to start and has been aired live for almost two decades. An extraordinary emphasis was placed on the Flagship Show over SmackDown after the first brand split ended, as it was stuck in the disastrous Friday night TV slot for years, before moving to Thursdays in 2016.

SmackDown remained taped from the day it was born until the 2016 WWE Draft, too. So, it lessened the appeal to the fans that want live programming, and could just read the spoilers online to see if they want to watch the show.

More from SmackDown

This all plays into what Styles said. With SmackDown being the No. 2 show for years, which has been the case with both brand splits, the stars that develop on the secondary show have been moved up to Raw plenty of times. John Cena being drafted to Raw in 2005, just as his Face That Runs the Place-era was taking off, is evidence of this. Alexa Bliss, the Miz and Bray Wyatt are modern-day examples of this, all of whom saw their star take off on SmackDown, or were quality champions. The curious part of this is Styles not being included in this group.

The curious part of this is Styles not being included in this group. He fits the profile of someone making the jump from SmackDown to Raw, after putting on a quality performance on the brand split’s “B” show.

Next: WWE SmackDown Review, May 2

Is what Styles said true? Does SmackDown make the stars, while Raw takes them?