This week, WWE’s number two show, Smackdown, returned to its original spot on Thursday nights. Smackdown was created in 1999 to capitalize on professional wrestling’s popularity. Once the brand split occurred in 2002, where Smackdown became its own distinctive brand with exclusive superstars, WWE’s number two soon became its most popular with the creation of the “Smackdown Six”. The “Six” included Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. These six would have an extremely popular feud, which eventually lead to all of the six becoming World Champions during their careers. Smackdown continued its high for many years to follow, but with the loss of Paul Heyman as the main booker, quickly returned to the “B” show. Since the brand split ended in 2011, Smackdown hasn’t been an important television brand for most of the WWE Universe.
WWE is doing all it can to return the importance to Smackdown, especially with its nostalgic return to Thursday nights. To make the show worth watching, WWE accelerated Daniel Bryan’s return to the ring. Bryan is the most popular baby face in the company, and is becoming a guaranteed draw. He opened the show with a promo and a match against his former teammate, Kane. The match had the crowd excited, and Bryan showed that he’s ready to make another run at the championship. The match ended with the Authority interfering, which lead to the main event being a six-man tag with Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan facing off against Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane. Of course, the crowd went home happy with Bryan hitting the high knee on Kane to finish the match. Triple H confronted Bryan and booked a rematch for next week’s Smackdown, where Bryan will face Kane. If Bryan fails to win, he will lose his chance to compete in the Royal Rumble.
Overall, the Thursday night return of Smackdown went well. There were some solid matches and promos that kept the fan base interested. The most important thing that WWE needs to continue to do if they want Smackdown to be a cant miss event every week, is to make the story lines important again. Everyone knows that all the important parts occur on Monday Night Raw, but something changed this week. WWE made Smackdown matter by including Daniel Bryan, and booking matches with important repercussions on the future. If they can continue this trend, Smackdown will be on its way to being a must-watch show every week for the WWE Universe.