Returning Stars Give WWE TV A Big Boost: Looking Back At Last Week’s RAW & SmackDown Live

Returning Stars Give WWE TV A Big Boost: Looking Back At Last Week’s RAW & SmackDown Live

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Smackdown Live continued to be solid weekly television, but it was also highlighted by a high-profile return.

Charlotte Flair’s return is nothing but a good thing for the women’s division, and throwing her right into what felt like Becky Lynch’s well-deserved moment adds intrigue but also distracts from giving Lynch the spotlight.

Flair, Lynch and Carmella could deliver a very good triple threat match, which is obviously made better for the ring with Flair’s return, but it is going to be difficult to use it as anything other than a springboard for Lynch and Flair heading into WWE Evolution at the end of October. One of these ladies will be a heel by October’s showcase, and hopefully it is Charlotte back in the role she excels in.

Randy Orton continues to be great in his return. His segment where he “cleansed” Hardy was perfect and is the nice fresh, crazy heel that Smackdown Live needs. Orton will likely be the third wheel in the United State Championship match with Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy. The Viper seems like a solid way to pry The Charismatic Enigma out of the title picture and let the King of Strong Style move forward with a new feud following SummerSlam. There is plenty of interesting ways this program could go for this talented trio and all of them are fresh and solid. Hopefully the match gets the time it deserves at the Biggest Party of the Summer.

Elsewhere on the blue brand, there appears to be a concerted effort to make the WWE Universe believe that Samoa Joe is actually a threat to AJ Styles, but it just does not make much sense. Joe’s promo calling out Styles for abandoning his family has been done a million times, and frankly, his “I am just mean” gimmick does not work because of his record of losing to people despite being mean.

Despite his stellar in-ring work (which he has had from his days at Ring of Honor all the way through the WWE) Joe has simply always struggled a little when it comes to storyline work and development of a consistent character. He has not done much since being steamrolled by Reigns and it does not seem logical to have him just pop up and swipe AJ’s title from him. It would have actually made more sense for Rusev to win than Joe.

And of course, The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan continues to build toward a SummerSlam boiling point. Miz truly is awesome and knows how to play to the fans in the building and the smarks at home with relative ease. This feud could simmer for another six months and it should be fantastic every step along the way. The Yes Man simply needs to sign his contract!

With those great builds moving forward, it is tough to keep an eye on how great the tag team division is with The Usos and The Bar having a great battle to set up the finals of the Tag Team Tournament. The New Day has done a ton of jobbing in the past in spots like this because they don’t need the win. Expect The Bar to advance to face The Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam.

RAW Top 10:

  1. Brock Lesnar
  2. Ronda Rousey
  3. Roman Reigns
  4. Dolph Ziggler
  5. Seth Rollins
  6. Braun Strowman
  7. Kevin Owens
  8. Alexa Bliss
  9. The B-Team
  10. Baron Corbin

Smackdown Live Top 10:

  1. The Miz
  2. Randy Orton
  3. Charlotte Flair
  4. Becky Lynch
  5. Daniel Bryan
  6. Shinsuke Nakamura
  7. Jeff Hardy
  8. The Bar
  9. Samoa Joe
  10. The New Day

Overall Top 5

  1. Brock Lesnar
  2. Ronda Rousey
  3. The Miz
  4. Randy Orton
  5. Roman Reigns

Related: Evolution Steals The Show As SmackDown Live & RAW Hit The Fast Lane Towards SummerSlam