WWE witnessed their first share of the brand split since 2009. Both the shows put up quite an impressive show, with RAW gaining the upper hand in terms of match quality and surprise factor. However, the one thing common between RAW and Smack Down in the first week following the draft is the promotion of the NXT stars to the moon.
This has led to speculations that Triple H, the creative force behind NXT has taken over the booking of the matches. Given that Sasha Banks won the title, Finn Balor is the new number one contender, along with the string of NXT call ups. Dave Meltzer recently stated that this is not true and Vince was still very much in control of the match bookings.
Another rumor that has been plaguing the WWE constantly for every Royal Rumble and most recently after the draft of the rosters is the return of former WWE Superstars. We got to know that the ‘Gold Standard’, Shelton Benjamin would be making his long awaited return to the blue brand. Rhyno also made his return to the main roster after almost a 10 year gap. Reports have surfaced of Jinder Mahal of the 3MB signing a new deal with the WWE.
There have been numerous reports that MVP, Carlito, Steven Richards, Curt Hawkins, Tommy Dreamer and Melina have been penciled to make their return to full time WWE programming in the coming days. Of all the names, only Curt Hawkins is expected to join the WWE SmackDown roster.
This is an exciting time, with the booking finally giving us what we as fans have been asking for. Imagine the athletic prowess of the Smack Down roster, with the likes of Ambrose, Styles, Ziggler, Apollo Crews, Shelton Benjamin, and Curt Hawkins already associated with the brand. Although MVP took to twitter to state that he had not signed any contract yet, you can never say never in the pro wrestling business.
If there’s anything we have learnt from the previous returns, it is to always keep the hopes of return high!
- Updated card for the WWE Royal Rumble pay per view - January 28, 2017
- WWE SmackDown Results – 01/24/2017 - January 26, 2017
- WWE RAW Results – 01/23/2017 - January 24, 2017