The latest SmackDown Live episode brought the debut of Bobby Roode and the return of a former champion to the WWE Universe. There had been ongoing WWE rumors that Roode might join the main roster with sightings of the “Glorious” superstar reported at Raw and then again for tonight’s SmackDown show. However, fans finally got the debut they’d been waiting for, as well as the return of a former WWE Intercontinental and tag team champion to the roster. Both of these latest arrivals will certainly have a positive impact on the landscape of the WWE.
Former NXT Champion Bobby Roode was the first surprise to arrive on the blue brand. As reported by ProWrestling on Tuesday night, the latest episode of SmackDown Live took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, site of this year’s SummerSlam PPV. During the first hour of the show, Aiden English was in the ring for a match and was performing another one of his a capella songs. However, he was suddenly cut off as the lights went dark. From there, the crowd went wild as Bobby Roode’s “Glorious” theme music began to play and soon Roode emerged on stage wearing his trademark robe.
Roode would go on to compete in his debut match on the blue brand roster too. He’d take on Aiden English in his first main roster match and it lasted nearly seven minutes. At one point, English gained some momentum after hitting his Director’s Cut move for a near pinfall. English would try for a move from the top rope, only to miss and get hit by Roode’s spine buster. Rhode would follow that with the Glorious DDT to gain his debut win. Post-match, he was interviewed by Renee Young and thanked Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon for breaking the bank to sign the hottest free agent in Sports Entertainment.
— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2017
Not long after that big debut came a major return for a former superstar within the ranks of WWE. In a backstage moment on SmackDown Live, General Manager Daniel Bryan had a word with Chad Gable. Basically, Bryan apologized for Gable losing his American Alpha tag team partner Jason Jordan to the Raw brand. Bryan told Gable that in exchange for allowing Kurt Angle to sign Jordan, Angle helped Bryan land one of Angle’s former friends. Shelton Benjamin was introduced to Gable, and Bryan told him that he thinks they’d make a great tag team.
The two arrivals to the SmackDown Live roster certainly raise some interesting possibilities. With Roode, he arrives after just dropping the NXT Championship to Drew McIntyre during the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III pay-per-view this past Saturday. There hasn’t been any talk of a rematch involving Roode and McIntyre but one has to wonder if he will still get one. After McIntyre won that match at the PPV, he was attacked by former Ring of Honor star Adam Cole along with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Roode can certainly help bolster the SmackDown roster now that John Cena has left, and so far it looks like he worked as a face in tonight’s match as English has traditionally been on the heel side of recent matches.
As far as Benjamin goes, he has a rather lengthy resume when it comes to WWE. Benjamin had a previous eight-year run within WWE spanning from 2002 to 2010. He’s a former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, two-time WWE Tag Team Champion, and one-time United States Champion. During his time with WWE before, he partnered with Charlie Haas as “The World’s Greatest Tag Team.” His experience within WWE will certainly be drawn upon, and it certainly seems possible he could end up in a feud with Chad Gable if WWE creative turns one of them heel at some point. Either way, it could end up benefitting WWE’s newer star in Gable.
[Featured Image by WWE]