10 Things We Learned From WWE SmackDown (April 18)

Large Mahal.

Jinder Mahal
WWE.com

After a week of reflection on the impact of WWE's first ever 'Superstar Shake-up', the prevailing notion seemed to be that the blue brand had faired better than its flagship counterpart.

'The Land of Opportunity' became a brand new home for Raw's once-dominant singles competitors, with Kevin Owens and Charlotte Flair making appearances alongside Sami Zayn, Rusev, The New Day, Jinder Mahal and The Shining Stars as the midcard strugglers searching for salvation.

Propped up by the main roster arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura a week earlier and the surprising retention of AJ Styles, the Tuesday crew look set to gain most of the weekly plaudits in keeping with a holding pattern in place since the early days of the 2016 draft.

However, SmackDown Live!'s Number One Contender now finds working Monday nights, less than two weeks before the blue brand's title will be contested on a Raw pay-per-view. Meanwhile, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens will fight over the latter's United States Title, with the winner of the Raw brand match earning a permanent spot on the Tuesday roster. Confused yet?

Things should clear up following that show, but in the meantime, SmackDown Live! began working towards its own brand-exclusive pay-per-view Backlash in May with one particularly huge surprise.

With this week's edition marking first integration of the new stars with the pre-existing talent, here are are 10 things we learned from the April 18 edition of WWE SmackDown Live!

Contributor
Contributor

Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to WWE, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. And occasionally my kids. Wrote about Shawn Michaels' Crimes Against Wrestling and some insane One-Off Gimmick Matches in the glorious new issue of WhatCulture Wrestling, available to buy here: http://shop.whatculture.com/product/wrestling-issue-five

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