Remember when SmackDown was awesome? Those days feel so long ago, but you could make a solid argument that the blue brand was still WWE's strongest weekly show as recently as a few months ago. Now? Not so much.
The SD team still deliver a great show every now and then, but those are becoming increasingly rare. The brand's consistency has plummeted, it has become WWE's undisputed 'B' show once again, and this is largely down to episodes like the one presented to us last night.
While not quite as miserable as the particularly turgid August 15th edition, yesterday's broadcast wasn't good at all. The highlights were decent at best, but the lows greatly outnumbered them, and dragged the episode's quality down to an unsalvageable level.
SmackDown's main event scene book-ended the show, starting with an obligatory in-ring segment, then wrapping things up with a big tag match. Elsewhere, there were a number of squash matches on display, Shelton Benjamin returned to a WWE ring for the first time since 2010, and the excellent Usos vs. New Day feud continued.
Let's take a look at who dragged SD down to this lowly level, and who tried (in vain) to raise the bar.
Remember when Tye Dillinger was a thing? That was a fun fortnight.
‘The Perfect 10’ initially looked set for a decent push on SmackDown, but disappeared into the abyss as quickly as he’d arrived. He went from promising NXT call-up to “just a guy” in the space of only a few weeks, and only seems to show up as a spot-filler these days, which was exactly the role he played last night.
Dillinger answered AJ Styles’ US Championship open challenge, but was attacked by Baron Corbin. He fought back, preventing ‘The Lone Wolf’ from stealing his title shot, but he needn’t have bothered. Tye was beaten by AJ in less than a minute, and will now slip back into the wilderness, not re-emerging until someone else requires a stepping stone in a month or two.
Every brand needs a couple of enhancement talents, but did WWE really have to reduce Tye to this level so quickly? He got a great pop at the Royal Rumble, and was still extremely popular when his main roster debut came in April, but he won’t be making a breakthrough anytime soon.