Brian 'Road Dogg' James is often the person in the firing line when SmackDown falls short of expectations, and rightly so. His ascension to lead writer has coincided with a noticeable downturn in the show's all-round quality. He should be held to account for that, but if we're going to criticise the former New Age Outlaw when he doesn't deliver, then it's only fair we praise him when he does.
SmackDown's writers hit their second consecutive home run last night. This was a fantastic show blighted only by a couple of minor bum notes, so hats off, Mr. R. Dogg: you killed it.
The Superstar Shake-Up handed the blue brand a swathe of great performers, and the promise of a brighter future. Gone are the Corbins, Mahals, and Rawleys of the world, replaced with the likes of Samoa Joe and The Miz. The Bar and Sanity are great tag additions, Asuka will elevate the women's scene, and in Jeff Hardy, Tuesdays finally have a United States Champion people want to believe in.
It's a genuinely exciting time for Team Blue, and several of these new faces made a mark on their new home last night. Let's break it down...