Once considered WWE's most consistent weekly brand, recent weeks have seen SmackDown struggle for quality, with the 14 May episode a particularly mundane offering from the new, Road Dogg-less writing team. Fortunately, this week's episode was something of a rebound. As the Ups-to-Downs ratio attests, it wasn't perfect, but the night's biggest problems stemmed from one specific performer on whom your mileage will likely vary anyway.
WWE.com's pre-show blurb promised Big E's big return, and we got it in a typically entertaining New Day opening segment that, predictably, didn't pass without incident. The 24/7 Title brought all kinds of chaos to Tuesday nights, too. R-Truth began the evening as champion and was forced to go to extreme lengths to keep hold of his dark green strap, resulting in some of the evening's silliest (read: most fun) moments.
Elsewhere, we got new SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley teaming with Raw counterpart Becky Lynch to face Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans. Kofi Kingston faced Sami Zayn in a non-title bout, Carmella and Mandy Rose brought their Twitter beef to television, and Andrade and Ali kept the workrate fans satisfied.
Fingers crossed that this show signals a return to form. SmackDown must recover before the Fox deal starts in October...
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.