It's SmackDown's turn to host the Superstar Shake-Up and one of their bigger acquisitions may have just been spoiled.
PWInsider reports that newly crowned US Champion Jeff Hardy is backstage for the Provident, RI episode of SmackDown.
Normally a WWE Superstar attending a WWE show is barely news, but Hardy's presence comes in exigent circumstances.
A large chunk of RAW's roster boarded a plane headed to South Africa Tuesday morning. Seeing they'll be 30,00 feet above the Atlantic Ocean when SmackDown airs, they'll be missing tonight's show. Since Hardy is backstage, and not on that plane, we can safely deduce he'll be a part of SmackDown's haul.
However, a few of those South African bound Superstars could still end up on SmackDown. Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, Chad Gable, and The Ascension all jumped to RAW without actually appearing on the show. Names like Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, and The Bar could all do the same tonight.
Jeff Hardy probably doesn't care what show he's on—he's just happy to be back in the ring. After shoulder surgery cost him nine months, the 40-year old made his return to action last week. And seven days after that, he's already Us Champion.
Hardy ruined Jinder Mahal's arrival to RAW by nabbing the US belt within the first 20 minutes of last night's show. But after his victory WWE had to answer a big question: Would it be Hardy or Seth Rollins who goes to SmackDown?
It would make little sense to keep both the US Championship and the Intercontinental Championship on the same show. If logic is our guide, it would also be incongruent to keep Jeff Hardy on RAW if he was never going to join forces with his eccentric brother, Woken Matt.
Even more, keeping Rollins (who may be WWE's hottest Superstar) on RAW is likely a priority for Vince McMahon and Co. As much as they'd like us to believe that RAw and SmackDown are equals, there's a reason why Brock Lesnar hasn't shown up on the Blue Brand in 50 years.
Rollins is one of the few WWE Superstar who could be trusted with the Universal Championship. So, even though he's the IC's master at the moment, he could be WWE's top guy if they needed him. He'd be great on SmackDown, don't get me wrong, but he serves the company best on Monday nights.
With that in mind, you can expect to see Hardy tonight.