WWE SmackDown Live saw the return of the U.S. title on Tuesday night.
Just 24 hours after U.S. Champion Jinder Mahal went to RAW as part of the superstar shake-up, Jeff Hardy made his debut on SmackDown Live. Mahal lost the title to Hardy on RAW in what was a pretty big surprise, so Hardy's debut with SmackDown sees the championship stay put on Tuesday nights.
It was reported early in the day on Tuesday that Hardy would be at SmackDown Live, and he was rumored pretty heavily to be one of the RAW superstars headed to SmackDown. Conventional wisdom said it would be either he or Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins that would switch to the blue brand.
With Hardy's move to SmackDown, we can be fairly certain (but not entirely at this stage) that Rollins will not be moving to Tuesday nights. It's unimaginable that RAW would be left without a secondary title, especially as the longer of the two shows. That being said, Hardy will be wrestling Mahal at WWE Backlash, which would give the RAW superstar a chance to bring the title back to Monday night if the show is left without a secondary title initially.
Hardy wrestled Shelton Benjamin on Tuesday night during his debut. Benjamin talked about being ready for new challenges with his former partner, Chad Gable, now a member of the RAW roster. He asked Paige to send him some big competition tonight, which initially brought out Randy Orton.0comments
However, Orton's music cut as he made his way down to the ring and out came Hardy to the surprise of the fans. Hardy ran past him, drawing a dirty look from Orton in the process, and went on to wrestle Benjamin.
Hardy ended up emerging victorious with the Swanton Bomb in what was a good television match. Given the way he debuted, it looks like Randy Orton could be next on his agenda.