Booking the Top Feuds for WWE on the Road to SmackDown's Move to Fox
WWE is preparing for one of the most significant broadcast changes in the company's history, when SmackDown Live makes the move to Fox in early October.
It will no doubt be a seismic moment for the blue brand, which has arguably been the stronger of WWE's two flagship shows since the most recent brand split returned in 2016.
Switching to Fox means the coming weeks are going to be vital in making sure the biggest stars look as strong as possible, as well all of the blue brand's championships are in the right hands.
Here's how WWE should book its biggest rivalries moving toward the big date at the start of October.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Miz
Fans would have been forgiven for forgetting who holds the Intercontinental Championship prior to the latest edition of SmackDown.
Shinsuke Nakamura, like so many of the guys holding the belt in recent years, just hasn't had enough regular TV time to establish a strong, interesting reign.
WWE has to change that leading into the switch to Fox to make one of its most important titles feel worthwhile again. For Nakamura, that means a feud against The Miz.
That was teased on Tuesday, with Nakamura teaming up with Sami Zayn to take down Miz. This should lead to a feud for the Intercontinental Championship, beginning at Clash of Champions on September 15.
Have Nakamura retain there by all means, but Miz needs to still be in the picture by the time the Fox move happens. He's a big star, an important asset for WWE and someone who can resonate with audiences on Fox.
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
Expect WWE to pull out all the stops when it comes to placing the SmackDown Women's Championship in a prominent position on the card over the next few weeks.
That's likely the thinking behind elevating Charlotte Flair into the title picture again, with Ember Moon having to take a step back following SummerSlam.
Flair and Bayley looks a good bet to still be feuding over the title by the time the blue brand moves to Fox, and given Flair's championship history, don't back against her winning it on the first Fox show itself.
Before then, Bayley needs at least one success against The Queen to underline her status as a promising champion. The feud with Moon didn't create too much intrigue, but a rivalry against a fellow member of the Four Horsewomen.
However, her simply losing the title at the first meeting between the two would be hugely damaging. Expect Bayley to keep the title on the road to Fox but Charlotte to claim it soon after.
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
Good luck trying to work out what's next in this feud between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.
With Bryan insistent he had nothing to do with the attacks on Roman, unveiling a man who looked exactly like Rowan on Tuesday does little to suggest he wasn't involved.
And whether it transpires that Bryan was the instigator of the attacks or not, the road to SmackDown's switch to Fox is inevitably going to feature a feud with Roman as a real highlight.
Expect Roman to keep searching for answers and finding little in the way of conclusive facts over the coming weeks as Bryan keeps trying to throw Reigns off the scent.
There are plenty of routes this can head down. Was Bryan working for someone else—another big name who will attack Roman on the first SmackDown show on Fox? Was he not involved at all? Or is he just determined to make Reigns' life a misery?
Either way, these two are going to have plenty of interactions with one another over the next few weeks. WWE may even be waiting to conclude the angle in early October too. That would give the first show on Fox a real must-see feel to it.
Randy Orton and The Revival vs. The New Day
Kofi Kingston's rivalry with Randy Orton has stepped up in intensity since SummerSlam.
That makes it a near guarantee that the two will still be feuding for the WWE Championship leading up to SmackDown's move to Fox. And given the way Orton in particular has shone lately, that's a smart decision.
They will meet again at Clash of Champions, but that can't be the end of the rivalry, especially given how The Revival and the other members of The New Day are now involved.
Having Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder seemingly align themselves with Orton is a smart move given how they are feuding with Big E and Xavier Woods for the tag titles. Perhaps WWE could set up a huge six-man match for a show like Hell in a Cell, which takes place two days after the first Fox show.
Put all the titles on the line, and keep building on the tension and animosity all six guys are bringing to the party here.