Brock Lesnar's Shock Return Sets Up Epic Kofi Feud, More WWE SmackDown Fallout
Whether it is good or bad, WWE can always be trusted to shake things up when it matters most.
The Beast Incarnate immediately established himself as the biggest challenger the WWE champion has ever faced, but he was not the only one stepping up to a SmackDown champion.
From Ali refusing to let his win over Shinsuke Nakamura be ignored to Carmella standing up to her friend Bayley, challengers emerged anew for SmackDown Live.
Alongside the continued dominance and destruction of Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, the September 17 edition of SmackDown set the stage for massive potential matches to come.
Brock Lesnar May Be the Perfect Challenger for Kofi as Long as He Loses
After an intense six-man tag match victory over The Revival and Randy Orton, The New Day stood tall in the ring. Brock Lesnar interrupted, and Kofi sent Xavier Woods and Big E to the back. Paul Heyman challenged Kofi to a WWE Championship match at the debut of SmackDown on Fox.
The return of The Beast Incarnate was not unexpected but still a welcome surprise. When Lesnar is around, he adds an extra spotlight to whatever story he is a part of. It's just a problem when he's not around and still champion.
Kofi has been a great WWE champion to date, but his challengers have been lacking at times. Lesnar is easily the biggest star to challenge The Dreadlock Dynamo since he became champion. It will be a monumental challenge.
As with most Lesnar title opportunities, the best odds are on The Beast winning. Even when he shouldn't, he emerges with gold. Fox will certainly seek out big moments for the debut on Friday nights, and a WWE Championship title change would certainly qualify.
However, the better story is Kofi winning. He has overcome the demons of his past at every turn. He completely outshined Dolph Ziggler. He shut up Orton. Now he has a chance to defeat the man who squashed him the last time they fought.
This is the ultimate career-defining moment. Will Fox back Kofi as SmackDown's true champion or revert back to WWE's classic formula?
Shinsuke Nakamura Needs Ali
Ali came out poised for a match before Sami Zayn arrived. He introduced Shinsuke Nakamura, and the two surrounded the cruiserweight in the ring. The Critic of the Critics stated that Ali would never be a champion, and the two laid him out, ending with a Kinshasa.
After weeks of ignoring Ali's victory over The Artist, WWE is returning to a feud that should have continued through Clash of Champions. It is only right as the talented high flier has earned a chance to tell a real story.
Obviously, Ali needs an opportunity like this. He put on great back-to-back performances in King of the Ring against Buddy Murphy and Elias then disappeared. It's too easy right now for him to be forgotten. However, his opponent needs him just as much.
While Zayn joining Nakamura elevated the WWE intercontinental champion briefly, it will take a great performer stepping up to them both to make them feel important. Ali can be the crowd favorite the heels need to take it to the next level.
The Artist is still too often seen as coasting. Ali will force him to bring back the man that had everyone talking when he was first signed.
Carmella Gets the First Crack at Standing Next to the Four Horsewomen
Sasha Banks fought Charlotte Flair in a submission-heavy affair where The Queen seemed more motivated than The Boss. Bayley tried to keep Banks in the match, but Charlotte caught her opponent in the Figure-Eight. The Hugger had to get involved to cause a disqualification.
Carmella made a surprise appearance to help even the odds after Banks and Bayley tried to beat down Charlotte. Since the return of The Boss, it has been all Four Horsewomen all the time. The quartet stand as the center of both women's divisions even overlapping.
Someone needs to step up that can work alongside them before the dynamic gets boring. It seems The Princess of Staten Island has gotten the first opportunity.
It has been difficult to figure out Carmella's standing in WWE. She gets a significant spotlight thanks to her work with R-Truth and is still treated as a high-profile performer when she competes. She just rarely gets to wrestle anymore.
Her reign as SmackDown women's champion was lackluster, but she has massively stepped up in the ring since that time. She is certainly ready for a fresh spotlight.
Hopefully, for her sake, she can deliver in this role to convince WWE she is more than a sidekick for Truth's hijinks.
The Bludgeon Brothers Are on an Improbable Tear Through WWE
Daniel Bryan ended the show addressing Erick Rowan, genuinely hurt by his friend turning on him. The big man was unfazed as he and Luke Harper laid out The Planet's Champion. Roman Reigns tried to make the save, but he could not stop them and neither could security.
WWE continually returns to the alliance of Rowan and Harper for a reason. They compliment each other well in size, speed and aesthetic. Even if they are good on their own, they are often better together.
The two have shown that quickly as they come off as an unstoppable force now. The former Wyatt Family and Bludgeon Brothers have been a highly regarded team their entire careers, but this is the first time they have been presented as main event stars.
Dominating Bryan and Reigns and ending SmackDown on top sells their allegiance and effect on the blue brand. It suddenly feels like this team could defeat anyone. It will be interesting to see where they go after the Reigns and Bryan match that is certainly in the near future.
The tag team divisions are coming together thanks to returning talent, and Harper and Rowan could be great opponents for everyone. They possess the power to dominate smaller opponents as well as the hard-hitting offense to work with the other heavyweight teams.
However, if they do end up trading wins with The New Day and The Viking Raiders, they will likely fall from their pedestal at the top of the brand.