With the return of Dolph Ziggler to Tuesday nights, who knew what was in store for the blue brand? Would he have an impact on the main event as WWE took SmackDown Live toward Fastlane? Or, would he do as he's done so often in the past and been largely irrelevant?
What is the status of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan? Well, as we'd find out on Tuesday, all parties would interconnect in what now looks to be a very confusing cluster of WWE Superstars all reaching for the same end goal. Fans would also learn that the United States Open Challenge doesn't mean much anymore to the WWE and that New Day just can't stop being silly, which it appears is more of a priority to the writing team.
Here are your winners and losers from SmackDown Live, February 13, 2018.
Winner - Dolph Ziggler
Welcome back Dolph Ziggler. How long this push toward the WWE Title lasts is unknown, but for now, it's a welcome sight to a lot of WWE fans. The company went simple in explaining why he ditched the U.S. Title, suggesting he wants more and he sees only the WWE Championship.
He had a great match with Sami Zayn and that is why WWE wanted to keep him. They know he's dangerous wrestling for another promotion because he often delivers performances like he did on Tuesday.
Loser: New Day
Some people are going to love New Days total lack of respect and silliness and say they are the most entertaining thing on WWE programming right now. I'll even admit they have their moments but I'm not sure how confident I am that the company is choosing slapstick comedy over a worker and soon to be star like Chad Gable.
New Day is at risk of becoming a mockery of themselves. A tag team that WWE felt deserved to be one of the most decorated of all time is now a team that is looking to get pancakes over instead of their opponents.
Winner: Baron Corbin
It's not often WWE presents Baron Corbin in a way that makes him look like the star he should be, but they succeeded on Tuesday. Corbin looked great, had real chemistry with Kevin Owens and got a huge win in what most would consider an upset.
He's going to be moving on to Fastlane and he deserves to be there if he's going to put on performances like this one. This was a great showing by Corbin who hasn't had a lot of great showings of late.
Loser: United States Open Challenge
The fact that there was supposed to be a U.S Open Challenge match but wasn't is indicative of where WWE is going with this idea and title. A segment that brought real focus to the belt is now a segment that is passed on to each successive champion but with each passing of the belt, the open challenges become less and less meaningful.
That Randy Orton and Bobby Roode just ended up cutting a promo and that Mahal ended up standing tall at the end was confusing. I guess the only good news here is that WWE made reference to the Top 10 List which last week felt completely meaningless.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
She's systematically taking out the Riott Squad one by one and if the plan is to showcase Flair at WrestleMania somehow, this is a plan that makes a lot of sense. At the same time, Flair was able to help make Sarah Logan look like a great competitor.
The downside of all this is that it seems obvious with each match that Flair will come out the victor. If the Riott Squad had been built up a bit more beforehand that might have helped, but still Flair is the draw here and the right choice to be moving forward to bigger and better things.