It’s one of the biggest weeks of the year on WWE television: The annual “Superstar Shake-up,” in which various superstars switch brands between Raw and Smackdown. With Raw revealing its new recruits on Monday, Tuesday night marked Smackdown’s chance to show off the superstars making jump to “The Blue Brand.”

Jinder Mahal and Jeff Hardy face off on Monday Night Raw on April 17, 2018.

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First, Shelton Benjamin took to the ring to address the departure of his former tag-team partner, Chad Gable, to Raw. The first big shock of the night: As Randy Orton walked to the ring to face Benjamin, the crowd erupted as Jeff Hardy, fresh off of winning the U.S. Championship on this week’s Raw, made his grand return to the show that he left nearly ten years ago. Just as he did earlier this week, Hardy made quick work of his opponent with his patented Swanton Bomb.


Hardy was just the beginning. Samoa Joe, another Raw superstar who jumped to Smackdown, made quick work of Sin Cara and addressed the crowd, telling them that he thinks “The Land of Opportunity” is more like “The Land of Handouts.” Joe also made it clear that he intends to take on Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and AJ Styles to prove his dominance.


Speaking of Bryan: The beloved superstar was talking to Renee Young about his upcoming tag-team match when he ran into an unfriendly face (or, more accurately, a behemoth set of pectoral muscles): Big Cass, who finally returned to WWE after being injured in last year’s SummerSlam.


Later in the night, Bryan and AJ Styles took on fan favorites “Rusev Day” (Rusev and Aiden English). Right when the match appeared to be going in Bryan and Styles’ favor, they were caught off-guard by the one-two punch of Shinsuke Nakamura and Big Cass. While Nakamura distracted Styles, Cass floored Bryan with a massive kick to the face. It looks like Bryan might have some more competition with the giant in the future.


While this week may have seemed particularly intense thanks to the “Shake-up,” the chaos isn’t ending any time soon. Every men’s title will be on the line next week at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. We hope the superstars get some time to catch their breath—but given that this is WWE, only the toughest will survive.

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