It goes without a doubt that the blue brand of the WWE has benefited the most from the tectonic shift brought about by the Brand Split. From outclassing RAW regarding ratings and overall programming to becoming a pre-taped show cramped with RAW replays, and again, rising in prominence after the recent brand split; SmackDown has stood the test of time despite its dwindling fortunes.
After many ups and downs, SmackDown is all set to celebrate a significant milestone next week. The monumental episode will see the returns of The Undertaker and Edge apart from an Intercontinental Championship match between perennial rivals Miz and Dolph Ziggler, who, as always, are expected to tear the house down.
WWE is going all out in ensuring the long-term remembrance of the 900th edition, and according to reports, more special guests have been lined up to make an appearance next week. This slideshow takes a look at the legendary names that have been doing the rounds on the dirt sheets. So further adieu, let’s delve in:
Honorable mention – Shelton Benjamin
It’s a damn shame that the much-hyped return of Shelton Benjamin fell through because of an untimely torn rotator cuff injury. Nevertheless, The Gold Standard mentioned that he would need 6-12 months to recuperate and that the plans of his inevitable return have not been shelved, as of yet.
Triple H and Vince McMahon too are quite high on the prospects of his comeback, given that he’s prepared to go full steam. All we can do is hope that one of the most underutilized stars of our generation shows up next week on SmackDown.
#1 Kurt Angle
It is no secret that Kurt Angle has his eyes set on a future return and the inevitable WWE Hall of Fame induction ever since he parted ways with TNA. The Olympic Gold Medalist has been quite vocal about his intentions on ending his storied career with the company in which he began his pro wrestling endeavor.
It's quite unfair when you think of WWE's double standards. RAW got Goldberg while SmackDown got Curt Hawkins! Where’s the logic in that? Doesn’t SmackDown deserve a legendary return too? It sure as hell does and who better than the first mayor of suplex city and a SmackDown original, Kurt Angle.
Picture this; Kurt Angle forming a new stable with American Alpha and running roughshod on the entire SmackDown roster. It would be reminiscent of the Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass) and a fitting way for Angle to have a final run with the company before he gets his name etched into the illustrious Hall of Fame.