SmackDown is by far the strongest brand in WWE today. While the company spent years building RAW as the flagship show, they got the best broadcasting deal in pro wrestling history with FOX, who signed a 5-year, $1 billion deal for the right to broadcast SmackDown.
With more money in the show and higher ratings than before, the Blue brand has a more stacked roster, with more effort being put into the storylines on the show.
Even with a strong roster, there are a few superstars who desperately need to return to the Friday night show:
#5. AJ Styles - One of the greatest stars in SmackDown history
AJ Styles has been in WWE for five-and-a-half years now, and if there's one thing that we can be sure about, it's the fact that he has always thrived more on SmackDown than on RAW.
Styles was not even six full months into his WWE run when the 2016 Draft happened, and he was the second pick for SmackDown and fourth overall. For somebody who was in the company for such a short time, getting picked ahead of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns was a huge deal.
His move to the Blue brand was an instant hit as he resumed his feud with Cena and it culminated with him beating WWE's franchise player in an all-time classic at SummerSlam 2016.
Immediately after, he went back to the WWE Championship picture, with Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) holding the industry's most prestigious prize at the time. At Backlash, the first SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view of the era, AJ Styles won his first WWE Championship.
Between August 2016 to March 2019, Styles established himself as a legend of the SmackDown brand. Essentially becoming the face of the brand in John Cena's absence (and Dean Ambrose's eventual move to RAW), he quietly turned face after WrestleMania 33 in 2017. He won his second WWE title later that year, but in between, he had two small reigns with the United States Championship.
Styles would go on to have a year-long reign with the World title from November 2017, eventually surpassing JBL as the longest-reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown history.
He had a run on RAW between 2019 and 2020, after which he jumped ship to SmackDown for more than half a year. In that time, he won the Intercontinental title as well, after Sami Zayn was stripped of the Championship.
Less than a couple of months after Paul Heyman's move to SmackDown and alliance with Roman Reigns, Styles was once again drafted to RAW. This time, he has won the RAW Tag Team Championship, but it's clear that he isn't being utilized to his full potential.
AJ Styles is and always has been better on SmackDown. He's a grand slam champion and has done enough to warrant a future Hall of Fame induction. In terms of his status on the Blue brand, he's up there with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Batista, The Undertaker, etc.
He should come back to SmackDown and spend the rest of his career on just one brand where he will be utilized better.
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