The post-Backlash 2023 episode of WWE SmackDown emanates tonight from the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. After an action-packed and sometimes concert-esque night on the Island of Enchantment, the blue brand kicks off a new era.
Courtesy of the draft, the Friday Night show boasts a new roster: old favorites back on the brand they built, two new top champions, NXT call-ups, and more.
As SmackDown rolls into its new beginning, there are a few questions from Backlash that must be addressed before moving forward. Some of these questions are crucial to the integrity of the big picture, while others are lighter but just as intriguing, if not more. Nonetheless, the blue brand should have some intriguing answers for us tonight.
Here are five fascinating questions from Backlash 2023 that must be answered on WWE SmackDown tonight.
#5. The Bianca Belair question
WWE is currently in a strange position with regard to Bianca Belair's creative direction. The EST was drafted to the blue brand, but she is the RAW Women's Champion. Additionally, she seemed to work like a heel in Puerto Rico (despite being the company's top female babyface) due to the crowd being firmly in support of her opponent IYO SKY.
The company seems to be at a crossroads regarding the record-breaking champion. They could persist with her as a babyface due to her marketability and the lack of a worthy successor to her heroic mantle (going the "John Cena" route). Alternatively, the promotion could turn her heel, a move that could be blockbuster.
This question and the dilemma of what to do about her RAW-branded title should make Belair one of the most compelling parts of the show, which is hosted in her hometown tonight.
#4. Which feuds will kick off the new era of WWE SmackDown?
The new era of WWE SmackDown looks incredibly promising, to say the least. SmackDown Original Edge is back on the brand where he built his career, while fan favorites like The Street Profits and The O.C. have already made a splash. Additionally, many more stars from RAW and NXT are set to make their mark and begin their journey on the blue brand.
Which feuds will kick us off? Who will challenge Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez, and Austin Theory at Night of Champions? How will the men's tag team division forge ahead with the Undisputed Champions drafted to RAW? Who will the likes of LA Knight and Grayson Waller face off with?
We should have a few of these answers tonight on WWE SmackDown.
#3&2. Which WWE SmackDown stars will face Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, respectively, at Night of Champions?
Tonight's episode of WWE SmackDown promises to be a huge night for the main event scene. First, the blue brand bracket of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament will determine Seth Rollins' opponent for Night of Champions.
Then, Roman Reigns will return to handle the Bloodline business and set up his match for the Saudi show, which falls on the 1000th day of his historic reign.
Who will The Tribal Chief and The Visionary face at Night Of Champions? The popular choices in the WWE Universe seem to be AJ Styles and Edge, respectively, but what will the blue brand have in store?
We must find out tonight, especially with the Jeddah event just over two weeks away.
#1. Will the Usos be kicked out of The Bloodline?
The Usos have had a rough few weeks recently. After losing the Undisputed Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 39, Jimmy and Jey failed to reclaim the titles on Night 1 of the draft. They then teamed up with Solo Sikoa for a tension-filled win over Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle which appeared to exhibit major cracks in the Bloodline.
As Roman Reigns returns to WWE SmackDown tonight, will The Usos survive his wrath over their failure? Will The Tribal Chief offer manipulative mercy to keep them doing his bidding, or will he condemn them to Solo Sikoa's destructive spike?
After weeks of suggestive teases from Paul Heyman, we will be watching this one through our fingers.
Poll : Which WHC tournament triple threat match are you more excited for?
The veteran technical masterpiece: Styles vs Edge vs Mysterio
The Powerhouse brawling slugfest: Sheamus vs Lashley vs Theory