Ranking every WWE Champion in the SmackDown Live era from worst to best
Now that SmackDown is up and running on FOX, Tuesday nights are once again free from WWE programming, at least from an in-ring perspective. The Blue brand has entered the big time now, but they have been live for over three years.
WWE decided to split the brands in 2016, with SmackDown becoming a live show on Tuesdays. It was rebranded as SmackDown Live and remained as such until the move to FOX and Friday nights. They obtained the WWE Championship during the initial Draft and since then, the title has remained on the Blue Brand.
Eight different men have held the WWE Championship as a part of SmackDown Live and there is quite some variation in their respective reigns. Here is every single WWE Champion, who graced Tuesday nights, ranked from worst to best.
#8 Randy Orton
Immediately following the WWE Draft in 2016, SmackDown began firing on all cylinders. It was consistent in its delivery and became an excellent TV program, but more on that in a little bit.
Unfortunately, the Blue Brand's golden run ended following WrestleMania 33. This coincided with Randy Orton's WWE Championship victory at the Citrus Bowl. After winning the 2017 Royal Rumble Match as a member of the Wyatt Family, The Viper defeated Bray Wyatt to win the title, in what was a travesty of justice due to him setting Wyatt's place of residence (before the Firefly Funhouse) on fire.
Orton's title reign, however, did not catch fire. In the seven weeks he spent as champion, the Viper did not have even one successful defence. He even faced Wyatt in the infamous House Of Horrors match at Payback, before dropping the belt to Jinder Mahal at Backlash.
This title reign had so much potential since a motivated Randy Orton is one of the greatest wrestlers in history. But he did not seem motivated at the time. Also, it ended unceremoniously at the first time of asking while effectively ruining Bray Wyatt's status as a main eventer, until his tremendous reinvention.