One night after winning the United States Championship on Raw, Jeff Hardy switched over to SmackDown LIVE through the Superstar Shake-up.
Hardy captured the United States Championship from Jinder Mahal and on his first night on the blue brand (well, since 2009), competed in a match against Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin apparently turned heel a few moments earlier as he said that he never needed Chad Gable as his tag team partner, who switched over to Raw the night before. Benjamin looked to make a major solo impression on the blue brand by calling out anyone on the roster to face him.
First out was Randy Orton, clearly looking to silence Benjamin. However, before “The Apex Predator” could make it to the ring, he was interrupted by Hardy, who answered Benjamin’s challenge.
Hardy, of course, beat Benjamin.
With Orton and Daniel Bryan not wrestling on the road full time, the idea was to have another full-time face on SmackDown besides WWE Champion AJ Styles. WWE considered having either Hardy, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins, or Finn Balor filling in that role, and decided on Hardy.
WWE officials also considered having Orton join Raw, but ultimately decided against it. He would have likely moved had either Rollins or Balor joined SmackDown.