Column: How SmackDown Can Be Just As Good As RAW


When it comes down to it, I think we can all agree that WWE puts a lot more into Monday Night RAW versus Friday Night SmackDown. Ever since it first began, SmackDown has been “The B Show”. WWE eventually split the roster up to have certain people on SmackDown and then certain people on RAW. They would do yearly drafts to shake up the rosters as well, which made shows a lot more interesting.

Ever since WWE instituted the RAW SuperShow, SmackDown roster members came over from their own program to RAW and the same happened on SmackDown. It went from a separation to a mix. This brought WWE down huge to me. While you had the ability to see people from other shows on the same program, this was nice for a small bit. But when you totally kill the idea of a brand split, it was useless.

WWE still kept both World Titles, both mid-card belts, and so forth. It was pretty stupid to say the least. Now, word has it that WWE wants to make SmackDown a top show again and put it on the same level as RAW. While I am okay with this, it won’t happen with the current programming.

Currently, SmackDown is a big RAW recap show with a few matches mixed in. It’s not worth the time because RAW is where everything happens. SmackDown is just a show that ties into RAW.

If WWE were to split up the brands, they would instantly bring SmackDown to a great level. Not only would this allow a ton of mid-carders to get TV time again, but you’d also be able to make stories deeper with less people wanting TV time.

Currently, the same people are on both shows. When you make RAW a place you can only see certain men and women again, you bring up the value.

Some have said that WWE doesn’t have enough stars to do this. I completely disagree.

Currently, they have plenty of stars to split the brands again. Not only that, but you have the ability to create bigger stars when they are given time to show how good they can be.

For example, Antonio Cesaro would never get a World Title match right now. He’s a former United States Champion that had a hell of a run with the title, around 239 days. This was the longest reign in close to 5 years with the title. Why would this not automatically put him in contention for a possible World Title match?

So instead, WWE paired him with Jack Swagger to create a tag team of sorts. They also brought him down from a dangerous wrestler and unbeatable monster of a wrestler to a guy who can get beaten by just about anybody.

The reason for his downfall was simply that there was no ability to put him anywhere else, especially since they wanted to give Dean Ambrose the US Title for the Shield’s big run.

With a crowded main event scene, it just wouldn’t work for him, despite clear ability to work for it. If the shows were split, I could guarantee he’d get a match for the World Title of the show. He may not win it, but a match would be easily possible, especially if a face champion is involved.

The same can be said for several mid-carders. If you ask me, none of the top stars we see today would ever have seen this level they are at without a brand split. Not Cena, Punk, Orton, Miz, Ziggler, Sheamus, and so forth.

It’s much harder to stand out.

Also, with Divas getting more and more popular due to the Total Divas hit TV Show, WWE would be moronic not to push these girls and give them more opportunities on normal programming.

On top of this, WWE could bring up more girls because there would be a need for a certain amount of girls on each roster. We might have to “Paige” some NXT Divas?

If WWE wants to make the SmackDown show good again, this has to happen. Another possibility would be to have SmackDown go 3 hours just like RAW does.

I think this could be a mistake because they already have a hard time using SmackDown well in a 2 hour format. If they made it 3 hours, it would be miserable. This would make 8 hours of TV programming a week, not including NXT, which writers would have to produce. And let’s not get started on PPV weeks.

If WWE were to have the brand split, 3 hours wouldn’t be as hard. But it would still be difficult.

The reason for all of this talk of SmackDown lately is due to SyFy’s contract coming up with WWE on SmackDown. It’s obvious they will want to continue the show as it’s still one of the highest rated shows on the station. But the issue comes down to the fact that ratings have not been great. The reason for this is as I said above; it’s like a RAW recap with nothing much in between.

SyFy has caught on to this and WWE feels that they need to revamp the show. WWE changed around the whole identity of both shows because SmackDown was having issues with house shows. They wanted to make it look good, so people would come to the events. However, this was a while back and they have kept the same format. It worked for a time, but now it’s old and tired.

As a result, it seems that WWE is willing to make SmackDown interesting again. But to me, the only way that can happen is a brand split. Because if we see the same stuff extended onto SmackDown, it won’t really be worth it. This is especially true with SmackDown not being live every week like RAW is.

There was a time that some would tell you SmackDown was more entertaining with RAW. Back in 2008-2010, you could say this easily in some periods. They had the best young stars on the show and all of them were exceeding expectations.

Nowadays, WWE continues to have young stars do this. But with them being caught behind top stars, they have no chance to go anywhere despite the skill.

With a split, they have that opportunity. With this, the show instantly improves again.

This is my take, but I want to know yours. Should WWE split the brands again in order to better the SmackDown show, and even the RAW one? Or should WWE do something different? Let me know your thoughts on this below.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoeBurgett_WE

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