Posted by Danny Williams
So, last Friday’s Smackdown rating took another huge dip. What has happened to WWE’s second flagship brand?
Smackdown hasn’t managed to hit a 2.0 rating in months. But in all honesty, is this really that surprising? When was the last time something major or noteworthy happened on Smackdown?
Yes, The Shield lost their first 6 man tag team match on Smackdown recently (which I think we all know was a big mistake), but is that supposed to entice me to spend 2 hours every Friday night watching what is pretty much a throwaway show every week?
Since the brand extension was brought to an end, Smackdown continues the feuds that appear throughout all other WWE programming. I don’t have a problem with that per say, but Smackdown rarely does anything to actually progress a storyline. I can’t remember the last time I watched Raw, and then missed Smackdown, and by the following Monday something didn’t make sense to me. It just doesn’t happen.
In reality, Smackdown has become the Raw recap show. In the two hour show, you maybe get 1 hour of original programming.
Really, why would anyone bother watching Smackdown? After sitting through 3 hours of Raw on Monday night, I certainly don’t want to see highlights of it for an hour on Friday.
So, what can be done to save ?
In my mind, the best thing to do would be to re-introduce the brand extension. WWE killed the brand extension for a few reasons. The first was to get more cross viewership between the people that only watch Smackdown or only watch Raw, which doesn’t seem to have been to successful based on the recent ratings. The second was to showcase all of the top talent on Raw because they were thin on the ground when it came to top workers.
The thing is, what with how well developmental is doing, the WWE talent pool is probably stronger than ever. I know that they aren’t stars (yet) and that making a star takes time, but when it comes to people who can bring it both on the mic and in the ring, there are lots of people capable of taking that ball and running with it.
There is now more than enough talent to run with two separate brands, with their own roster, their own set of championships and their own storylines. I’m not saying they should get rid of all cross-over between brands, but there are now enough superstars and divas to allow each brand to succeed on an individual basis.
Also, it would allow more TV time to more people, giving the company the potential to make more stars.
Raw is 3 hours, but you still feel that segments and matches are rushed. By splitting the brands again, you could have longer matches and make the mid-card, and its titles, actually mean something.
Maybe make Smackdown a show to showcase the Divas, tag team wrestling and luchadores?
I’ve got to say, I enjoy watching NXT much more than Smackdown.
The fact is, Smackdown is far from the highs of when it began as the Rock’s show, or 2004/5 with JBL as the top guy and the beginnings of the rise of Cena; something needs to be done, and fast, before more people stop tuning in.
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