The reasons for a casual wrestling fan to tune in to Smackdown each week are diminishing very quickly.
The latest dagger in the Blue Brand's hopes was the recent announcement of Monday Night Raw becoming a permanent three hour show in less than two months. With the Supershow idea in place for nearly a year and Smackdown superstars competing for the WWE Championship, the brand extension is dead in the water.
Right now, other than to see new young stars such as Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow, there is not much to watch that can't be seen on Monday nights.
So would moving Smackdown to Tuesday nights and making it a live show be a good idea? The move has its pros and cons, but ultimately it probably is something the organization should consider.
A major advantage of making this change is the concept of live television. I am one of many people who tends to turn towards the spoilers if I cannot catch the show that week or just out of plain curiosity. Friday nights have the lowest ratings for a reason, and with not a whole lot of time catering to the majority of the audience, waiting until Monday is a better decision for some.
Whenever Smackdown goes live on Tuesday, the ratings show a sizable increase, and with the show usually taping on Tuesdays anyway, the switch would not be too difficult. One thing is definitely for certain however—the show will not go live later in the week. The production costs are easier to manage when TV tapings happen in back-to-back nights, and the WWE cannot afford to be adding expenses right now.
What should the WWE do with Smackdown?
On the other side of the coin, how much television can one fan take? The addition of another hour to Raw every week could take away the appeal of a live show the night after. Five hours of TV in just 25 hours? That could easily be too much to handle for the majority of the WWE Universe.
Although it is yet to be seen how the three hour Raw will affect the company, the early reviews are far from positive. This idea may reduce the WWE's flexibility with Smackdown decisions as well, and it could leave the company in trouble in terms of getting viewers to watch on Tuesdays or Fridays.
But what about Thursdays? TNA just broadcasted live last night, and while it didn't blow the roof off, it was a solid episode. More importantly, I flipped the channel over to check it out, and I admittedly follow TNA very sporadically.
The ratings for last night's Impact Wrestling show will be very interesting, and if they are high, the WWE might consider a dark horse third option and try to get Smackdown on Thursdays again. Still, the show would most likely be taped, and it would take much more effort to get the ratings to improve.
For now, it seems the WWE has backed itself into a corner with Smackdown thanks to the additional hour on Mondays and the constant presence of all big names on the flagship show.
What do you think is the best solution for the declining Smackdown ratings?