WWE: SmackDown Is the Wrestling Show, Raw Is Just a Mess
I stole the headline from one of my readers who made that comment on my last article. Thanks, Matt Medina. It makes perfect sense. While three hours of Monday Night Raw was once thought of as a great idea, and admittedly, I was as excited as a fan meeting Taryn Terrell (sorry, WWE), lately, it has really fallen off and left me empty inside.
The product is a combination of a Jackson Pollack painting and my six-year-old's artwork. It is superstar-heavy, never really makes a point (unless it is the day after WrestleMania and you are at the Izod Center). Some readers would say I am bitter. I would say I am telling the truth.
Either way, the point is made—the WWE has its shows mixed up, putting the Raw program out front with its clamor (or slamor) for ratings and its need to jump out after a pay-per-view to try to make a point or correct any errors from the previous night.
If you want a truer show of "wrestling" as it appears on the marquee, then Wednesday's Main Event and SmackDown are truer judges of the product Vince McMahon is trying to sell.
Is the product on SmackDown better than Raw?
The unbalanced programing of the company and the end of "branding" have also contributed to this. If the WWE ever really put together a team of writers who were consistent with their premise, think of what could happen.
As a side note, that is why I appreciate the days of Dusty Rhodes in the NWA, Eddie Graham in Florida, Eric Embry in Texas and Don Owens in Portland. Even Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett in Memphis were great scriptwriters.
The idea of Daniel Bryan wrestling Ryback or The Undertaker in a match with Dean Ambrose or Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio in a match makes my mouth water because it is a good show. However, it has become an even better show on Friday nights, which is not good because a lot of the target audience is out having fun, not glued to the television.
Maybe the company should do more with its characters in terms of storylines. An article from WrestleZone.com talks about how The Undertaker is having surgery and will be out of action for some time, but will not only be at WrestleMania XXX, but also has some ideas about who he wants to be in a match with. That's more about planning than anything else.
The WWE can use the (I hate to say this) Eric Bischoff model of planning a program from ending to finish and then producing results. While Bischoff was good at telling a story, he was awful at managing a company.
Kane, Rhodes and maybe even JBL would be good choices in putting together more meaningful storylines. And if that fails, I know a certain writer who would love a crack at trying to put together a few angles that mean something.
Until there is a cure for this disease, there will be more confusion and the product will suffer.
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