Enduring Thoughts: Smackdown's Place As an Underrated B-Show
I never watched a whole lot of the Attitude Era. It's something that I regret to this day.
Perhaps I should have disregarded the fact that wrestling was fake and continued to watch. I unfortunately was too angry, though, and refused to see anything that was related to the WWE or WCW.
Hooray for the Monday Night Wars, right?
I still liked certain wrestlers. I was fond of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. They graced our television sets with their edgy personas, becoming the top two superstars of the 90s wrestling boom.
The Rock, with his great verbiage and excellent mic skills, came up with a lot of phrases.
I remember my brother constantly quoting The Rock. His favorite phrases were "Know your role and shut your mouth!" as well as "Do you smeeeellll what the Rock is cooking!"
But of course, I was fond of a different statement. It was a statement that likely inspired the second longest running television show in the history of the WWE.
"It's time to layeth the Smackdown!"
Smackdown became a Thursday Night spectacle to behold in 1999. The debut included a WWE championship match between The Rock and then-champion Triple H.
The first episode was the first of many great Thursday night viewings.
And even then, I was still angry about wrestling being fake.
Eventually, the show grew on me. Smackdown showcased some of the wrestlers who were unable to be seen constantly on Monday Night Raw, giving them a chance to shine in a blue arena as opposed to the grim red setting of the promotion's flagship show.
To this day, Smackdown is still running, and it's probably in one of its best runs yet. You better believe it.
The night is different; Now you can see the Smackdown laid down on Friday nights. It's a great way to start the weekend.
The attitude era is gone, as is the time that showed wrestlers like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, and a heel John Cena with more edge than anyone can remember.
In this day and age, good wrestling shows seem hard to find. Fortunately, many consider Smackdown as a bright spot in an otherwise unimpressive WWE.
The main event scene of Smackdown been shifted quite recently. Of course, there are some faces that have been on top of the brand for at least a year.
Edge, a wrestler who broke out as a singles superstar after being a tag team main stay, is always a controversial figure. People love his arrogance, his wrestling skills, and his ability to draw controversy.
Batista has practically been a member of Smackdown since 2005, when he was drafted to the brand during his first world championship reign.
Chris Jericho joined the brand not too long ago, and was the world champion of the show for over a month.
He was usurped by Jack Swagger, who is now technically a member of the brand with his first title reign in full swing.
I can never forget about the last parts of the main event either; The Undertaker, in all his veteran glory, is the probably the heart and soul of Smackdown.
Despite his injuries, long breaks, and old age, the Deadman still delivers.
The main event of Smackdown is as solid as I have ever seen it. It can be repetitive at times, but the show seems to make up for that with the fact that many fans have accepted the headliners due to their charisma and talents.
The midcard is not far behind in terms of potential and skills.
CM Punk should be considered a main eventer by now; He leads the only true stable in the WWE as a hypocritical, self-righteous heel.
His feud with Rey Mysterio, a respected WWE veteran who could also be a main eventer, is very interesting to say the least.
The two are both great wrestlers, and I have little doubts that they never fail to disappoint in any aspect of their feud.
The rest of the midcard is just as impressive in my opinion.
The real tag teams of the WWE reside in the blue brand. The Hart Dynasty, despite not have a Hart in name, are probably the best wrestling tag team in the WWE.
Caylen Croft and Trent Barretta, despite being an upstart team, have great potential as future tag team champions.
Kane, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, and others are forever midcard mainstays (Though some are young enough to still get a good push). That doesn't mean they are unreliable. Barring injuries, each midcarder is an important piece of the puzzle.
The young stars and new wrestlers are not bad either.
R-Truth is a former world champion (Depending on how you viewed the NWA championship when he won it) and is beginning to become immensely popular with the crowd.
John Morrison is sure to become a main event star. Perhaps he will face opposition from heel wrestlers Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
Ezekiel Jackson and The Great Khali join Kane as brutes that have somewhat of a strong presence in the WWE. The latter is a former world champion, and the elder is managed by in-ring veteran William Regal, who can easily help him gain credibility as a wrestler.
The women's division might need some work, but they're better off than the Diva's division.
With the dominant heel Michelle McCool, fan favorite Mickie James, "Glamazon" Beth Phoenix, indy-talent Serena, the Hart-related Natalya and the ever improving Tiffany (who I would rather have as a wrestler than a GM any day), the women's division is talented enough.
Smackdown has little flaws on paper. Unfortunately, I may be too biased about the show.
I have no television coverage of Smackdown. MyNetwork TV is nowhere to be found in Vermillion, South Dakota.
It's why I'm grateful that Smackdown could potentially be on SyFy, a top 40 channel I'll have for sure.
For now, WWE.com and Bleacher Report articles are my source of information for the blue brand of sports entertainment.
I've heard some dissenting things.
Though the women's division looks great, the booking is apparently poor; they'd rather focus on Vickie Guerrero's tantrums with Beth Phoenix and Mickie James instead of trying to make a storyline as solid as McCool's bullying of James over the women's championship.
The break up of Cryme Tyme bothered me immensely. It also opened my eyes to something as well.
Smackdown has actual tag teams. If the WWE wanted to rebuild its tag team division, why not look there?
There aren't a lot of tag teams, but it's a good start. With good booking, things could work.
Instead of putting together R-Truth and John Morrision for a WrestleMania squash match, why not have The Hart Dynasty take care of ShoMiz (A move the WWE is seemingly going to make), then have them feud with Barretta and Croft? It would push the Dude Busters to midcard status, and it would also make the tag team titles a lot more legitimate.
In the end, Smackdown could have improvements, but I feel it remains an underrated show.
Raw was always supposed to be about the glitz, but Smackdown is the thing to watch for wrestling.
Its tone is different, its matches are more exhilarating, and the story lines seem to make more sense.
Thus, Friday Night is the best night for the WWE. Yes, even if they don't have higher ratings than Raw.
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