Could Syfy's Content Be About To Go Rated R?

Pav MandairCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15:  World Heavyweight Champion Edge during WWE Smackdown at Acer Arena on June 15, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images)
Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

In all standard business practice, whenever a new product is incepted, or whenever a current product needs augmenting to retain the target market’s interest there needs to be a unique selling point that would entice the customer to the product. In this case WWE will once again be trying to market Smackdown to a new audience for the second time in two years when the Friday Night broadcast debuts on the Syfy network later this month. No doubt ever since the announcement on April 13th 2010, that Smackdown will be leaving MyNetwork TV for Syfy, WWE officials will have already been projecting plans to ensure this move is successful. So how will Smackdown head writer Michael Hayes and the Creative Team go about ensuring that Smackdown has a rating blessed tenure on the NBC owned network. Will they kick off with an appetising show such as the way they modelled themselves for the audience of the CW network with The Undertaker going one on one with the World Heavyweight champion King Booker? Or will they strengthen the roster on the basis of how they engineered their move to MyNetwork TV, when Triple H was surprisingly moved along with his WWE championship. Whatever WWE creative have planned they surely need to enforce a very exuberant strategy to ensure that their tenure on the network doesn’t mirror the repetitive two year respective tenures that Smackdown has endured on its last two networks with Smackdown being on the CW network and My Network TV for two years respectively, with WWE’s flagship counterpart Monday Night Raw has, enjoying success on the USA Network for double the amount of years ever since its return in 2005. So if Smackdown wants to mirror the longevity that its Monday night equivalent has had on their respective network then perhaps they should ingrain their PG content with a bit of Rated R.

Ever since June Monday night Raw has had a mystery general manager with its only form of communication beckoning from a laptop. At times it has been seen as very dynamic gimmick, and at times has been seen as very tedious, especially with Michael Cole’s participation when notifying the WWE universe of the GM’s Emails. However, as rumours swiftly change as to who the person behind the keyboard is, and to when or if they will be revealed, the GM whether it is Michael Cole himself or somebody else has also been in a rivalry themselves. Over the past couple of weeks Edge has been booked in segments that have been deemed unfair towards him via instructions from the general manager. At first he preserved, but in recent weeks Edge has been very aggrieved in segments such as recently when his victory over Daniel Bryan was reversed. He then proceeded in a rant over the way Monday Night Raw was governed. From what we saw it sounded as if Edge was coming to the end of his tether with the GM and did not want to be under his jurisdiction any longer. This proceeded several signs of frustration in recent weeks over the GM’s dictation.  This could lead to a finale were Edge may longer be able to handle the GM’s ruling and leave Monday night Raw, or Edge may become contestant of the GM’s actions and may be forced off Monday night.

 From what we have seen WWE creative is leading to Edge and the GM coming to a heated standstill  with Edge’s frustration signalling that he could be leaving Monday night Raw very soon for Friday Night Smackdown. This should come as no surprise since a lot of advertising for house shows over the next several months have listed Edge on Smackdown branded shows even though they are subject to change. Edge as proved in the past can be a very good asset to Smackdown as he overall is a very high commodity to the WWE. He was involved in some of the best storylines the show has produced over the last several years during his three year tenure. Edge is still able to draw a very intense reaction from the crowd and would be just the tonic to spearhead Smackdown’s charge on its new network. Edge could easily help put over some of the younger stars on Smackdown with his excellent mic skills. A feud with Kofi Kingston would really help elevate him to the next level with Kofi’s path to the top much easier than when he was on the politically infested Raw. With a lot of talent scheduled to turn face before Wrestlemania including Jack Swagger, a feud with him would surely help rid his doubters with a lot of people not entirely convinced with his first title run. Edge’s face run was highly successful only this calendar year on Smackdown with a high crowd reaction gained every time. A lot of the young stars such as Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler would benefit greatly from this. With Christian now injured Edge would be able to step in and help put over Alberto Del Rio who has impressed ever since his debut a couple of weeks ago.

Whatever capacity Edge is used in it will surely help the Smackdown brand just as he did previously. With The Miz being groomed as a future champion on Raw and Sheamus immense improvement this year, the main heel spots on Raw look likely to be ingrained with a fresh impetus of new talent which may spark the end of Edge’s main event days on Raw. With Edge announcing recently in a local North Carolinian newspaper that his retirement beckons n two years, WWE will be looking to churn the best they can out of Edge with the time he has left, and nothing will be better than to help making Smackdown successful in its new home. As it looks Edge is being groomed for a return to Smackdown, and after creative did consider moving superstars over to build a solid foundation to garner ratings, no doubt Edge’s ability to work a feud of substantial longevity and sustaining its spark throughout will without a shadow of a doubt help the Smackdown brand. WWE have implemented so many ways to sustain Smackdown’s success on networks throughout the years. Such as Triple H moving to the brand he infamously said he did not want to move to, due to it being “the B show”, they have had talent sharing with ECW, and even had Smackdown dominate Raw v Smackdown contests such as Bragging Rights to make Smackdown seem the stronger brand. However, this time they may just be returning to an old formula that headlined the show in the late 2000s who can still ignite an audience emotion. Could Friday nights once again become Rated R, as Syfy prepares to imagine greater with its latest WWE acquisition.