When WWE first aired SmackDown in 1999, it was meant to be used as a fitting supplement to the action we as fans saw on Monday Night Raw. Since then, it has given us our share of entertaining storylines and memorable moments in the last 14 years. However, how do we remember the blue brand as it currently stands?
When we think of SmackDown now, we think of a show that is basically a two-hour Raw recap, with a little bit of wrestling in between. And what about the talents of the show? Despite the brand extension ending as of late, we still see a split of what talent is used. We see mostly mid-card talent with a “rare appearance” from a main-event superstar. The gradual continuation of this over the years has earned SmackDown the designation of being WWE’s “B Show.”
It seems as though all the hype of WWE’s entertainment is built up on Monday nights, so by the time Friday night comes around, we’re left with filler. What happened to the days of five-second poses and guitar-playing rattlesnakes? What about the thrilling matches that left us talking until the next Raw? That has all seemed to go by the wayside.
Even the championships associated with the brand have quickly diminished. Case in point: the World Heavyweight Championship. This is a title with more than 100 years of experience and has been held by some of the all-time greats. Now, it’s treated as an afterthought, with the obligatory weekly reminder of who’s holding the belt this week.
Why is it that even when the show had top-tier talents like Triple H and The Undertaker, it was still seen as the secondary show that had little to no importance? Why are major angles seen on Mondays not followed through, providing further volume and depth to each angle?
Imagine the applications of making SmackDown equally important; viewers would be more emotionally invested to each angle and possibly given a larger reason to care about the product as a whole. It’s time for WWE to re-evaluate the status of the show and brainstorm ways to keep people interested through its programming.
By doing this, we could witness a ratings boom like no other; strong numbers all week long. If this comes to fruition, the blue brand could once again be an entertainment juggernaut.