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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Seven Good Reasons
June 7, 2006 by Johnny LaRue


Editor's Notes: You may have noticed that there are multiple columns up on the website about the rumored return of Degeration-X. If you read a column (ANY column) and decide to send in feedback, PLEASE be sure to indicate which column you are responding to by typing the TITLE of the column in the subject line. Also, DO NOT FORGET to sign your name. Thanks!


Yes it has been quite a while since my last column but spending about 2 months in Japan will do that to ya I guess. Now that I am back and all is well I finally was able to catch up on the wrestling world. Needless to say I am perplexed to say the least. ECW making another comeback" Scott Steiner in TNA" I turn on RAW tonight and see Kurt Angle now in ECW" Which brings me to the main topic for this column. Is SmackDown near death"

Unlike Mr. Heap I have a pessimistic view of the current situation and predict SmackDown will be off the air by years end. I almost liken it to WCW Thunder in its final days. Why you ask" Here are some of my reasons:

1.) The timeslot still stinks since Friday nights are not nights most 18 to 35 year old males stay at home. Unless you are like me and get paid once a month and spend the last Friday of the month at home. If the WWE changes the timeslot again nothing screams cancellation like numerous timeslot changes. The problem is SmackDown can't be on the same night as RAW or ECW and they probably won't go head to head with TNA so that leaves very few options.

2.) Quick, name six active wrestlers on SmackDown in 10 seconds! Not so easy eh" The lack of talent is appalling to me. No Kennedy, Eddie (RIP), Batista, Benoit, Orton and now MNM, Angle and JBL are gone as well. That is not even including mid card talent like Juvi, The Boogeyman and OJ.

How much more talent will either be on the shelf or transferred to RAW" Who are the main draws for the show" Taker, Rey and that is about it. Henry and Lashley can't carry the show. This reminds me of WCW Thunder which also lacked talent in its final months as we watched matches like La Parka vs. Tank Abbott or Horace Hogan vs. Lodi.

3.) The ECW brand concerns me. Angle is a part of it and after Heyman mentioned how anyone from RAW or SmackDown can jump ship I wonder how many from SmackDown will. Will the Cruiserweight division move to ECW" I could see Benoit and Tazz leaving as well. Also, how much will the WWE promote the new ECW and will it be at the expense of SmackDown"

Oh, and wasn't it SmackDown vs. RAW last year" Now it is ECW vs. RAW. It would not shock me to see the next video game be called ECW vs. RAW.

4.) The jump to the CW. I am unsure how long the CW will put up with bad ratings. I am equally unsure how many households will get the CW. I also question if the network truly wants SmackDown on it. My guess is they will bury it in some dopey timeslot on a new night and then have a legit reason to axe it. Then toss in the NFL holding games throughout the week this upcoming season so that also makes less viewers for SmackDown.

5.) Less PPV's since now with ECW something has to give. I can't see any of the RAW PPV's being replaced. That leaves SmackDown losing PPV's or Vince adding ECW PPV's and flooding the market. Let's be honest here. As a wrestling fan given a choice between RAW, ECW, TNA or SmackDown where is your $39.95 going" To see Mark Henry headline a PPV" I think not.

6.) From what it seems on TV the SmackDown arenas are not selling out. Having to answer to stockholders it is plausible for Vince to end up killing off SmackDown to appease the shareholders"

Can the WWE have three profitable brands" Will fans have the time and energy (and money) to follow all three" Side note somewhat unrelated to this column: Wasn't this idea dabbled with during the "Invasion angle" and failed" If the WWE couldn't generate excitement with the ECW/WCW vs. WWE angle what makes anyone else (myself included) believe the ECW return will be profitable"

7.) The travelling of the brands. Will fans gladly pay for SmackDown tickets when they know ECW or RAW will be in town in a month or so" I am fairly sure you wrestling fans NorthEast of the Mississippi River will choose ECW. Also, what about Indy shows or TNA or ROH"

Now that I have given my seven good reasons what are the options here" A.) Reorganize SmackDown and add in OVW talent if need be" B.) Add talent from the cash cow known as RAW" (unlikely) C.) Cut the losses and get rid of SmackDown"

So is it A, B, C or none of the above" I am 99.9% sure I am missing other options here so by all means tell me your thoughts on this. My money is on C but then again what do I know"

When Johnny LaRue is not watching old wrestling tapes he can be reached at Easyreader2@Hotmail.com..


Jose Aguirre wrote:
I have to agree with you completely. Keeping up with wrestling, basketball(Go MAVS!!), baseball, school,and my job is dificcult to do for me personally. I seriously barely have the energy to watch RAW on Mondays the day of the week I don't work, and Fridays I go out if I'm not working halfway through SmackDown! so SmackDown! is doomed in my opinion. It's a shame because I fell in love with wrestling watching SmackDown! 6 years ago.
Patrick wrote:
aww man I dont know what to say except your exactly right I've never looked at it like this before and when i read the article it became so clear.................so sad because in earlier times smackdown was great but with no talent and a bad time slot what can you do honestly i think smackdown should be a brand for the younger up and coming guys (masters carlito mr kennedy lasley and ect) but still leave a few older veterans around. I mean why not try that you've tried everything else and it hasnt worked
Jesse Lee wrote:
Very well done. I'd like to say choice C would be best. Rather than trying to focus on all three, it may profitable in the long term to get rid of Smackdown. Where will the wrestlers go" Well, that brings the interesting point. What could happen is Smackdown! superstars could start feeling all the pressure of their trouble places. They could still feud with ECW along with RAW, while beginning to feud with themselves on a more intense level. Without going through details, the Smackdown! roster can finally split with half going to the new ECW and the other half going to RAW (and with some being stuck on the velocity/heat shows.)
Edrom41 wrote:
I believe that SD! is just plain out being screwed. Rey keeps losing although he's the champion, and just lost to RVD on the WWE vs ECW special, they're getting Ken Kennedy back but lose Angle to ECW and now a returning Orton to RAW before he even stepped foot back in a SD! arena, and Mark Henry keeps injuring (legit and storyline) SD! talent, I mean WTF"! and that's just scratching the surface, not to mention MNM's demise, The Great Khali who is doing nothing for me, and JBL having to "quit" SD!, these are indeed the dark times for SD! and I can only hope that it goes back to being the great show that it was, I at the moment can think of two solutions, move some of RAW's talent to SD! and of course I mean top talent like Triple H, Michael's, Edge, etc. and I know that doesn't seem likely. Now my other option is to make RAW and SD! have the same talent, no more brand vs. brand, just break down the barrier and go back to the old days before the brand extention, this is the way that SD! will get more rating and the way that WWE could truly have it's power back, but as of now, those are only hopes. All in all, I just hope that SD! could go back to what it was and only hope that it doesn't face the same fate as WCW "Thunder" did.
Tony wrote:
This article here is pretty good with stressing the points of the Smackdown brand. There are though some things that don't make much sense.

First, when it comes to the wrestlers, sure there isn't many big names but the ones that are there are really trying hard. Booker T has really gotten good with his heel persona, and with Henry being a monster and Lashley (though still a little green) is also really trying to keep himself interesting. Plus with the returns of both Kennedy, Orton, and Batista approaching this problem with wrestler will subside. Plus the mid and under card have also helped with this dilemma.

Next, about ECW in the mix, I doubt that ECW will take away any big stars from Smackdown. The cruiserweight division will stay on Smackdown with either ex WWE cruisers or ones that are not too high in the standings going to ECW. Also I highly doubt Vince will trash Smackdown to get ECW off and running because he doesn't know yet if it will. And about the next video game after SVR 2007, it should be called "Smackdown vs. Raw vs. ECW Triple Threat"

Next, about the PPVs, I don't see that this will be a real big problem. I also see both Smackdown and Raw losing PPVs if need be. Vince does know a thing or two about money and frankly that is what the number of PPVs that each brand has comes down to. Plus less single brand PPVs means that there is much more demand to sell it. Resulting in very good matches being on the card because of long term set-up and the need to sell the PPV.

Next, about the Smackdown audience, I have heard that ECW might tape before Smackdown. That could mean bigger crowds to see both ECW and Smackdown. Also that vision of a bigger crowd could help it in being perceived as an important brand to the WWE. Also wether or not WWE could have three successful brands is really all about wether all three can get their rightful place in WWE. Comparing the three brands to the WCW/ECW vs. WWE invasion angle isn't right because of flaws in that angle that WWE didn't count on happening that eventually hurt it from succeeding.

Finally, when it comes to the traveling of the brands, WWE is smart enough so that they don't have Raw or ECW following Smackdown to a certain place. They will separate the brands so that it won't happen. Also TNA is only in Orlando (for now at least), ROH is mainly in the Northeast so that a person from Oregon isn't going out to Pennsylvania to watch it, and that all local Indys can be watched when shows happen, WWE comes around only once in almost a year-2 years in some places. Also if ECW is going to be taped with Smackdown, then the ECW lovers will stay and watch Smackdown after ECW.

As for the options well you forgot D) have Vince take more time into Smackdown to help make it better during this time of trial. Also i do see them taking some stars from Raw to Smackdown when the draft comes up. My money is on the option that allows Smackdown to grow and not lose anything due to the talent losses and ECW.
Dan Slay wrote:
I hope they don't cancel Smackdown its a great show taking the talent out for ECW was a bad idea I mean when the could of brought the Hardcore title back on on of the shows RAW or Smackdown and perhaps signed a few superstars from ECWs old days to compete for it.
Todtoye wrote:
Good summary of things. However, I think the result will be option D. I know there wasn't one, I just made it up. Option D = Smackdown! stays on air but the Raw & SD! rosters recombine. Think about it, there's gonna be a lot of guys who jump to ECW - RVD, Angle, now Big Show, Tazz and Rey probably. Vince never does anything if it's gonna cost him in some other area. This way, Smackdown! stays on air and WWE keeps getting the ratings income but the viewing will go up because the WWE will be back to how it was - and like all other companies are. WWE fans have been crying out for the roster to go back for too long now. Vince, being the stubborn old...man that he is, stuck to his post but now he's listening. So to sum up, ECW makes Vince a bomb, Raw & Smackdown rosters combine but stick with both shows and WWE still has two brands but manages to keep all three shows. There we are, simple. But as we all know by now, it's very easy to be an armchair owner of WWE. Whether Vince takes the right route is up to him and NOBODY else.
Tyler wrote:
My name is Tyler and I'm sorry, but I'm going to disagree with you and choose letter A (add VOW wrestlers and recognize Smack down) of your three choices you listed at the end of your article, which was a great article at that. I really think choice C is going to happen, but deep down inside I think WWE will come through and make Smackdown! a top brand again (if it ever was). I would really like to see Smackdown spark up the tag team and cruiserweight division and add people from OVW and DSW like Jimmy Snuka Jr., Mickey Batts, and Kasey James. I would also like to see Smackdown put some hope into guys like Gunner Scott and Matt Hardy
Diz (from Beantown, baby) wrote:
Everybody is saying that smackdown is down the toliet. I have a solution that i would love to see, put them all (meaning all superstars from ECW,RAW, and SMACKDOWN) in a draft pool and have like a "fanasty daft"(like most sports games have i.e MADDEN 06`) and have each general manager pick there superstars. this may be time consuming but then maybe all the WWE shows will be better cause each show will have equal number of talent.
CoreyG wrote:
Congrats on a great column! I like what you have written here, as it all makes sense and I find it hard to refute any of your claims. I think that the one option you have not presented is to simply get rid of the "brand" of Smackdown! and turn it into another RAW. What I mean by this is to simply combine the two shows into one cohesive program. The same wrestlers could wrestle on both shows and storylines could be progressed on both shows. With this, you would essentially have four hours a week to promote "WWE" programs for the wrestlers rather than two hours for two distinct groups. Additionally, we could then see some titles (Heavyweight, Cruiserweight and perhaps a pair of Tag Team") moved over to ECW. Essentially, ECW would be the new "brand" and RAW would get two shows, so instead of looking at things in terms of RAW vs Smackdown!, we would be looking at them in terms of WWE (RAW and Smackdown!) vs ECW.
Adam wrote:
Good article as I completely agree about your thoughts about Smackdown. I think the move of Orton to Raw should be the straw the breaks the camel's back. Maybe something Sabu will win Mysterio's World title to change the Smackdown brand as we know it - I would like that to happen but somehow I doubt it. The WWE's reasoning - Batista is coming back very soon. I don't think he can carry the brand by himself like they think he can. With the loss of JBL and Orton, there are hardly any "quality" main event heels except King Booker. I say quality because you can't count Mark Henry and the Great Kali. I see just a few possible main event feuds for the summer on Smackdown: Mysterio - Booker, Batista-Henry, and then Booker-Batista. Benoit will eventually be back but Mysterio's banged up and needs some time off soon so that is kind of like a trade off. Kennedy and Lashley will be elevated to maineventers to fill it up but to me that main event rotation is just too small. Raw is not much better with only Triple H, Cena, Edge and Orton. The time to consolidate the brand is now or at least change it up a bit. One World Champ that will appear on both Raw and Smackdown will help a little bit like what they originally did before giving each show their own champion.
Shawn wrote:
Very well put. Smackdown has always been the lesser brand and has always been able to survive; at least barely. As you mentioned...

Orton now on Raw ---- Angle in ECW ---- JBL taking time off ---- Rey - bum knee, will be taking off ---- Taker comes and goes with the wind. ----

There is nobody to take the Reigns of the Smackdown! horse. Booker T is only one man, Lashley still needs grooming...Batista once he comes back can not carry the whole brand. I think it's time for another Lottery!

Send HHH, Shawn Michaels, Umaga and and Carlito to Smackdown! and send some Midcarders to Raw.
Jon Rosaler wrote: Adam Heap's column was just about Smackdown! Now this column is all 3 brands.

HBK,HHH, and Edge do not need to go to Smackdown! SD! only needs to simple Raw Superstars: Chris Masters and John Cena. SD! is obviously lost a majority of female viewers. Raw now has a Male-Model brand. Oh, yeah sure SD! has Sylvain (but I don't think he's that good looking for a Male Model).

I am worried that WWE is doing this to Smackdown! on purpose. I started watching Wrestling Full-time in 2003 and believe it or not, I have never watched Raw or TNA. I have always watched SMACKDOWN! I never really watched Raw until 2004 when Benoit became Champion. The only reason I am watching Raw now is because of John Cena. If WWE actually get that through their thick skull and make Cena drop the title and move back to his home on SD!, WWE is actually saving Cena from a riot from ECW. It put a bog smile on my face when I saw Cena on SD!, but now, As I see Smackdown, I wonder to myself If this the end of the blue brand"" Only Vince will make that decision"
Ryan Cassano wrote:
I hear you loud and clear on the SmackDown issue, I agree on all your points. I was NEVER sold on the brand gimmick...it was never a good idea and what is happening now is no surprise. The catalyst is the lack of main event talent and injuries, but the core problem is that it's so subjective and clearly not separate from RAW, therefore a poorly thought out, paper-thin notion to start with (brands). Personally, I'd love to see SmackDown go away and force the WWE to re-think its concepts.

I went to a SmackDown house show a couple months back and enjoyed it, even though RAW was showing 60 miles the other direction. Why" Mostly because of the Undertaker and Benoit. Now Benoit is gone indefinitely and the Undertaker isn't getting any younger. Now Angle and Orton are gone, Tazz will leave for ECW and I have serious doubts that Kali will work out. But at least I got to see the Undertaker and Benoit!

I think the only way the new ECW will survive is if McMahaon truly leaves it out on it's own. The existing ECW fanbase will not buy into constant WWE vs. ECW angles and I can only hope that all the recent hype and cross-branding is only being strictly used for springboard purposes, not long term ideologies. Frankly, most ECW fans don't care about WWE and most WWE fans really don't care about ECW. I mean that as a general statement, I personally am a fan of both, but my favor leans heavily in ECW's corner. Less fluff, more action. I applaud McMahon in his decision to bring ECW back and for giving it a good push...but I hope it's like pushing a paper boat on a stream - once it takes off, leave it alone. Heyman knows how to tap the market, he just didn't have the financial means to do it before now.

Of course, for McMahon it's all about the bottom line and dollars and cents. Heyman is more of a true fan of the sport. I for one hope Heyman's way finds a balance to meet both needs to keep ECW around. It's a much needed alternative.
Zack Ryan wrote:
hi johnny i just read your article and i realize that you've been in Japan so you probably didnt know that the WWE is taping ECW and SmackDown! together. On the east coast they are putting SmackDown! on live first and ECW second, and in the west they are taping ECW before SmackDown! In effect Vince is actually raising SmackDown!'s attendance by putting it together with ECW, but i agree about the timeslot/ratings issues.
Gfnkgerald wrote:
from what i've seen of WWE, since the initial roster split, Smackdown has always been treated as the inferior brand. it's been recently, as you've stated, that Smackdown has really been dumped on. WWE needs to act quickly if they want to salvage the brand, at all.

besides the options you already brought up, i could see WWE doing a combination of ideas to save Smackdown......assuming that they plan on saving the brand. bringing in some OVW & Deep South wrestlers is pretty logical. hiring some Indy wrestlers may actually happen, if WWE is willing to fork out the money for some talented wrestlers. Raw may need to lose a couple top wrestlers to Smackdown, at least as a short term solution. it won't require too many Raw wrestlers, either....IMO.

or, WWE could surprise us by ending the split between Raw & Smackdown. if this happens, then WWE could use all their top names for both shows, without killing ratings.
L.A. Smokey wrote:
They might start doing supershows with ECW and either Raw or Smackdown.But then again Smackdown might die.Rey Mysterio world champ is injured.I see him dropping the title at ONS and if that happends you know who's going to ECW next............Batista.Then again Rey might hold on to the gold and get defeated at GAB by someone(making Cena drop the belt to RVD)Batista doesn't want the WWE title he wants the world title.So they may kill Smackdown like that or just keep all three and bring back the old WWE title(before Cena's spinner).One title will most likely drop to ECW and whatever one it should be will probally be replaced by the old WWE title(either that or a new one).Then again WWE might become one if the roster keeps going to ECW.It may be awhile before Smackdown dies(if it does) because there's no guarantee about ECW being good this time.Vince is only trying to get more money.He knows that there are people who will support all three shows.Also whose gonne be home four times a week to watch wrestling(i only have to be home 3 SD/TNA come on SAT. for me).I'm home on saturday nights anyway.I really don't see ECW under WWE lasting that long(maybe a year if not less).This is my suggestion to WWE have a draft and kill one of the two ECW/Smackdown.I honestly think RAW and ECW should stay and have a draft.
Ernesto Diaz wrote:
Your column was great but I'm gonna admit it. The SmackDown! brand is dying. Their talents are disappearing. They have lost Orton,Kurt, JBL, MNM,and commentator Tazz, Batista is coming back, but can't carry the whole brand by himself, the Undertaker almost never appears on SD!, Rey Mysterio is losing almost all his matches and should just take a break or lose the title to Batista, and SD! has such wasted talent such as Mark Henry and the Great Khali. The return of ECW is just unnecessary. Ever since ECW was coming back, the SD! wrestlers have just been dissappearing. The only main eventers on SD! are Rey Mysterio, King Booker, Batista(when he comes back), and the Undertaker (if he ever bothers to come back full time). What WWE should have done is put both rosters together again and have just ONE champion. In my opinion we don't need ECW back. WWE was just fine without ECW, so I hope they just get rid of it and bring back Kurt Angle. So for now, I do agree that SD! will not be a part of WWE anymore.
Tom Glunt wrote:
Over the past several weeks I too have been questioning the future of Smackdown. Several of it's main performers are injured, missing, etc.

I think that the future of Smackdown lies in the type of programming the WWE offers. The biggest mistake the WWE makes is attempting to bring it's different brands to the same group of 18-35 year old men. Rather if the WWE is going to have three separate brands, they should diversify and offer three separate programming types.

Here are my suggestions. Allow ECW to develop a "Cult" following of "Hard-core" wrestling fans. Keep "Raw" as sports-entertainment. Finally change "Smackdown" drastically. My suggestions is to target Smadown to the Teen and Tween" age groups.

I know that many people will disagree stating that they would not watch a show targeted at such a young age bracket. Good, "Smackdown" would not be for you, RAW and/or ECW would be.

The purpose for "Smackdown" being targeted at a younger age group would be tri-fold. First it would increase the number of people watching WWE programming. Second, it would begin building the next generation of wrestling fans. Afterall most of you are where you are today because of Hulk Hogan. Finally a teen/tween friendly WWE programming may bring in more advertising money.
Michael Minchington wrote:
Hi Johnny, great column, which is getting a lot of good feedback.Speaking as a RAW fan I have to honestly say I wouldn't be too upset if SD! did get cancelled...it does seem to be a waste though...also some strange decisions being made, i.e. with JBL, Orton, Benoit, and Batista all out, Kurt gets drafted to ECW"...as for some RAW stars being drafted, if Triple H were to got to SD!, that would work pretty well, maybe restart the HHH-Batista feud, but Triple H does what Triple H wants, so it doesn't seem likely.So lets see what crafty old Mr McMahon comes up with...
Blanigan307 wrote:
Dear Oww, I agree totally with that article that was written.Exept you left 2 words out.....D-X!I think with D-X coming back to RAW, it will crush smackdown's ratings.I mean really everyone has been waiting for this, D-X coming back.Unless Vince combines both rosters and the superstars compete on both brands it is a disaster waiting to happen.Thank you.
Call Me Chuck wrote:
In My Opinion they need to get rid of this smackdown/raw divider and go back to where all the WWE superstars share both shows. Didn't they separate RAW/SMACKDOWN happen because WWE had a monopoly (with WCW and ECW gone, not counting TNA or other not as commercial wrestling organizations). Why not save SmackDown brand by uniting the WWE again.
King of NY wrote:
Why would Vince get rid of SD when he can profit from three brands. and i far as i know since the brand split SD has been the Strong brand.That is until last year mid 2005 when as soon WWE Champion John Cena stepped on to a Raw ring,the SD brand went downhill. I still enjoy SD even though it is in its dark period right now. Maybe if Vince can focuse on the SD brand more. All these Marks are just willing to get rid of the brand extension just because they probably NEVER watch it. but yet they are quick to say get rid of it.Just because SD doesn't have as much SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT as Raw doesn't mean its shit. i agree that when Orton announced he was on Raw that that was the last straw. but if we just wait it out then SD will rebound back sooner or later Beniot,Batista,JBL,and others will be back. maybe some new talent as well. Besides getting rid of SD just to send people to ECW is crazy seeing as a majority of the WWE fans are familiar with SD instead of ECW and if all the talent were on SD would tune into SD instead of ECW. Stop being so quick to judge and just watch and wait.
M. Parker wrote:
I truly believe there is no reason to cancel the Smackdown brand. I think it's a matter of favoritism. For the past couple of years, I've noticed how the WWE favors Raw over Smackdown. I was surprised to see the Smackdown brand come out on top during Survivor Series & another Smackdown superstar winning the Royal Rumble. Most WWE fans would tell you Raw is the better brand, and like I said that is a result of the WWE favoring Raw over Smackdown. Smackdown is my favorite brand, but it's almost a fact that Raw is actually better than Smackdown these days. But the WWE continues to push its flagship brand, Raw, by bringing in better talent, and doing extra promos, such as bringing in legends to promote higher ratings. Triple H has never been moved to Smackdown (he was drafted to Smackdown, but we never saw him on Smackdown), we've never seen Austin, Mick, and the Rock on Smackdown (other than when they were on the active roster). The WWE knows bringing back guys like Hogan (mid-2005), Stone Cold, The Rock, and Mick Foley will bring in higher ratings. We have NEVER seen any of those guys on Smackdown, while they were on the part-time roster. I think we saw Austin once on Smackdown to enhance the feud between Goldberg & Lesnar before WMXX, but it was a one-time appearance. Since 2002, Smackdown has lost a lot of the main eventers for the other Brands like Cena, RVD, Y2J, Angle, and Edge (all members of the Smackdown roster at some point). Smackdown's ratings in 2003 were probably at an all-time high as a result of Brock, Angle, Hogan (Mr. America), the Undertaker (full-time), and the Rock. Vince's feud with Hulk Hogan definitely brought in a larger audience during early 2003, just as Vince's feud with Austin did in the late-90s, and as it is doing now with D-X. So why would Vince decide to place himself on Raw, a brand that has been doing well in the ratings, and leave SmackDown alone with a GM that hardly makes an impact on the show. (IMO, Heel GM draw higher ratings; Stephanie was a Face GM but she had the talent to back the show up). Also, Raw has main-evented the past 3 Wrestlemanias. Smackdown should have main-evented this year's Wrestlemania, since Rey won the Royal Rumble. I can't believe the WWE would throw away all of those years of tradition, just to keep Raw on top (and to please the son-in-law, who has competed in the main-event of Wrestlemania for the past 3 years)! The solution to this problem is to change the network. I know the WWE has a contract with UPN (CW), but I'm hoping after their contract with the network ends, they can move Smackdown to the USA network with Raw & and maybe ECW. Lately Smackdown has been pre-empted too much, because of baseball. So that definitely hurts those ratings. If Smackdown was on the USA network, they wouldn't have to worry about that. So basically Smackdown should AT LEAST be but on basic cable.

Changing the timeslot would be the next step. That commercial, which promoted Smackdown being moved to Friday Night was totally WRONG! Not a lot of people want to spend their Friday nights watching wrestling. If they want to keep Smackdown on Fridays, they should get a later timeslot, but UPN goes off the air after 12:00 for Paid Programming. Raw has a great spot: Monday (a day when not a lot of people are out partying), @ 9:00 (not too late or too early). I live on the east coast and Smackdown comes on before the Sunsets, so there are a lot of other things I can do. What was wrong with Smackdown taking place on Thursdays" I've been waiting for Smackdown to go Live for a while now, and I wouldn't mind watching Smackdown on Tuesdays, or if they change the taping day.

Bring in better talent. This is the most important part of the solution. I don't know if they've thought about this, but maybe they should try to bring talent to Smackdown instead of taking away their talent. Randy Orton left Smackdown for a possible feud with Triple H on Raw. Ok, why didn't Triple H go to Smackdown instead, or why wasn't there a trade, Orton for a Raw superstar. MNM broke-up and went to Raw, why didn't Raw superstars go to Smackdown in their place.

I'm extremely against the idea of canceling Smackdown. I just recently my town got UPN on cable again after about 3 years. I had to stay up-to-date on Smackdown news via WWE.com from like 2002 to 2005, which were great years for Smackdown. The WWE has the power to make Smackdown just as good as Raw, but it's just the lack of will power for them to do it. This summer seems to be the test for ECW, if ECW is as horrible as their debut show, we can expect to Raw and Smackdown running the WWE again.
Richard wrote:
Smackdown! was a decent program at one point, they brought in Kurt Angle to be their champion and he had a great storyline going (nobody beats me for the title, nobody beats Kurt Angel period.) and they could have set up a good clash for the main event at the next Wrestlemania with Kurt Angle vs. Batista but the charity case Rey Mysterio had to become champion. Smackdown! went downhill as soon as they lifted the title off of Kurt Angle and gave it to Eddie Guerror's surrogate. And now speeding up the demise of Smackdown! is taking Kurt Angle and other talent all together and sending them to ECW" What Vinnie Mac is doing is anyone's guess............
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