Smackdown at one stage was more popular than Raw! Believe it or not but Smackdown was not always the lesser brand, Paul Heyman and his amazing roster where pulling in huge ratings and really proved that Smackdown could really be a big player. At one stage the roster had Edge, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio even Big Show was a massive draw.
Nowadays Smackdown has become a basic recap of RAW, with very little to separate it and make it must see, but it can easily go back to the level that it was once at, and here are four ways they can do it.
1. Brand Spilt
It would be great to have the Brand spilt back again, one of the best Raw’s of each year was watching the WWE Draft once a year you would see a complete mix up of talent and you would want to see matches between certain superstars. Watching the wrestler’s reactions to being drafted to the other brand was amazing and gave a sense of pride and honor to each show.
At one stage, both the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and the WWE Champion Edge were drafted to Smackdown and everyone lost their mind because Raw did not have a champion. It created an instant buzz and was a massive draw to Smackdown as you had to watch the show to see certain talent, and that's one way that fans would view the show again.
2. Change it up
For the new generation of wrestling fans you might not know this, but WWE used to put effort into their design and set up. Way back in the year 2002 Smackdown would open with the theme song "The Beautiful people" by Marilyn Mason, that song would get you ready for any kind of fight.
It would then cut to the crowd with thousands of fans cheering with their hundreds of multi colored signs and the glorious Smackdown fist would be hung proudly on the entrance ramp, then literally a full two minutes of fireworks and pyro it was just amazing, and made the show seem like a big deal.
Now we see the same set four times, maybe five times a week. Raw, Main Event, Superstars and Smackdown all use the same bland set with few signs and little to no crowd reaction.There is no excitement to Smackdown anymore. Sometimes you are just watching a Raw recap, nothing noteworthy happens and it is really disappointing seeing the buzz it once had.
Smackdown use to give us chills when it opened, now it makes us yawn. Make Smackdown completely different to Raw.They are starting this with Jerry Lawler becoming a heel announcer again (he is amazing) and Mauro Ranallo is the new play by play announcer (he is amazing) these little changes have made Smackdown much better in recent weeks. Switch up the stage and bring back the Smackdown fist, bring back the amazing intro and fire and make Smackdown fresh again, make it edgy, make it different, do not make it a lesser Raw.
There is a massive roster in WWE at the moment, a roster that is full of talent! But yet still no one can get over, no one can advance their character, no one can create a fan base because it is the same template for a show each week. How do we have so many hours of wrestling, but we do not even know our wrestlers?
The current star of the WWE at the moment is Roman Reigns but what is his character, what is his back story? He has a daughter? He wears a bullet proof vest all the time and he likes walking down stairs? Oh and don't forget he is related to the Rock!
He has been on TV constantly for three whole years and that is all we know. Back in the day you could write essays on your favorite wrestlers.They had stories and meant something to us.
Kane for example was the demon brother of Undertaker who had killed their parents in a tragic fire, which led to years of separation and eventually them meeting again in WWE to battle out their differences. Now that is a story!
Smackdown could become the place to learn more about our wrestlers. Smackdown could become birthplace of future champion. It could be a great place to put your NXT superstar's before then putting them on the main show of Raw.
Finally the roster. As previously mentioned, the WWE roster is full of talent. Smackdown could be the home of some of these talents to give it that unique style. Just like how it had the Cruiserweight division back in the day it would be a great chance to showcase their huge range of talent. Superstar like Luke Harper, Kevin Owens , Cody Rhodes (Stardust) and Bo Dallas would all be amazing on Smackdown if they were given the chance to prove their worth.
They cannot do this on Raw because they are so far down the pecking order, but they are actual wrestlers who have everything you want in a superstar, a core fan base, a back story and determination. This author thinks WWE could easily create a new modern day Smackdown once again. We could have Orton, Owens, Wyatt family, Enzo and Cass, Miz and Corbin, a mix of young and old just like the group of superstars who Paul Heyman trusted in back during the glory days of Smackdown.
If we saw characters like Adam Rose and Fandango only once a week fans would respect them a lot more, it wouldn't be as forced or corny as it seemed at the time. Having the roster spilt would give the chance for the audience look forward to match. For example on last night’s Raw we saw Owens vs Ziggler for the tenth time (yes ten times) on WWE TV. If the roster was spilt when they eventually fought again it would create a buzz and would not be as stall as it is today.
There are four quick solutions to make Smackdown the brand it use to be. Hit us up on Twitter (@Vavel_Wrestling) to let us know what you would change. Thanks for visiting the Smackdown Hotel.