Posted on 06/05/11
Smackdown - Where Wrestling Matters!By TWF Dave
Recently I read a comment on Facebook questioning the quality of WWE Smackdown. The person in question stated that Raw was better than Smackdown because Raw had better stories and more stars. I've read other, similarly ignorant comments stating that Randy Orton should return to Raw, that Christian will never be a star as long as he's on the "B" show and so on and so forth.
To me, these type of comments reek of ignorance that could only be made be either a: Somebody that NEVER watches Smackdown or b: Somebody that watched it once and was disappointed because John Cena wasn't on the show.
Here are three reasons why Smackdown is the real
flagship wrestling brand on Television at the moment. Not only for WWE but for ALL of wrestling.
#1: Simple stories, told well.
Immediately Impact "Wrestling" falls by the wayside in this comparison because their storylines are convoluted and so badly told that its easy to forget them the moment the segment featuring them ends. Raw struggles because pretty much the only storylines that get airtime on that show involve John Cena - whether you love him or hate him is irrelevant, to see every show revolve around him is just plain repetitive and boring. The only good angle they've had on Raw recently is the heel turn of R-Truth and now even that
has come to center around John Cena.
Smackdown on the other hand features several simple stories that have been told well enough for you to care about the protagonist. Whether that be Ezeikial Jackson breaking away from the Corre and his struggle to take the Intercontinental title away from their gang rule, whether it be the downward spiral into dementia of the once Dashing, now mentally disfigured Cody Rhodes - and the simple feud creating tool of him placing paper bags over peoples heads - or whether that be the tale of Christian: A veteran of the business that had his moment in the sun snatched away from him much too quickly and is now doing whatever it takes to win it back.
That's three well told stories that can (and do) involve many more people than just the lead character and his immediate nemesis. That's far more than Raw and Impact Wrestling (who, for their part are still doing invasion angles... special mention though to the Angelina/Winter hypnosis/drugging angle which is at least original).
#2 Clearly defined roster positions.
This is something every wrestling promotion used to have and something every wrestling show needs. To show you what I'm on about here, lets try a little experiment: If I asked you to name three mid-carders from Impact Wrestling who would you pick? Its not easy is it? In fact despite having more singles titles than either Smackdown or Raw, Impact Wrestling has no defined mid-card title - and as such no defined mid-card, at all!
Their main event/ World title picture is more obvious but for the last several months has revolved around just three men in Sting, Mr Anderson and Rob Van Dam.
On Raw, where they DO have a mid-card title, the answer to the question is no more clear cut. Kofi Kingston may be the US champ but who else is obviously a mid-carder? Everybody except John Cena? In fact Raws main even scene is even worse than Impact Wrestlings because Raws main event scene is pretty much just John Cena and whoever Vince McMahon decides to feed to him this month.
Smackdown on the other hand is far more simple and obvious. The Week after Christian won the World Championship several men were immediately made prominent in the picture for that title: Mark Henry, Sheamus and Randy Orton. With Christian that makes four guys, all of whom over the past few weeks have been made to look like they could be credible World Champions.
Smackdowns mid-card scene is even better. From the feud over the Intercontinental title you immediately take Eziekial Jackson and Wade Barret to have a solid mid-card status but thanks to the shooting star whose brightness will soon rival that of the sun itself; Cody Rhodes, you also have a number of other people in the mix. After Ted Dibiase was drafted to Smackdown he was immediately placed alongside Cody, their history is well known and the alliance needed no explanation. Last week, after losing to Daniel Bryan in a match, Cody beat him down and placed a paper bag over his head, creating an instant, simple rivalry. This week, as Cody and Dibiase had Bryan outnumbered, Sin Cara, a former opponent that expressed a mutual respect for Bryan came down to his rescue. Its all very simple, time-tested story telling and works so, so
well in defining your card. Incidentally, those last four names I mentioned are all very talented in the ring, which brings me on to my third and final point.
#3 Actual Wrestling
I'm not one of those peculiar people that seem to rate wrestling shows based on how many minutes and seconds of in ring action *insert wrestling dirtsheet site of choice here* says they had on any particular episode. That said, when I tune into a wrestling show I expect to see people wrestling for a large portion of the broadcast. For the past year, and probably longer, Smackdown has not only been the weekly show with the most amount of minutes spent showcasing wrestling (it appears that way at least) but it's also been the show to watch for good
wrestling action too. This week we had Ted Dibiase vs Daniel Bryan, last week we had Chavo Guerrero vs Sin Cara and Daniel Bryan vs Cody Rhodes and you can go on looking back at past shows for a very long time before you find one that doesn't have at least one well worked, entertaining wrestling match on the card. Not only that but the main event matches on Smackdown almost without fail get the amount of time a main event match should
Raw, for its part will usually have a decent but short match somewhere on the show and even though they inevitably features John Cena, their main event matches as of late have been getting a decent amount of time too. That brings me to the show where "Wrestling Matters" - TNA Impact Wrestling. Impact just doesn't feature enough wrestling. When they up the amount of wrestling they have on the show its usually
a disengaging member of Immortal or some combination of the now stale Rob Van Dam/Sting/Mr Anderson trio. As Kaz vs Kendrick this past week shows, they undoubtedly have the talent on their roster - I'd argue WWEs roster depth actually surpasses it these days but TNA do
have the talent - for some reason, they just refuse to use it.
So, three extremely good reasons that Smackdown is the best wrestling show on Television at the moment.
For those of you that don't watch the show because "its on a Friday night": You undoubtedly have a recorder sitting under your TV don't you? Record Smackdown and watch it on Saturday morning, or on Sunday evening or heaven forbid
watch it instead of the shallow, John Cena hype machine, shell of a wrestling show that is Monday Night Raw!
Let me know what you think either on The Forum
, on Twitter
, on Facebook
- and make sure to "like" this post or "Tweet" it using the buttons below!
Disagree with the above comments? Tell us about it onThe Forum
This is The Wrestling Forum. Join our community!