Why Main Event is WWE’s New B-Show

There is no denying that Monday Night Raw is WWE’s flagship show and has been so for over 20 years. However, in 1999, WWE introduced Smackdown, a secondary episodic show produced by the company. Smackdown has been running shows for the last fifteen years, but almost never live. Usually, Smackdown is taped on Tuesday and aired on Friday nights. While Smackdown has a long history in WWE as it’s secondary level show, Main Event is making things very competitive.

Smackdown began as WWE’s B-level show, but that changed in 2002 with the brand extension. WWE’s roster was so big that the company was split into two separate brands. Half of the roster would compete on Monday nights on Raw. The other half would compete on Tuesday nights, to be aired Thursday nights, which was later changed to Friday nights. This continued until August 2011, when WWE Superstars began competing on both shows for the first time since 2002.
Smackdown was always seen as the secondary show. The top stars were on Raw and the second tier stars were on Smackdown. Occasionally, WWE would hold a draft where wrestlers would be moved to the other brand. This was done either to give a wrestler a push or to bring new storylines and feuds to shows. The fact that Smackdown is rarely live also gave WWE the opportunity to make edits to the show. This was another reason Smackdown was seen as the secondary show.

This brings us to October 3rd, 2012. On this night, WWE Main Event debuted. Although originally airing on ION television, Main Event is now available exclusively on the WWE Network. The show generally produces one to three matches of low to upper mid card stars competing against one another. The United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team titles have all been defended at points on WWE Main Event.
It is beginning to become harder to argue that Smackdown is WWE’s B show. WWE Main Event is live. There is no opportunity to read spoilers of Main Event days before the show airs. Having the show air one night after Raw is also beneficial to WWE fans. Advertisements for the main match on Main Event are shown on Raw and fans don’t have to wait long to see that match.

Title defenses also seem to be occurring more on Main Event than Smackdown as a result. This goes hand in hand with the issue of being a live show. WWE fans don’t want to read about a title change online. Even if you don’t read the Smackdown spoilers, WWE.com has announced title changes on the website. It ruins the title change and makes WWE fans less inclined to watch the match since they already know the outcome.

Main Event is like the Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Cesaro and Bray Wyatt of WWE programming. It is the up and coming B-level show for the company. Smackdown is the Randy Orton of WWE programming. It is a seasoned show that delivers, but isn’t as exciting.
What show do you consider to be WWE’s B-show? Main Event, Smackdown or something else? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Seth Guttenplan is a math and computer technology teacher for special education students in New Jersey. In his free time, Seth writes about wrestling for Camel Clutch Blog and SEScoops. Follow Seth on twitter @sethgutt

  • Tyson Washington

    No smackdown will always be the B show no matter what.

    • TNA Live Crowd

      Dude smackdown is garbage. It’s just a raw rewind only less exciting. It also doesn’t help it on Fridays where the only people watching are the ones who are too young to go out a have real lives

      • http://youjizz.com/ Jomo

        Im 40 and your last sentence actually hurt me

        • Forceton Banfodder

          You’re upset that you’re too young to have a real life?

  • Tyson Washington

    No! Smackdown will always be the B show no matter what.

  • nBonThaBeat


  • B. T.

    I think NXT is the Second major show.

    • http://youjizz.com/ Jomo

      Actually its the A show

      • FlawlessRKO

        That no one watches because it’s not on TV. In terms of ratings and viewership Raw will never be surpassed by other wrestling shows, including NXT.

        • http://youjizz.com/ Jomo

          In terms of wrestling, there is nothing better than NXT, the roster is full with wrestlers that can actually wrestle unlike Raw

          • Forceton Banfodder

            In terms of wrestling I would rate NXT and ROH on the same level as far as solid wrestling matches goes.

          • FlawlessRKO

            That’s true, but some people aren’t interested in only wrestling. That’s why even if NXT was on TV, Raw would still get better numbers.

      • Dixie Carter

        How come they run the promotion from a bingo hall with planted fans? I guess since RAW draws 100% more audience…it’s the A show. But I guess logic is not wanted.

  • 5er

    Zack Ryder needs to bring his Internet Championship to Main Event. It only makes sense. It could become the modern incarnation of the TV championship.

    • Beleive in IWC

      You should Tweet Zack that idea, it could save his career.

  • Marc

    Main Event is absolutely the new B-Show. Like you said it airs live which is a plus and it features much better WRESTLING than Smackdown. Another horrible thing about Smackdown which you didnt mention was that they now show 1 to 2 matches from Raw on their show, it’s awful.

  • WrestlingFanSinceDay01

    Let’s revive The Ryder Revolution!

    • Jason Leonard

      Let’s not.

  • 1975

    Smackdown is supposed to be the B show but it won’t be unless they bring it back earlier in the week on tv on wed or thur or have it live tues night, but yes they seem to promote main event more on raw whereas smackdown is too predictable with the main event set each week, no surpises at all

  • banham33

    I don’t think that Main Event has enough matches to be considered the B show, and the main event on Main Event usually consists of two mid card superstars such as Rusev, Sheamus , Ziggler and Del Rio etc. If on a regular basis it had the likes of Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton then I think the prestige would be able to compete with Smackdown.


      The fact that Main Event does not put Orton on there is part of what makes it good. We get to see the other members of the Roster on this show instead of seeing Orton and Cena all the time.

  • brad

    I agree Main Event is cool and all but it hasn’t quite reached the ranks of the B- show where Smackdown is and I personally don’t think it ever will because Smackdown at times was actually better than Raw. However that has not been the case since before 2010.

  • Dixie Carter

    It’s the B show because they have to promote the flop show to get the Network subs up!

    RAW will be the B show if the WWE Network needs massive marketing of the RAW talent. Wait for bonus RAW matches with John Cena vs. Someone exclusivey on the Network after RAW…rather than broadcast it on TV.

    I’m sure Stephanie would rather vomit than appear on Main Event or Smackdown.

  • Tom Shelton

    Think wwe should pull smackdown

  • Harley Alderson

    they need to make smackdown live again no reason why they dont it would be beneficial for all involved dirt sheets ruin the industry making smackdown live would ruin the dirt sheets lol

  • Yuppers

    This is the problem with WWE and their mindset. They need to treat Smackdown and Raw and every other show like its their A programming. Nothing should ever be considered the B show besides house shows.

    But then again, this all goes back to the same thing – PG Era. You can’t be creative and create great shows without letting the writers and talent push the envelope. HBO execs don’t tell their showrunners – we want you to be just like NBC programming…no, they don’t…that’s why they look for creative minds to push storytelling to new heights… the same logic applies here… but Vince has specifically told everyone to follow the PG style programming…thus why you’ll get lame stories, low ratings and barely any true stars that can shine. WWE has some talent on the roster, but without the creative freedom, they will swim in mediocrity forever.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Smackdown has sucked since 2008.

  • MissyH316

    “Main Event is like the Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Cesaro and Bray Wyatt of WWE programming.”

    Seth G., you egregiously left Dean Ambrose out of this list. I think he’s the best, most exciting and well-rounded talent on the roster today. Ironically, of course, he IS on Main Event tonight.

  • chuck

    How about they just say F*** this PG era its garbage and boring to watch, they need to bring back a version of the attitude era

  • chuck

    also, i think they should cut the show back to two hours, ever since they went to 3 hrs the product has slowly declined in value and entertainment