Since its launch in 1999, SmackDown has been an integral piece in the WWE television puzzle. The program originally aired on Thursday night before switching to Friday night in 2005, serving as the perfect complement to Raw during much of its time on air.
At first, the programs were advertised as equals, especially during the brand extension era where superstars competed on either Raw or SmackDown exclusively. Storylines were progressed on both Raw and SmackDown and it even seemed like the latter was becoming the company’s top program for a while. However, much like a high school science experiment that is being conducted by the head of the Phish fan club, something went terribly awry.
The program is now a shell of its former self, airing in the Friday night death slot and featuring contests that would barely interest the most diehard WWE fans, let alone casual viewers flipping through the channels.
Although the program continues to receive decent ratings, it is easily surpassed by Raw each week, with Raw featuring nearly double the viewers on most weeks. There are a number of reasons why Raw continues to thrive while SmackDown becomes more irrelevant with each passing week.
Here are fives ways to make WWE SmackDown more impactful.
5. Ditch the Rematches
One of the biggest complaints about the current state of SmackDown is that it does little to differentiate itself from Raw. The program frequently features rematches from Raw, ultimately making the program inconsequential because it offers nothing fresh.
If the WWE hopes to turn the program into must-see television anytime soon, it would be wise to book matches that are unique to SmackDown, instead of frequently featuring the same matches that aired on Raw just a few days prior.
4. Air the Program Live
Although the announcers do their best to try to disguise the fact that SmackDown is a taped program, fans that follow the product closely are well aware of the fact that SmackDown is taped on Tuesday night.
The results are quickly posted online each week, making it easy for fans to scan through a blog post in order to see what happened. This also means that no truly shocking events will occur, as the spoilers would ruin the buzz that comes with a big return or a title change. A live program would give fans something of value to watch each week, as opposed to a taped program where the results are available three days before it airs.