Now that the brand extension has been in effect for a little bit, it is clear that Smackdown is gaining the upper hand. The supposed “B show” has had the stronger of PPV’s, and the storylines presented gives a refreshing aura about the show. Smackdown is more pro wrestling oriented and it was like that even in the original brand extension. The roster has certainly been reaping the benefits from it.
Along with the positive attributes, several careers seem to have resurrected.
Heath Slater, The Miz and Bray Wyatt are some of the revitalised talents that come to mind. Others such as James Ellsworth and Alexa Bliss are benefitting from quality TV time thanks to their involvement with their respective Championship storylines. All seems right on the blue brand, with good reason.
Perhaps it is because there isn’t as much to follow on Smackdown as there is on Raw. I seem to get lost on Raw all the time; I feel like there is so much going on that it’s hard to keep up with it. Whatever it is, it is a good thing that the two shows are different in their own right.
What are some of the reasons why Smackdown is better than Raw in the new brand extension? I came up with five reasons as to why it is overall better than the flagship show.
#1 Working with a smaller roster
Raw got the most of the talent pool while Smackdown didn’t get near as many for their roster. However, with the show only being two hours it was certainly for the best. Even though the lack of depth is one of the negatives for Smackdown, the positive thing here is that they work with what they have.
For example, having Ellsworth involved with Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles was a good idea to extend their feud and keep the fans intrigued as to what Ellsworth’s purpose was.
Another example is with Alexa Bliss and Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. There is no doubt that Bliss has exceeded all expectations and is one the highlights of the entire show now with her title reign.
The secondary feuds are benefiting as well. One of my favourite feuds was Nikki Bella and Carmella. Not having Nikki in the title picture helps her overall and it also helps establish Carmella as a legit threat to the Women’s Division.
#2 Potential for fresh feuds
With AJ Styles alone, there are plenty of opportunities for some dream matches down the road once his program with Cena is complete.
I’ll ingrain it into everyone’s head how much I would love to see him and The Undertaker clash. It is bound to happen and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen in 2017. Honestly, it should be on the WrestleMania card in Orlando.
Also the progress of Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt was definitely worth watching. Having Orton under his thumb, Wyatt is exercising the same kind of power that he had over Daniel Bryan three years ago. Wyatt absolutely needed a feud with someone of Orton’s magnitude to breathe life into his character. Now, we can see the Wyatt Family become the dominate the force they are destined to be with Orton playing the sneaky predator role of the group perfectly.
Both Women’s Division feuds are great right now, and with WrestleMania on the horizon, WWE would be looking to plant seeds for future feuds.
#3 Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon
When it comes to the General Manager and Commissioner of the brands, I enjoy this group more versus Mick Foley and Shane’s sister Stephanie.
It certainly helps that fans can see Bryan in his new role and he is still insanely over. The strong, emotional confrontations with The Miz are must-see TV with both men bringing out the best in each other.
These were perfect roles for both men, who fans love. Bryan can still be a part of WWE this way, the same goes for McMahon who no doubt will feature in some big story matches this year like he did with Mania and Survivor Series last year.
#4 Resurrecting careers
As stated earlier, talent such as Slater, Wyatt and The Miz have seen a tremendous change in direction since the brand extension. Slater’s storyline of being unsigned was actually a good move, and becoming a sleeper winner along with Rhyno to the Tag Team Championships was icing on the cake.
The Usos are so much better to me as heels, and their mean streak was much needed for the Samoan twins.
The Miz’s work with Daniel Bryan is gold; the Talking Smack segment will be talked about for years to come. That promo showed why The Miz is underrated and that fans shouldn’t sleep on the former reality star. Both men display passion in their roles, which is why their confrontations are great.
Now only if the brand can find beauty with the possible Crewes/Ziggler feud that is being hinted at.
#5 Two hours is long enough
Many fans find that three hours of Raw can be draining, especially in the third hour if the show has been lackluster. The great thing about Smackdown is that the brand makes use of their talent and takes advantage of the time they have. The fact that it is live brings excitement for the audience as well.
Perhaps Raw can take notes from the sister brand on these points. Smackdown is no longer the secondhand show, it is the show to watch. While the brand is definitely not perfect, they are most certainly faring better than Raw. Their motto seems to be one of higher risk, higher reward. It has worked in their favor so far!