For as long as memory serves the WWE Universe, WWE Raw has been the flagship show of the WWE but in recent weeks, WWE Smackdown has absolutely annihilated Raw and other wrestling brands in terms of TV Ratings. In last weeks rating we saw smackdown go up to 2.157 million while raw stayed at 1.8 million. In this article we try and list out the reasons behind this trend and what it means for the future of WWE.
The Raw creative team has not been at their best to say the least. Raw has seen repetitive matches, DQ finishes and storylines which have been abandoned in between. The classic example here was Retribution. After building them up for so many weeks, they had them lose clean so many times that the buzz fizzled out. This has been the case with multiple storylines. Smackdown on the other hand has backed its matches on great storytelling with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Edge, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins all involved. There is never a dull moment.
WWE has always called itself sports entertainment but with the internet being such a huge factor in wrestling these days, it is impossible to separate the kayfabe from reality. RAW has suffered from over the top storytelling with characters like Fiend, Alexa Bliss, Randy Orton all having been given over the top storylines. It might work when there are live audiences but in the Thunderdome era, it just doesn’t work out. Smackdown has its share of Over the Top characters too but they do keep their touch with reality and cut realistic promos. Seth as Visionary is a perfect example of how they well they have kept their stars in character
A part of RAW’s problem is its third hour. In order to cover their 3 hrs, they have to unnecessarily extend their promos and add segments which otherwise might not have made sense. You see things like tomatoes thrown in Raw and that’s something that wont happen on Smackdown right now. This has also lead to Jason Jordan being given the mantle recently and to his credit, RAW has been better in the last couple of weeks particularly with the Randy Orton and Matt Riddle angle.
Whether it is the women’s division or the men’s roster, what RAW lacks right now is a powerful midcard. Apart from Miz and AJ Styles, they do not have wrestlers who can carry the show on their shoulders as a solid mid card. They need to give more time now to the likes of Ricochet who are proven talents and could make a huge impact. Smackdown on the other hand has a stacked mid-card with the likes of Baron Corbin, Nakamura, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler doing what is called the dirty work in Wrestling and carrying the show on their performances.
RAW really needs to pull up their socks right now and needs to really produce better television.