SmackDown! Debut on USA Network
This coming week marks the debut of WWE’s SmackDown on the USA Network, the long time home of it’s sister show, Monday Night RAW. With its debut expected to be heavily pushed this week on RAW, surely this means SmackDown this week will be good…when RAW returned to the USA Network in 2005, all the stops were pulled out with big names slated to appear on the show, it was pushed as WWE Homecoming, much like they’d pump a pay per view at the time.
Fast forward 10 years and the way the WWE is delivered to its audience is massively different, particularly through the advent of the WWE Network. But irrespective of that, since WWE ended the brand split a few years ago, the quality of the SmackDown product has being in decline with the main reason behind this it losing its own stars that were exclusive to that brand to what is seen as the A-Show RAW, but there is another reason potentially behind it all.
With WWE RAW being a large ratings grabber for those at USA Network, there is likely network executives breathing down the WWE’s neck to try and deliver every week. Granted, as it has being acknowledged many times that creating 3 hours of Live television each week is exceptionally challenging, but this is counteracted by the revenue that is received by it.
Ultimately, USA Network executives are likely going to want similar results from SmackDown…a ratings grabber that generates revenue. But SmackDown is no longer a must-see program for the WWE, so in reality there is likely to be vast improvements to the SmackDown product which is only good news for the WWE Universe. In an ideal world for this editor, a brand split would be a welcone addition to the roster but sadly, unlike 2002, there isn’t simply the depth in the roster at this time to make it successful. Is it needed, yes but they also need stars with relevance.
This brings me onto my final point, a little over a year ago Vince McMahon stated on the Stone Cold Podcast that people on the roster weren’t reaching for the “brass rings” in terms of their potential so with the inevitable attention that will be paid to SmackDown, this is those superstars to use this platform to explode themselves all over the WWE Universe.
SmackDown going to the USA Network can only mean good things for the product, I mean USA Network aren’t going to tolerate a load of garbage are they?
What do you think of SmackDown’s forthcoming debut on the USA Network, do you think it will be a good or bad thing, who do you think should reach for tge “brass rings”…we’d love to hear what you think!
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