For years at this point Smackdown has been looking for a new identity after so many years of not really being cared about or even thought of as a real show that you really need to watch. Now with Smackdown's eventual move to USA Network early next year on the horizon it was time to ask "How to Fix" the unfixable. Smackdown hasn't been important, meaningful or interesting for the last few years how do we change that. Well I asked a few fans what they thought and this what we came back with:
Pro-Wrestling Roundup: I would give Smackdown more unique matches and angles instead of just throwing together a mixed up version of RAW without any big happenings. I think being taped will always hurt Smackdown to a degree, but they have to show that big occurrences happen Smackdown too to make it "must watch" again. When was the last time someone made a challenge on RAW for Smackdown? A Smackdown title change? Problem 1 is if you're not watching Smackdown, you're not missing anything.
Chris Cooper: Bring back Teddy Long as GM and Paul Heyman as head writer
Gina Bean: I think Smackdown live would bring more attention to it. I also feel progressing the story line more and not leaving that all for Raw.
Rest Hold Radio: There's many routes but I would go with a feeder system between NXT & RAW. So you see some NXT stars and WWE stars together on Smackdown. Plus it's pre taped so if the rookie guys mess up it can be edited.
David Russell: By not watching it
PWV: In order to fix Smackdown I think it needs to take a leaf out of NXTs book. They need to be more based around wrestling, have more solid wrestling matches which the fans haven't seen 100 times over! Use Smackdown to progress the storylines and not just repeat content from raw. If Smackdown went live people say this could help but to go live on a Tuesday that would leave the fans waiting a whole week till their next wrestling fix and I'm not sure this would be the best way to go. In short how do you fix Smackdown? I don't know! All we have to hope is that the creative team know and implement some fresh material on Thursdays wrestling prime show!
JamisVanDerClaus: Make the roster specific to Smackdown AKA A brand split. More character features showing the wrestler in a different light. Outside of the arena.Make the roster specific to Smackdown AKA A brand split. More character features showing the wrestler in a different light. Outside of the arena.
AttitudeAgg: On the Attitude Of Aggression Wrtestling Podcast, we review Smackdown every week so I have a very good understanding of what ails the Blue Brand. One of the big p[problems with Smackdown is that more often than not, there is nothing unique happening there. Sometimes, you get matches which will continue an angle or a story that began on Raw. But just as frequently, the matches on Smackdowen have very little to do with the main story lines being established on Raw. Smackdown really feels, far too often, like a version of Main Event on steroids. And, very similar to Raw, nothing truly special ever happens on Smackdown any more. When is the last time you saw a title change hands on Smackdown? Raw had the same problem, which they went a long way towards fixing by having the WWE World Heavyweight Championship actually change hands on Raw. But it is the same general problem: Why should I watch Smackdown when I know damn well that nothing of real significance is going to happen. Smackdown has some things in its favor though. It is only 2 hours long, which I still feel is the sweet spot as far as lengths of these broadcasts should go. The easiest fix would be to actually have something important happen. Have a title change hands, or have more of these tournaments to determine #1 contenders. Things like that keep people excited and interested and will make more and m ore people tune in...provided the people come to expect something unexpected from the Blue Brand. But if Mauro Ranallo, Smckdown's new announcer, is correct, then the problem may be well on its way to being fixed. According to Ranallo, Smackdown will be a hybrid of WWE and NXT once it moves to USA in January. Think about the possibilities there. If Smackdown becomes the show that bridges the gap between Raw and NXT...now you have something. For instance, what if Smackdown was the one show per week where the main roster men and Divas went up against men and Divas from NXT? Even if titles weren't on the line, who wouldn't want to see Finn Balor taking on Roman Reigns, or Dash & Dawson vs The New Day? New alliances could form, just as new rivalries would evolve. Instead of worrying about when someone will be called up or sent down, Smackdown could be the show where the two "brands" interact on a regular basis. This could easily segue into a contest of sorts as to whether the mason roster or NXT is superior. If it is done right, this could be what the Invasion angle should have been, many years ago. If Smackdown is the show that features the merging of the main roster and NXT, this would be the best way to fix Smackdown. It would completely change the dynamic of Thursday nights and could, quite possibly, lead to Smackdown being the superior show in the entire WWE Universe of shows.
Aaron from the Big Gold Belt Wrestling Podcast: SmackDown has been a conundrum for a few years now. After making the move to SyFy, they fizzled the brand out to a bunch of one-off matches and tag match iterations that we may or may not have seen on Raw a few days prior. Gone are the glory days of the SmackDown Six in 2009, when Jericho, Punk, Jeff Hardy, Morrison, Edge, and Mysterio were providing unique feuds and matches each week as an alternative to John Cena, Triple H, and the Raw brand. With no brand split now in place, what can WWE do to freshen up the SmackDown show as they switch to the USA Network early next month? I feel that there are two obvious strategies that WWE can implement simultaneously. First, feature talent on SmackDown that we didn't see on Raw that same week. After three hours of Raw, I don't need to see the same or a slightly different version of Ryback versus Rusev on SmackDown. I can't imagine the USA Network would desire this either. Instead, save some talent for Thursday and promote their matches and feuds on Raw to bait fans into checking SmackDown out more regularly. This doesn't need to be a brand split where we only see Tyler Breeze on SmackDown, but if we could only see him once a week, WWE programming on both Mondays and Thursdays would become more 'must-see.' Secondly, WWE should consider creating a non-character gimmick that is inclusive to SmackDown. Perhaps they could draw inspiration from the US Championship Open Challenge and feature that title as a Television-style Championship, where it is defended each week exclusively on SmackDown. John Cena was still able to maintain feuds with other talents while facing random opponents in title matches on Raw each week in 2015, so why not do something similar on SmackDown. This would differentiate SmackDown a little more from Raw and certainly make me tune in more regularly, as opposed to my current relationship with the show - have my DVR record it each week and subsequently delete it on Sunday when it's obvious I'm going to spend my day watching NFL instead of catching up on Raw-lite. The jump to the USA Network in 2016 will certainly come with the usual WWE hype. USA will undoubtedly give the program more national exposure compared to the fledging SyFy Network. WWE has an opportunity to revive what was once a great show. Here's hoping they make the most of it. I know my crew on the Big Gold Wrestling Podcast and I will be discussing the evolution - or lack thereof - on future episodes in January when SmackDown makes the leap to USA.
Pro Wrestling Nation: How do I feel they can improve Smackdown? I think they have a great plan, moving to USA Network and signing Mauro Ranallo as their voice for Smackdown. This, of course, sounds very promising but will Smackdown be a shiny new toy for a few months and get forgotten about, kinda like Main Event. Let's assume the best possible scenario and add a few fantasy concepts. If they would split the brands they would have more room to get people over and there would be less overexposure like we see today. Smackdown as it's own brand with its own World Championship can be a go-between for RAW and NXT, with a few exceptions, they could us Smackdown as a platform to introduce people to WWE Universe. Also with a brand split, they could use some of our favorite WWE Superstars to make Smackdown feel much more must-see. If Dolph Ziggler is your favorite and Thursday Nights is the only time you can see him weekly, your going to sit in from of your TV on Thursday. Of course it's not a perfect world and Smackdown will probably feel exciting for a couple of months but something tells me that it'll fizzle out not too long after WrestleMania. #SmackYourTV
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