5 steps to save SmackDown Live
After Jinder Mahal's reign as WWE Champion finally ended, SmackDown's future looked much brighter. Those hopes proved untrue. Instead, the uptick was only the eye of the storm, with the backside of the hurricane being as strong as the front. This time, while the champion is right, everything else around him has been a disaster.
SmackDown has become once again unwatchable, to the point that one has to wonder why WWE bothers airing the show at all. Ratings have fallen for the blue brand for most weeks of 2018 and infamous photos of a half-empty arena circulated on Twitter last week. It's hard to imagine that barely over a year ago, SmackDown was consistently regarded as being better than Raw.
Unless WWE plans to cancel SmackDown, the show needs a reboot and fast. If the following elements come into place, the blue brand might finally find its footing again.
Step 1: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan must go
Almost every episode of SmackDown starts the same way - Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan come out for a promo. Some kind of tension is teased which is unresolved as the promo ends. The two then hog up even more TV time backstage. This has been going on for months now with no payoff or reason for viewers to even care.
While authority figure shenanigans aren't new in WWE, the McMahon/Bryan angle has been particularly noxious, smothering the entire show. With Daniel Bryan unlikely to ever come back for a match, it's been that much more pointless.
In NXT, General Manager William Regal doesn't take up much camera time, but when he does appear, something important happens. He's there to enhance angles among his wrestlers and a few words are all he needs. In recent weeks, Raw has been approaching this as well, with the 20-minute opening promo from Kurt Angle not as prevalent as a few months ago.
This innovation is something SmackDown needs to follow. It always follows Raw, so why not now when it can improve the show? Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are currently the biggest problems with the on-screen SmackDown product. They must go and this meandering storyline must end.