Opinion: Smackdown Live is better than Raw
The brand-split in 2016 has reinvigorated the blue brand, i.e. SmackDown Live. It started airing live on Tuesdays and has given its counterpart, Raw, tough competition.
For years, Raw has been the 'A' show. The biggest superstars and the most intense rivalries have always featured on Raw. Furthermore, Raw has been called the flagship show by many higher-ups in the WWE. However, ever since the brand-split in 2016 came into play, Smackdown Live has continuously outdone Raw in terms of quality and entertainment.
Other than a few lows, i.e Jinder Mahal's tyrannical reign, Smackdown Live has delivered better programming than Raw.
The first and foremost reason for SmackDown's improvement and success is that it is a shorter show with a smaller roster. Smackdown Live runs for two hours whereas Raw runs for three long hours. WWE's quantity over quality approach isn't working. Fans tune in to watch Raw, but the show is too long to sit through, which is why viewership tends to dip in the second and third hour. Filler matches and segments are common on Raw just to kill time, which is why we see lower-tier talents like Mojo Rawley and No Way Jose almost every week. On the contrary, Smackdown has fewer matches and fewer segments that tend to be more noteworthy and relevant.
Smackdown Live is known as 'the Land of opportunity.' Many under-card talents have gotten a tremendous amount of opportunities on the blue brand. Jinder Mahal would have never been world champion on Raw, but he was the WWE champion on Smackdown Live for the better part of 2017. Rusev Day would've never been such a hit on Raw. AJ Styles would have never been the face of the red brand as Roman Reigns is there.
Furthermore, Smackdown Live has always had a more talented roster than Raw. Names like AJ Styles have been on the blue brand since the brand-split. Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz are also on the roster. What more could a hardcore WWE fan ask for? These stars are pivotal in the show's significant improvement.
Raw's programming and story-lines have been dominated by authority figures since the brand-split. First, it was Stephanie Mcmahon and Mick Foley dominating Raw story-lines. Foley was then fired and Mcmahon took a long hiatus, but Kurt Angle returned and he opened the show at least thrice a month. On the other hand, other than Daniel Bryan- Shane McMahon story-line in 2017-18, authority figures have had a minimal role on Smackdown Live. Shane McMahon is barely around these days and Paige doesn't stick around a lot in her appearances.
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