Opinion: SmackDown Live is no longer the B-show in WWE
Believe it or not, SmackDown Live is no longer WWE's B show and this claim was only heightened by this week's episode. In fact, between the parking lot brawl that took place at the beginning of the show to Roman Reigns overcoming the odds to defeat Dolph Ziggler, everything the company did had a huge impact.
Interestingly enough, SmackDown Live's opening segment even outdid the one on Monday Night Raw this week, something that hasn't been accomplished in a while. Of course, that doesn't mean that Raw's opening was bad at all, it just didn't have the same impact that Kevin Owens' rant did.
Beyond that, SmackDown Live is building a solid mid-card with Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor fighting for the Intercontinental Title and Aleister Black feuding with Cesaro. These two feuds should keep the four of them on television for the foreseeable future and help each Superstar build their momentum again.
However, the most important thing SmackDown Live did this week and what separated them from Monday Night Raw was in terms of the payoff.
Think about it. WWE went all-in on making Shane McMahon look like the bag guy, which made him getting hit with a Stunner at the end of the show all the more fun to watch. It also gave Kevin Owens a chance to become WWE's new anti-hero and could even lead to a title run later on down the road!
Even the lower mid-card was taken care of, as WWE delivered on a hellacious tag team match between Heavy Machinery, The New Day and Rowan & Bryan, then followed it up with Asuka and Kairi Sane hinting at a future tag titles match. If nothing else, a lot moved forward this week and it has essentially given SmackDown Live more to explore and capitalize on.
Compare that to the appeal and edge that Raw has right now and you have two shows that are at their best. Unfortunately for Raw, however, it really seems that SmackDown Live this week was a little bit better of a show overall and this was definitely a sign of things to come.
In the end, this wasn't just a good show or a flex of what WWE can do when they are at capacity, it is a warning shot to Monday Night Raw that it is no longer the de facto flagship show. It is also a demand that the show be taken seriously and thus not be relegated to a B-show status.
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