Since I started watching the WWE again regularly in January, Smackdown has been my preferred show. I find it has a much more tolerable wrestling-t0-talking ratio than RAW, which is the primary reason I like it better, but I’m also strongly on board with a secondary singles championship that actually matters and commentary that doesn’t make me want to climb through my TV and kill a motherfucker (I’m looking at you, Michael Cole).
It has become clear that Smackdown got hosed in this year’s draft. Badly.
Monday Night RAW added Chris Jericho, Edge, and John Morrison to a roster already boasting John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and now the Nexus. RAW’s main event scene is so jammed that Morrison has been relegated to jobbing to Skip Sheffield (seriously, a clean pin!?) on last night’s episode and Jericho and Edge are just sort of floating around. Adding Wade Barrett to the mix just further crowds the top of the card, and stunts the ability of guys like The Miz and Evan Bourne to climb up the card effectively.
In return, Smackdown got… the Big Show. While RAW has so many main eventers that guys are being left out and underutilized, Smackdown is hurting for top-card talent. Jack Swagger’s World Heavyweight title push petered out after he lost to Mysterio a few times in a row, dropping the belt for essentially no reason, other than maybe to set up some kind of element in the Kane/Undertaker story where Kane took out the Undertaker because he couldn’t beat him for the belt, so he got rid of him so he could take it from an easier opponent. Swagger has had a lot of his, well, swagger taken away while Rey Mysterio, Kane, and the Undertaker are all aging and the Big Show has never really been a consistant main eventer. CM Punk is really the only solid main event piece they have right now, but his Straight Edge Society is kind of dragging him down to the midcard.
Speaking of midcards, Smackdown’s is the highlight of the show right now. Unlike the US Title, which is basically just that thing The Miz wears to remind us that he matters, the Intercontinental Title is almost more valuable than the World title, in my estimation, since it’s the division having the best matches and the most interesting stories. It’s really the only area where Smackdown improved in the draft, with the addition of Kofi Kingston and Christian. RAW has the pieces for a decent US Title division, but they don’t appear to be very interested putting them to use.
Hopefully in the future they dump they either dump the draft or have the two brands draft from NXT, but in the present Smackdown’s main event scene is in depserate need of an overhaul because they got screwed at the drafting table. WWE writers being, y’know, competent might help a little, too.