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ejorbit

Overexposure: Why Smackdown is Detrimental to the WWE

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Note: This was originally going to be one post but I figured I should include a little set up. If you haven't already, feel free to read my first post as a lead in to this one.

Entry 2.

Part 3: Talent Decline

Change. Change hits everyone differently. For some, change is an unwelcome deviation from the norm. For others, it's a breath of fresh air.
Change can be terrifying. Change can be exhilarating. Change can present itself in sizes great and small; no longer eating the same meal on tuesday nights. Going on a stroll and taking a right when you had taken a left every time prior. Leaving home for the first time to start a life on your own.

WWE was on the verge of change in the mid 2000's when it became apparent the company couldn't rely on aging stars forever. Stone Cold and Rock, men who led the charge during the attitude era, were out. An up and coming phenom, Brock Lesnar, left the company for a chance at starting in the NFL. Hogan and Ric Flair were in their 50s, still grasping at opportunities to bask in the limelight.

Despite needing to start looking towards the future, there were still guys who could carry the company for the time being. From Triple H and Shawn Michaels to youngsters like John Cena and Randy Orton, these weren't desperate times. But when it came time to start plucking up new talent, the well wasn't as deep as it had once been. There was no WCW or ECW to draw from. No brand name guys ready to make a splash in your company. Sure, regional indies still existed (and exist to this day), but even those weren't the draw they once were. And how many indie wrestlers had a fan base
beyond the niche wrestling enthusiast? And without the ability to fill the gaps left by departing main eventers, the WWE found themselves creating more then one problem for themselves.

Part 4: Overexposure

So we find ourselves in 2013. The WWE has done a fine job in recent months of introducing a fresh new batch of young talent. [Note: notice the number of heels] We've seen guys like the Shield, Fandango, Curtis Axel, Big E. Langston come in and make a splash right off the bat. Fans are teeming with excitement over the impending debut of the Wyatt Family. And there are plenty of guys standing by in developmental who hope to make the same kind of impact in the near future. But will any of them make it to that mega star level?

Here's where I bring it back and the element of overexposure comes into play. How many hours of WWE are there a week (not including NXT)? Anywhere from 6-7.5 depending on how you look at it. Tack on an extra 3-4 hours on a week where there's a ppv. I know people give WWE creative a hard time but.... damn. That has to be rough. And it's rough on us the viewers as well.

Let's run it down.

Raw: 3 hours and 5-15 minutes
Main Event: 1 hour
Smackdown: 2 hours
Superstars (online): 1 hour
Saturday Morning Slam (currently on hiatus): .5 hours

Jesus, that's a lot of wrestling. And I'm going to be honest, I pretty much only watch Raw these days cause that's a juggernaut on its own.

The problem is that the WWE keeps trying to give us more.... and more. But there isn't the roster to support this onslaught on wrestling programing. Some people might say "well if you only watch Raw, why do you care?" I care because wrestling story lines go on whether I watch or not. Problem is, with so much time to fill, story lines and feuds tend to stall rather then move forward.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

Raw: Guy A vs Guy B. Guy A wins.
Smackdown: Guy A vs Guy B. Buy B wins.
Raw: Guy A has a match, Guy B has a run in.
Main Event: Guy A vs Guy B. Guy A wins.

And there's your 9 day feud of guys just trading wins and accomplishing nothing.

As much as Vince wants his own version of the NFL, he's yet to learn from them. Less is more. WWE should have 4.5 hours of wrestling a week max.

Maybe something like this:

Raw: 2 hours and 5-15 minutes
Main Event: 1 hour
Sunday Night Heat: 1 hour
Saturday Morning Slam (cause it's for the kids and doesn't affect story lines): .5 hours

Doesn't that just sound so much better?

Anyway, that's my two cents.
Thank you for Reading. Feel free to leave praise, constructive feedback, or troll. If you're going to troll though, please have some style.

Song of the Day: The Last Huzzah! by Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire

Wrestling Move of the Day: Brain Buster

Cheers.

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Updated 07-01-2013 at 06:18 PM by ejorbit

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  1. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    I watch Smackdown and Raw which is about it. I watch the recaps of Main Event on WWE's youtube channel.
  2. Kajmere's Avatar
    Can't cut Smackdown, too much money there. Also, that would reduce exposure for much of the roster. What would they do, sell tickets for a main event/SMS show?
    Updated 07-03-2013 at 12:45 AM by ejorbit
  3. FunkyKong's Avatar
    The right move isn't to remove Smackdown entirely, its to bring back the BRAND SPLIT! PLEASE! It would be so beneficial for younger superstars and might actually give people a REASON to watch Smackdown.
  4. ejorbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajmere
    Can't cut Smackdown, too much money there. Also, that would reduce exposure for much of the roster. What would they do, sell tickets for a main event/SMS show?
    I completely agree that Smackdown makes too much money to go anywhere. I guess my point was more "Why Smackdown is detrimental to the WWE narrative" since it obviously doesn't hurt their bottom line.

    And yes, it would reduce exposure for some of the roster, but most of the roster is overexposed to begin with. Remember, in 98, the heart of the attitude era, there were only 2 hours of RAW a week and no Smackdown. Ratings were huge and the roster (which was filled with guys like Austin, Rock, Undertaker, HHH, and Mankind) got over even without that extra time to fill.
  5. Kajmere's Avatar
    I hear ya. AE Raw was definitely an efficient program with higher ratings. To play devils advocate though, today's raw, ME, and SD combine for higher ratings than AE raw if you add them up.
  6. weems's Avatar
    Smackdown sucks b/c it lacks star power. In short, Smackdown is a show that typically features the entire roster with the exception of the guys that draw. For example, everyone is a regular on Smackdown other than Punk, Cena and the part-timers (i.e. Taker, HHH, Rock, Lesner, etc.). Since these guys are the biggest draws in the company and never compete on the show, there is not as much interest to tune in on Friday night. No offense to Orton, Sheamus, Bryan, Ryback and the Shield, but the fact of the matter is that these guys are not the ones that sell the tickets. Cena, Punk and the part-timers are the cash cows. Until the cash cows start showing up REGULARLY on Smackdown, it will remain a B level show compared to Raw.
  7. Jay Danger's Avatar
    I completely disagree.

    Your article advocated for a brand split, not the elimination of Smackdown. Also, Smackdown has been much better than Raw as of late.
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