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28.11.07 1116
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Lacking the star power and hype, Smackdown is STILL a much better program than Raw.
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ParagonOfVirtue
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#1 Posted on 19.2.04 2148.59
Reposted on: 19.2.11 2151.22
It dawned on me today that with all of the talk of Smackdown's depleted roster, the show tonight amazed me on so many levels concerning how much better it is than the starpower of Raw. Why? It actually felt like a wrestling program. I was involved in the storylines and matches instead of in my head, reviewing the pros and cons of the booking like I do on Raw.

WWE has put their energy into building four or five feuds on the Smackdown side leading to WM. But unlike their counterparts on Raw, the key to SD's feuds is that they are simplistic yet neatly booked. I can tell you where they're headed but it's still compelling enough to see these storylines play out. It brings back the essence of pro wrestling. Often times, Raw angles leave me worried as to whether how it plays out will make sense. And just so often, it doesn't.

Raw's roster, despite being very deep, is a clusterfuck. One of the reasons for this, as if it needs to be said, is HHH. Bottom line is that he cares more about his own interests than the sake of the wrestling program. Lesnar has a similar dominance of the Smackdown program yet Lesnar makes the people around him better. He treats others like his equal because he understands how the business works. Getting a rub from Lesnar seems like a sincere and genuine rub. Getting one from HHH always seems forced and ultimately, shatters careers. Unless you're Orton or HBK. I'm not saying this from the biased anti-HHH perspective, I'm just telling it like it is.

Likewise, this strangehold at the top always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Week after week, seeing Van Dam, Booker, Jericho, etc in the midcard, no matter how good their matches are, leaves me feeling disappointed. That's because these men should be at the top of the card wrestling each other, but instead get shafted. I guarantee you that if they were at Smackdown with Angle and Lesnar, they would get a chance at the top and would stay there if they succeeded. Look at Benoit's successful interactions with those two men, and see where he'll be three months from now.

There is no glass ceiling on Smackdown. The men at the top deserve to be at the top. Tonight, we saw the focus on seven men and seven men only: Eddie, Kurt, Chavo, Lesnar, Cena, Show, Rey. The only non-wrestling people involved, Chavo Sr and Heyman, had minor roles tonight. It's not like with Raw where Bischoff and Stone Cold have THE role, and the wrestlers are an afterthought. You've got the hot feud for the world title, a former champ vowing for revenge, an up-and-coming babyface moving up the ranks, and then the enhancing of the cruiserweight division by intertwining it with the world. That's perfectly layered and does good business. It's old school. There's too much shit to plow through on Raw. It may have the hype, it may have the big names, but it lacks the emotional attachment. And that involvement is where Smackdown wins out.
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Big Bad
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#2 Posted on 19.2.04 2220.31
Reposted on: 19.2.11 2220.36
Well put.

Smackdown still has the problem of too few wrestlers, but that is nothing a trade with RAW wouldn't solve. Just bring in Spike and Hurricane with the rest of the cruiserweights, and someone like Booker T or RVD to mix with the main eventers. Problem solved.
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#3 Posted on 19.2.04 2345.57
Reposted on: 19.2.11 2346.01
One thing that amazed me throughout the night was the commentating of Cole and Tazz. Whether it was Eddy's celebrating, or Brock begging, Angle turning, NOT having someone yelling "Bah God, what's going on?" every single time a wrestler took a breath REALLY helped to let everything set in.

Jim Ross is the best at getting a storyline over, my ass. Can you imagine how effective Angle's turn would have been if Ross and Lawler would have been on tonight? "What's going on, J.R.?" "Ah don't know King, shomehing's not righ. Damn Angle to hell!"

J.R. and Lawler loving hearing themselves talk is one of the biggest problems RAW has nowadays as far as getting storylines in order and wrestlers not seeming like they live in a frickin' cartoon.


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#4 Posted on 20.2.04 0025.55
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0026.18
I shit on Cole cuz he's a stooge but after watching NWO and Smackdown this week, together with Tazz he's OK. Josh is not ready yet, but he will be soon, but Cole has a stranglehold on that position so I bare with it.

I'd say that there's enough talent on the roster, actually too much talent on both rosters and it doesn't get a chance to shine. Bashams, Rikishi, Dragon, London, FBI, on SD, if given strong storyline, or even decent one, would all be over big time. Next guy to be released... Ass Man, please.

I don't even want to talk about Spanky, after watching a Spanky in WWE comp. That kid was UBER OVER! His matches were fucking HOT! What a waste.
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#5 Posted on 20.2.04 0145.06
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0147.58


I think what brought SD back above RAW in my opinion was the lack of management feuding. Heyman is in charge. He is a heel but relatively fair, with some redeeming qualities.

So, feuds are about the wrestlers. And the feuds are mostly about wrestling. There is no lack of talent, although it needs to be booked carefully. What else is different? Well, are of the talking interested me, because it was all fairly original or important.

1. Chavito's speech was I agree reminicent of Owen Hart. Owen Hart fucking ruled. So it's no wonder that Chavo Jr. had my full attention.

2. Psycho hurt Brock was new. He really looked like he was about to cry. It gives him depth, and he needs it.

3. Angle and Cena congratulate Eddy and diss on each other. Kurt need never fear being too corny. He is just too loveable. As a face. Oh, well.

Compare that to HHH's speeches. Or Shawn Micheal's. They go on and on and don't seem to have a point. And it's the same thing, all the time.

Anyways, that's why I prefer SD.


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#6 Posted on 20.2.04 0216.38
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0217.42
I prefer Smackdown! because of Eddy, Angle, Brock, Cena, and even Big Show are way more entertaining than

HHH, Benoit (close), Orton/Foley, Kane, RVD, Book and Goldberg.

Both show can entertain me and both will have times I need to walk away - Bischoff/Sable.

Foley, Rock, and Flair are as good as it gets on the mic, but Eddy and Kurt aren't far behind, and they can still kill themselves for us in the ring every week.

I agree with LotusMegami on the lack of management feuding - but SD! did have an awful lot of time spent on Vince/Steph that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Tazz is the best.

The deciding factor for me has to be DEAN's drunken, thoroughly entertaining recaps.
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#7 Posted on 20.2.04 0734.30
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0734.57
Well, it does need to be said that the two shows are two completely different philosophies. Smackdown is the wrestling show and RAW is the sports entertainment show. The funny thing is, sometimes the bookers forget this, and it gets switched up. And while RAW can do wrestling with the right people, Smackdown almost always fails as sports entertainment. There have always been things on both shows that I like, but I'll agree that right now, Smackdown is clearly the superior brand.
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#8 Posted on 20.2.04 0816.49
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0816.49
Funny how myself, the two marks, and the jaded smark that I watch wrestling with here in the Motor City all prefer RAW to Smackdown. Smackdown has Brock, Big Show, Cena, Eddie, and Angle. RAW has Stone Cold, Triple H, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Booker T, Kane, the Hurricane and Christian.

I'd say RAW is quite clearly, by far, the superior brand.

(edited by BoromirMark on 20.2.04 0917)
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#9 Posted on 20.2.04 0843.19
Reposted on: 20.2.11 0844.19
SMACKDOWN! definitely does have its shit together. I watched it for the first time since just before the Rumble and I can honestly say I was entertained throughout the show. If they keep the focus on the same people they did last night, this could be the first time for WWE since 1998 that I think they have had a good combination of talent to put on a decent show.

I am not the biggest Lesnar fan in the world, but after watching Eddy/Lesnar, I can at least say that this guy does know how to give "the rub" and put others over. He sells very well despite having the seemingly-indestructible big man persona.

Too bad it'll be raided for talent that HHH gets to beat on RAW.
This Is Just Wrong
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#10 Posted on 20.2.04 1433.11
Reposted on: 20.2.11 1435.01
I hope Taker joins RAW...have the most boring veterans (Taker, HHH, Kane) on Monday to give us a nice, WRESTLING Smackdown

REASONS WHY SMACKDOWN RULES:

1) Brock Lesnar is incredible...for a heavyweight, he can get good matches out of people like Big Show and Taker as well as keep up with guys like Angle and Eddie. Awesome.
2) Cruiserweights - They definitely need better promotion of these guys but Mysterio, Tajiri and Chavito have given great efforts. Hell, Mysterio mainevented with Matt Hardy during a Smackdown last year!
3) Better nurturer of young talent - RAW has some good ones with Orton, Matt Hardy, Helms, Le Resistance etc but other than Orton, none of them are getting a chance. On Smackdown, there's Cena, Edge and TWGTT who have a better chance of elevation
4) Fewer BORING promos - I'd say both brands have the same amount of promos but Smackdown's are more passionate. From Angle's return after Mania to Eddie's heartfelt testimonials to Brock's whining after losing a match. On RAW, who gives promos...HHH. Nuff Said.
5) Smackdown has the promise of delivering at least one awesome match per show. RAW has been better recently but not on Smackdown's level.

I'm sure there's more reasons but for now, Smackdown has the better show.


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#11 Posted on 20.2.04 1447.53
Reposted on: 20.2.11 1448.17
    Originally posted by BoromirMark
    Smackdown has Brock, Big Show, Cena, Eddie, and Angle. RAW has Stone Cold, Triple H, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Booker T, Kane, the Hurricane and Christian.

    I'd say RAW is quite clearly, by far, the superior brand.


Is the size of the RAW roster (and maybe your preference for the people on it?) the only reason(s) you think it's the superior show?
ParagonOfVirtue
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#12 Posted on 20.2.04 1823.10
Reposted on: 20.2.11 1823.39
    Originally posted by BoromirMark
    Funny how myself, the two marks, and the jaded smark that I watch wrestling with here in the Motor City all prefer RAW to Smackdown. Smackdown has Brock, Big Show, Cena, Eddie, and Angle. RAW has Stone Cold, Triple H, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Booker T, Kane, the Hurricane and Christian.

    I'd say RAW is quite clearly, by far, the superior brand.


And this successfully contradicts everything I've said.

Your point is correct. Raw has the established guys. The 'star power' like I said. But the bookers are so incompetent in balancing that talent that the major feeling Monday night is of frustration, rather than the complete feeling I often get from Smackdown. For discussion, let me take a look at the list.

RAW:

--Stone Cold - non-wrestler who is used as the focus of the program besides HHH and at this point, holds the roster (and business) back IMO
--Triple H - If I were to pick one reason for why Raw has been lacking these past few years, it's because of Triple H. He would be a fairly good top guy, but the WWE has built the company around him for the past four years. In that time, he has been beyond mediocre. And he has effectively killed the program and the careers of many around him, with the exception of Mr. Shawn Michaels. He does nothing positive for the business. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
--Flair - used effectively as a limited role.
--Michaels - was used effectively prior to Nov 2003. Making him the top babyface is criminal and I fear that instead of it just being HHH spreading the cancer at the top, it will be his good friend HBK too.
--Kane - used effectively, for the most part.
--Jericho, Booker T, Christian. It almost doesn't matter what they do as long as their careers are dying in the midcard and they make HHH and HBK the top two wrestlers.
--Goldberg - they screwed him up but he's gone soon anyway.
--Hurricane - when have they given him a program?

Smackdown:

--Cena - used effectively as an up-and-coming babyface.
--Angle/Guerrero - this feud rules, nuff said.
--Lesnar - used effectively, as if it needs to be said.
--Big Show - unlike prior years in the WWE, the bookers have finally got how to use him. Excellent.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather they have a group of five or six that they use to their fullest potentials than an all-star team where they can barely get anyone right. I know many of you will disagree with me on a couple of my individual comments there, but you can't disagree on the general direction of both groups. The politics and glass ceiling on Raw is horrendous. HHH/HBK and Austin/Bischoff are not who the main event should be built around. Smackdown totally understands what their upper card is about, and as much as it is the writers' credit, it should also be the credit of the general backstage attitude spread by the leader Kurt Angle. Compare that to the attitude of Triple H, and you'll get why one brand is dying and the other is flourishing.

With that said, no matter how bad Raw is and Smackdown is good, I will ALWAYS watch Raw because it's live and may miss a Smackdown or two. That's a shame, but the liveness of it is a positive for me.
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#13 Posted on 20.2.04 1831.05
Reposted on: 20.2.11 1834.34
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by BoromirMark
      Smackdown has Brock, Big Show, Cena, Eddie, and Angle. RAW has Stone Cold, Triple H, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Booker T, Kane, the Hurricane and Christian.

      I'd say RAW is quite clearly, by far, the superior brand.


    Is the size of the RAW roster (and maybe your preference for the people on it?) the only reason(s) you think it's the superior show?


I was just about to ask the same thing, because that's the whole of the thread. Smackdown is more entertaining DESPITE having the seemingly weaker roster. Although I'm not sure that's true. If Edge comes back to Smackdown and they actually did something with TWGTT I think it'd be pretty even.

A lot of people complain about Austin and Bischoff and I understand that but really I'm just as tired of Foley and Flair. It's over guys, give it up. I don't mind Bischoff but Austin needs to go too. And now we have Vince showing up all the time too.

The Raw's tag team division is even worse than Smackdown's and that's bad considering the only good teams Smackdown has are TWGTT and Bashams.

Really the only people I look forward too on Raw now are Victoria (and Stevie too) and Christian. Since Jericho became in the wussy in love Babyface Christian has taken over his MVP spot. Jericho will be good as a face i'm sure, but just the in love Jericho sucks.

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#14 Posted on 20.2.04 1942.00
Reposted on: 20.2.11 1943.10
I keep up with the ratings for all the networks as much as I can by just reading the Life section of the USA Today every wednesday. They recently changed the way they present the ratings and added a Top 15 cable ratings section as well. For the longest time they gave ratings, viewers (in millions) and rankings. The rankings were by the rating.
They now just give viewers (in millions) and rarankings by the amount of viewers. This new presentation is much easier to follow.
Anyways, I found it interesting that the Feb. 9th RAW drew 4.5 million viewers and was ranked 7th for the cable ratings. The Feb. 12th Smackdowm drew 5.5 million viewers and was ranked 84th for the broadcast network ratings.
This info makes it seem as if it's a lot easier to draw viewers on broadcast networks. I'm sure WWE wants to draw equal amounts of people for each brand so they can maximize their house show tickets sales, their PPV buys and merchandise sales. Thus it's easy to conculde more big names are needed to carry the RAW brand.
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#15 Posted on 20.2.04 2010.55
Reposted on: 20.2.11 2011.03
For Main Event talent, I'll take Smackdown most weeks over RAW. With Angle, Guerrero, and Lesnar up in the mix, you're guranteed some good singles or tag match every week to cap off the show.

The Smackdown undercard is very lean but the RAW undercard is just depressing. You've got guys like RVD and Booker just floundering around. Sure they get a little shove here and there but it never really amounts to anything.

I like the direction of Smackdown with less matches but longer matches. This week we had two that topped 15 minutes. That's what the key guys on Smackdown need, time to show off what they do best.

Smackdown's consistently good. It's never really horrible or even bad. You know you'll get a good match or two every week at least. With RAW, it's totally hit or miss. Sometimes there's great shows and then the next week will be almost unwatchable.
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#16 Posted on 20.2.04 2020.25
Reposted on: 20.2.11 2020.32
I think that raw is much better than smackdown. Raw has better storylines, manager, and wrestlers, dont get me wrong i like smackdown but raw is better.
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#17 Posted on 20.2.04 2049.19
Reposted on: 20.2.11 2049.45
I believe Smackdown has the appeal and aura of the 80's wrestling days. You don't see much glitz and glamor intermixed into the stories and it give us what we REALLY want, WRESTLING, not "Sports Entertainment". Raw, as some of you have said, is pretty becoming a gigantic orgy. Now who's going to clean up the mess? That is what I'd like to know.
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#18 Posted on 20.2.04 2132.42
Reposted on: 20.2.11 2136.38
I think Raw is a better brand. On the other hand Smackdown is so highly viewed because people donít have to pay to see it.

(edited by cena on 20.2.04 1933)

(edited by cena on 20.2.04 1934)
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#19 Posted on 20.2.04 2146.46
Reposted on: 20.2.11 2147.25
    Originally posted by jwrestle
    I believe Smackdown has the appeal and aura of the 80's wrestling days. You don't see much glitz and glamor intermixed into the stories and it give us what we REALLY want, WRESTLING, not "Sports Entertainment". Raw, as some of you have said, is pretty becoming a gigantic orgy. Now who's going to clean up the mess? That is what I'd like to know.


Actually, I think story and character development is infinitely more important than wrestling, and SMACKDOWN! is still the better show. Wrestling doesn't matter in the big picture, and it's a means to an end, but not the ultimate goal of a wrestling show. Entertainment is paramount, and SMACKDOWN! pulls it off better than RAW.

They have actually developed the Eddy/Chavo into something decent. Maybe it's not in the Bret/Owen category of family feuds, but it has still come off well on TV. Also, Angle's heel turn was built and executed very well. Eddy's title win over Brock is a real turning point for wrestling, as a smaller cruiserweight champion has finally won what is usually regarded as a "big man's belt." SMACKDOWN! has truly shaken things up for the first time in years in WWE.

I think the key here is that SD! has introduced fresh characters to the mix and elevated them. I mean, what were Chavo and Eddy doing a year ago? Hardly anything of note. What were RVD and Booker T doing a year ago? Well, Booker T was main eventing, but now he has nothing, and both will be lucky to even make it on the WM20 card.

SD! has upward mobility, dynamic characters and storylines (HHH-HBK has been going on for how long?). RAW is stagnant and devotes too much time to out-of-the-ring elements and has champions that can't hold up their end of the deal. Benoit needs to win at WM for RAW to show any signs of progression.

(edited by SKLOKAZOID on 20.2.04 1949)
T.i.O a B.m.F
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#20 Posted on 21.2.04 0025.30
Reposted on: 21.2.11 0027.19
Smackdown is the smarks show. Smackdown is also the more PG rated show that doesnt take risks. RAW is the show that is more for adults and trys the outrageous and contraversial angles.

I think the writing is MUCH better on RAW. Everything seems to flow much more smoothly and you NEVER know what the hell is gonna happen. Smackdown is very predictable and hardly anything happens out of the ordinary. Usually its just the announced matches and one in-ring promo with the GM or wrestler setting up/hyping a match. Thats it, theres hardly any really huge angles that go down on Smackdown. RAW is the show with the big elaborate angles, the returning superstars, and numerous suprises. Smackdown vs. RAW is turning into wrestling vs. sports entertainment. In my opinion wrestling died when it was realized that sports entertainment is what brings in the highest ratings. Yeah PPV's should be wrestling based but the weekly shows should focus more on building up PPV's then putting on good matches. Yeah you could have the 30 minute main event, but do it once a every couple of weeks. Smackdown needs to realize, that if you give someone Brock vs. Angle for 60 minutes on free TV, why would they pay 35 bucks to watch Brock vs. Holly?

In closing RAW is better then Smackdown, however, Smackdown does have the better brand only PPV's.

(edited by T.i.O a B.m.F on 20.2.04 2228)
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