In what would come across as a major relief to the WWE, Smack Down has recorded its highest viewership ever since the show moved to the USA network. Always treated as the B show, the blue brand was recently in the news for going live from the past week. As per recent reports, Smack Down managed to garner around 3.17 million viewers, a slightly higher than the Raw viewership which stood at 3.13 million.
The recent episode featured the first WWE draft in the past 3 years. Added to that, the addition of one of the biggest superstars of the Reality era, Daniel Bryan was made the general manager by Shane McMahon, the commissioner of Smack Down. It would be an interesting competition between Mick Foley’s Raw and Daniel Bryan’s Smack Down. John Cena, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt have been signed to SmackDown as a part of the draft.
Cena has always had a huge fan base, and he started off as a heel on SmackDown. The same goes with Randy Orton, who interestingly wrestled his first WWE match as a rookie against the then WWE champion, the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar. These factors may somewhat tilt the tables in Smack Down’s favor, with most of the technically gifted wrestlers being a part of the roster.
Another interesting change is the omission of Jerry the King Lawler who was moved to the expert column on pre shows along with Booker T. He was with SmackDown till his recent arrest on charges of domestic assault. Although his suspension was lifted and he was put back on a contract, it is worth noticing that he is not a part of the announce team on either shows. The announce team now consists of JBL, Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Otunga.
All the previous battles between Raw and Smack Down have always resulted in Smack Down gaining the upper hand, with Randy Orton leading from the front for most of the confrontations. Would history repeat itself? Will Daniel Bryan be able to revive Smackdown’s glory days? Let’s wait and watch!