Special bonus two columns from Trevor today. Below is the first column, the link to the second column can be found below.
In Eddie’s “Weekend News & Analysis” (http://www.thebalrogslair.com/news/analysis/031304.shtml), he discusses the quality of SmackDown’s programming which has taken a turn for the worse in the past few weeks. SmackDown consistently has higher ratings than RAW but the edge (690,000 viewers more for SmackDown last week) is not substantial enough to say any more than what we already know – UPN is in more households than TNN, and thus draws more viewers. I have gotten into disagreements in the TBL forums with people about the quality and direction of both programs. I felt that SmackDown presented an overall product that was much better than RAW’s. Be it personal taste or not, no agreement could be reached even though I thought the evidence spoke for itself. RAW has turned into a stale product with unused potential, a poor yet dominating title reign of Triple H, average workrate, poor contribution to PPVs, an entertainment-oriented approach that didn’t get over, poor angles, hotshotted angles, insulting angles, corrupt backstage politics, declining ratings, the old instead of the new, and the toilet humor of Brian Gerwertz. On the other hand was SmackDown with a flourishing product directed at building towards the future, creative and new programming, great workrate, new stars, athletic stars, traditional yet not repetitive, monotonous, or cliché.
If SmackDown was so great, why didn’t it do better than RAW? For two reasons: the creative struggle between Paul Heyman and sycophants in support of Vince McMahon and Vince himself, made the product good but not as good as it could have been. The mighty ruling fist of Vince McMahon meant that such angles as Dawn Marie/Torrie Wilson and Billy & Chuck went into the program. Second of all, sweeping change does not happen in two months and reaping the benefit of such change does not alter the ratings of SmackDown week-to-week. It didn’t happen in 1996 before the Attitude-era boom and it won’t happen ever again. Trust must be regained over time, so it takes dedication to stick through something for several weeks. But I guess dedication is a bad word over at Titan Towers.
But in the WWE now, the most basic rudiments of booking are nonsense if Vince isn’t behind the ideas, and now Paul Heyman is gone. Paul Heyman being one of the few sane people in high positions left. He is now a consultant and his “notes” are probably falling on deaf ears. Now the chance of people like Jamie Noble to succeed is very low because it’s the era of Albert – the generic, conventional, non-charismatic, average worker. What program now dominates the show? Hogan/Vince/Piper. All old people who can’t work. Yet on the PPV, Mysterio/Hardy gets cut down so it has no chance to get over. SmackDown has become just a carbon copy of RAW and I hate to say I told you so…
But I did.
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