Edited and promoted to the front page by CagesideSeats.com.
If you came to me after Wrestlemania 27 and told me that within six months both Christian and Mark Henry would both win the world heavyweight title, I would think you had never seen a WWE program before. At that time, Mark Henry was little more than enhancement talent and Christian was doing his thing in the mid-card as usual.
With Edge made to retire thanks to an ailing neck and a very shallow pool of talent on Smackdown, WWE was forced to look at the superstars they had left to utilize. Most of these talented individuals had been deemed not good enough to lead the ship and/or not good enough to be on the main show (outside of Randy Orton, of course).
Christain would win the title not once but twice, and now Mark Henry is dominating the locker room with a title strapped around his waist. These two men finally got their chance when WWE had no choice. Not only did they get their chances but their programs have been done exceptionally well. While Henry's push has been building for several months, it's been very effective and actually made me want to purchase Night of Champions.
Randy Orton has also had the opportunity to really get out from under John Cena's shadow and he's done a great job transforming himself into a babyface. Sheamus is being booked as a charismatic monster, Daniel Bryan has the Money in the Bank briefcase, Cody Rhodes is owning the mic with his fantastic character, and the Sin Cara storyline is quite compelling. Every mid-card wrestler on Smackdown has something going for them. Hell, even Ted Dibiase is on television every week.
It is my opinion that Smackdown is where all the real stars of tomorrow are being made. If I were someone like John Morrison, R-Truth, or The Miz, I'd want to be on Smackdown were I would get some quality television time to build my name and character. In the end, the WWE is only going to push a lot of there talent if they are forced to, just like the shallow talent pool of Smackdown has made them do.
Raw is the exact opposite. While the creative team on Smackdown is busy building stars and creating interesting storylines, Raw is concentrating on the old "been there, done that" crap. Triple H beat CM Punk even though he hasn't wrestled in five months, Kevin Nash is boring the house down with terrible promos, and John Laurinaitis is acting like a poor mans Vince McMahon. All this over-booked mess while the mid-card is full of lame mixed tag team matches.
The bottom line is that if you want to watch wrestling for everything that makes it great, watch Smackdown. If you want to see why it needs to evolve, watch Raw.