We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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Mick Foley recently claimed that SmackDown was the internet darling it is in large part due to it only being two hours long. Essentially, RAW struggles with putting on a three-hour show each week, and if SmackDown had to do the same, they’d also run into trouble. While it’s true filling three hours is a difficult task, it’s how RAW tends to fill its three hours that’s an issue. There are too many weeks where too little of the show involves the women’s division, or too few pieces of it. There are somehow only two-to-three tag teams that exist at a time on RAW’s televised shows. The cruiserweight division spends more time in six-man tag matches and chinlocks than it does in anything interesting that could build up the division or its performers. If anything, it feels like RAW needs more time given the way they set things up... but please don’t confuse that for anyone asking for it to be any longer.
SmackDown, on the other hand, works great at two hours, but it’s not just a two-hour show, either. There is Talking Smack, the aftershow that helps create, enhance, and explain story lines from the show. We now have to wait for 205 Live to finish before we can watch that, too, which turns Tuesday into a longer night of wrestling than Monday. What it really comes down to, though, is how well SmackDown uses the official two hours it has. The women’s division gets more use, top to bottom, than RAW’s despite having less time. The main event has managed to fill itself with more players than RAW’s does, and movement at the top is less predictable. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are parts of the whole instead of the figures around which the show revolves — looking at you, Stephanie and Mick. Stories are logical, consistent, and well-told: This all helps move things along, and explains much of the love for the show.
SmackDown doesn’t do everything perfectly, of course. The tag division is currently a mess, full of too many teams who eat pins, and the mid-card has promise, but also only semi-exists since anyone successful from the mid is essentially a stone’s throw from the main event. So, no, SmackDown isn’t perfect, but the lack of a third hour isn’t why it’s more beloved than RAW: given the problems the show does have, it feels like a third hour would benefit the blue brand more than harm it.
That being said, don’t test that theory, please. Inserting 205 Live into the mix already messed with a working formula.
- Friday’s Rumor Roundup includes info on Seth Rollins, as well as something on the Interncontinental Championship.
- WWE introduced a new series where parents of a superstar talk about their child. First up: Finn Balor.
- Samoa Joe won’t say a match against CM Punk is an impossibility. Remember, though, that it’s not Joe who would hold up such an event, either.
- Bray Wyatt’s WWE.com profile photo is mesmerizing, which makes sense given the whole cult thing.
- These are the wrestlers available for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, affectionately known in this space as The ‘Dre.
- Word is that Kurt Angle will likely wrestle with WWE again, once they figure out just what they want to do. He’ll also have to pass a physical, which is far more rigorous at WWE than elsewhere.
- Here’s how Eva Marie deals with all the hate she gets.
- It wasn’t a great week for Impact Wrestling, writes Kyle Decker. TNA also had to blur out a referee in Thursday’s episode, thanks to him being under contract with another promotion.
- Rumor has it that John Cena insisted Bray Wyatt go over as clean as he did this past week, which would help explain why it is that Cena ate two pins from the new WWE World Champion.
- Former WWE and ECW wrestler Nicole Bass passed away at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke earlier in the week.