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Mick Foley is wrong about why SmackDown is more beloved than RAW

Friday’s Rude Awakening includes what’s wrong with RAW, how Eva Marie deals with the hate, and John Cena’s insistence on something important.

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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.

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