There’s a fairly large portion of the WWE fan base, at least the most vocal critics online, who have decided SmackDown Live is far superior to Monday Night Raw in nearly every way. The General Manager of Raw, Mick Foley, has a theory as to why that is, and it’s a familiar complaint.
From his interview with Lilian Garcia on Making Their Way to the Ring:
"Even though SmackDown has been kind of like the Internet darling, I believe that if they had three hours instead of two they would find out that it's tough to be a darling when you've got that massive three hour anchor around your neck."
He’s not the only one who has made note of three hours being an issue in a public forum. Two years ago, Triple H outright said he would go back to two hours if he could. There’s no doubting SmackDown Live benefits from being a more compact show.
An interesting question is whether or not the blue brand would continue to hold its status as “Internet darling,” as Foley says, if it was also three hours.