By David Joseph
It has been a little over a month since the official brand split of the new era. Both brands are still developing and creating new stars for their respective brands.
However, it can’t be denied that overall SmackDown Live has been clicking more on a week to week basis when it comes to continuity and entertainment value. There are four main reasons why, so let’s get into them shall we.
Two Hour Format
I am a wrestling fan and probably always will be. The more content that is on the more I will watch. That is what we hardcore fans do. We watch no matter what. However, I’d be lying if I said I did not like the two hour format more than the three hour format. This is not a knock on Monday Night Raw by any means. The fact is that three hours leaves the door wide open for more filler and low points in the show. The live audience and the millions watching at home do not want filler.
They want to be on the edge of their seats due to excitement. I’m sorry but Jinder Mahal vs. Sami Zayn or The Club in a comedy segment doesn’t provide that. With that being said I am optimistic the incoming cruiserweights will add more to Raw and minimize filler.
Heath Slater has been a revelation. He is consistently entertaining no matter what material WWE gives him. The fans have taken notice which is why he gets a positive reaction often. His comfort on the mic and his humor is contagious in a corny, over the top way. Look how he is pulling some entertainment value out of the veteran Rhyno. Do not be surprised when Heath Slater and Rhyno make it to the finals of the tournament only to lose to American Alpha. The money is in the chase. Losing will only boost Heath Slater’s stock to when he finally wins and gets a contract.
This man is everything a professional wrestling commentator should be. He is intelligent, articulate, animated, and a student of the game. The former MMA commentator is so good at making every superstar seem important no matter where they rank on the card. When Ranallo is speaking you have to listen. With all due respect to Michael Cole, this is the best commentator the WWE has ever had since good ole Jim Ross.
For years wrestling fans have labeled Sting the best wrestler to never sign with the WWE. He became a legendary icon without the aid of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. If there is ever a 1B in the list of the greatest legends to not need the WWE it is AJ Styles. Now that he is in the WWE he is clicking on all cylinders and then some. The face that runs the place just might be the best in ring performer in the world.
Styles never has a bad match. He has made strides in his promos as a heel. You’d think an undersized TNA guy would be in the middle of the pack in the land of giants but he is the top heel on SmackDown Live. It wouldn’t be shocking if he became the next WWE world champion.
The landscape has changed. For the first time in awhile fans are looking forward to SmackDown every week. Raw better step up because SmackDown Live is competition now.
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