By RJ Marceau
When I started watching wrestling I was a big fan of SmackDown. The format, storylines and wrestlers made me love the blue brand. It was seen as competition to Raw and they had the upcoming rising stars on Thursday/Friday nights. Not to mention the 8-10 time slot is money when you were a young kid/teenager compared to 9-11 for Raw.
When the WWE announced the brand extension I was very skeptical that they would treat SmackDown the same way that they handle Raw. The rosters were both split and Raw in my opinion had more stars. I thought this would be the catalyst for Raw to overcome SmackDown but Raw has been okay. The issue isn’t the split but how long Raw is and how they format the show. I don’t hate squash matches but when you do 2-3 each week and it's Nia Jax and Braun Strowman people start to not care. They look like they have some direction with feuds with Alicia Fox and Sin Cara but these two mean as much as the local athletes they squash each week. Kevin Owens as champion is refreshing but they are rehashing old feuds when they should be producing new rivalries. Reigns vs. Rusev, Sasha vs. Charlotte and New Day vs. The Club have been feuding throughout the summer.
On SmackDown however we have AJ Styles as the WWE Champion, The Miz as Intercontinental Champion, Rhyno & Heath Slater as WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions and Becky Lynch as the WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion. All these champions are fresh besides The Miz but after his promo on Talking Smack he has started to be taken seriously. SmackDown has utilized the two hours perfectly focusing on all the champions and suitable challengers. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt has been okay since they blew off the Backlash match but it still has my attention.
SmackDown Live has been must-see especially after how great Backlash was. Raw has Clash of Champions this upcoming weekend which will need to be amazing to top Backlash. No Mercy already has two matches with AJ Styles © defending against Dean Ambrose and John Cena as well as Becky Lynch © vs. Alexa Bliss. SmackDown Live is no longer the “B” show and is on the same level or better than Monday Night Raw.
SEE ALSO: "RJ's Two Cents - WWE Backlash 2016 Predictions"