That being said, this was something I’d been pondering a little bit, especially more today and in recent weeks, both because of the announcement that SmackDown is going to be live starting in mid-July, and because I’ve recently added a SmackDown Nutshell to my repertoire. And the question, simply, is which of the shows is the best. So with that in mind, let me make a case for each.
For RAW, the pros? One, you get three hours of new content most weeks. They do get a few Mondays off, but for the most part, it’s a constant. For another, it is the flagship show for WWE. All the major returns, debuts and such? They happen here. It’s been on the air for well over 1000 shows, so it’s got longevity in it’s favor, too.
For SmackDown, it’s been around a good bit too, but it’s always been second fiddle. It’s moved around a bit, both in terms of days and channels, and I’ve always felt the fact that it’s taped on Tuesdays but airs on Thursdays did not help things. Spoilers abound, and sometimes you can’t help yourself. But it’s a nice way to get more wrestling action. And, unlike RAW, which clocks in at over 3 hours, SmackDown is a comparatively svelte 2 hours. Sometimes we do get to see guys on SmackDown that we don’t see as much on RAW, but it’s all the same big roster.
And then there is NXT. NXT comes in at just under an hour. It’s on the Network, which is kind of nice. Many times I’ve watched it and been extremely pleased with how things flow, and the absence of the typical TV commercials and such. It is a very no-frills show, and that is a very endearing quality. Also, in spite of it being taped, the crowds are always very into it and vocal, and you get to watch wrestlers that, for the most part, are currently only on NXT (though there have been occasional returns to NXT by main roster talents).
And the winner, in this very small, one person survey? NXT. For me, it just feels fresher. It’s less about the hype and needing the talking segments and filler segments. It’s about good wrestling, about a rabid fanbase and about a much more old school feel. It reminds me a lot of how ECW shows were. Hour long, no time for long, drawn out segments. Everything generally makes sense, doesn’t waste time or energy in getting to the point, and is enjoyable. The real kicker for me here? I despise taped shows, because of the ability to read spoilers. In the case of NXT, even if I read the spoilers, it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the hour. For one thing, several times over when I was looking at spoilers, primarily to get names right on some of the enhancement talent, it was clear that things changed because the matches in the spoilers were not the matches broadcast. And in general, these matches are just more fun to watch.
WNZ readers, what is your favorite and why?