YMMV / WWE SmackDown

  • Dork Age: While SmackDown is usually praised for its wrestling-focused show, the show's roster, and thus, quality, was decimated in 2004. The show lost most of its main players from the previous two years: Brock Lesnar left the company, Chris Benoit went to RAW during his angle, Edge (who missed a year due to neck surgery) returned on RAW rather than SmackDown, The Undertaker began to cut his schedule, and Kurt Angle was injured for most of the summer, shuttling him into a GM role. Their once-vaunted tag team division was now reduced to the Dudley Boyz (with one foot out the door in the company), Rico & Charlie Haas, and Billy Gunn & Hardcore Holly. The Cruiserweight Division, one of the unique staples of the Blue Brand, was phased out due to Vince's concerns over their frequent injuries due to the heavy schedule, and ended up going into the hands of Jacqueline, Chavo Guerrero Senior, and Chavo Jr. winning it back from Jacky with one hand behind his back (on PPV). Their newcomers mostly flamed out in that time span; while they hit a home run with rookies like Brock Lesnar and John Cena in 2002, new faces like Mordecai, Rene Dupree, Kenzo Suzuki, and Nathan Jones all failed to make an impact. And finally, you had Tough Enough 4, which played out like a male version of the Diva Search rather than the well-received reality show of before. The show got so bad that Scott Keith ended his run of doing reviews of the show and the show's fall arguably helped the company fall out of favor with the IWC for several years. The PG-era and the end of the Brand Extension arguably made matters even worse; things of any major significance to the plot of a storyline rarely, if ever, happened on SmackDown anymore, and wrestlers appeared on both shows as they pleased. Things didn't get better until the second brand extension started. While initially off to a rocky start, it only took two weeks for it to be considered better than Raw almost nigh-universally.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Both its midcard and the show as a whole. SmackDown offers more in-ring wrestling than promo-heavy Raw, meaning some of the company's underlooked talent get a lot of time to shine by putting on some stellar 10-15 minute matches, and the emphasis on matches over promos tend to be a reason why the IWC usually favors it over Raw. The tag-team division in 2002, dubbed the "SmackDown Six" by the IWC, also gained notoriety for putting on some incredible matches with each other in either singles or team competition, consisting of a murderer's row of talent including Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Edge (breaking through as a singles star), Rey Mysterio (back when his knees were healthy and could fly around the ring), Eddie Guerrero and his nephew Chavo.
    • During the second brand extension, Heath Slater and James Ellsworth became immediate fan favorites. Despite no longer wrestling, Daniel Bryan's position as GM has been very favorably received.
    • During the second brand extension, the women's division became a very highly anticipated part. Where the Raw women suffered from horrible repetitive booking, and NXT suffered from a lot of mass call-ups, Smackdown found a way to utilise all of its women and develop characters for them. The Elimination Chamber PPV in 2017 featured three highly anticipated women's matches across the card.
  • Face of the Band:
    • Well, okay he's technically not the Face, but The Undertaker has been a major part of SmackDown since the Brand Extension started. Hilariously his eventual wife Michelle McCool would be considered the female face of the brand. In her entire tenure with the company, she was only on the Smackdown brand and held three titles.
    • Before Michelle came along, Torrie Wilson was the face of the Smackdown Divas. At times she was also the only babyface Diva on there.
    • Now that Taker and John Cena are less involved, Dean Ambrose has been considered the top face of SmackDown Live (which doesn't hurt that he was World Champion for nearly two months after the new extension) with AJ Styles (who would take the championship from Ambrose) as the top heel. As far as the midcard goes, The Miz would be a lesser example. Becky Lynch is seen as the top face of the women's division.
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