Does Vince McMahon View SmackDown as the B Show?
In the latest episode of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard spoke about the belief of Raw being seen as the A-show for Vince McMahon, and the idea that Vince McMahon never cared as much about Smackdown as a brand. Below are some highlights.
Prichard on the idea of Vince McMahon only seeing Raw as the A-show being false: “False. I think that you have to look at it in this vein. Going back to the live and taped, Vince had to focus on Raw. Raw was first. Having been on Smackdown back in the day and being the lead writer on Smackdown and what have you, you always felt — I would even argue there are some days that even Raw felt like they were the stepchild. But when Vince is working on something else, it’s always, ‘Why aren’t you giving me time? Why aren’t we talking about Smackdown?’ And the answer to that is simple. Vince is looking at what is in front of him and what’s next. Next was always Raw. So, when you’re dealing throughout the week, the next one he has to tackle is Raw. And next after Raw, that’s Smackdown. So, Smackdown got the feeling sometimes — and me included — that ‘Hey man. We’re second-class citizens, and we’re not going to get any of his attention until Raw is through.’ That was the case. That was just reality in that he was dealing with what was next. Raw was live. Raw was up next, and that was what he was focused on at the time.”
“Now, he’s going to look at Smackdown and give it just as much attention. And then he doubles down on Tuesday, where it’s like, ‘OK. It’s pedal to the metal on Smackdown. What are we doing guys? Let’s make this the best it can be.’ And he doesn’t give a s*** about Raw at that point. But the perception of people throughout the years has always been Raw is the baby. Raw was first. By virtue of Raw being live, I think really gave people of, ‘Oh. It’s number one. It’s the A show. It’s the only one they really care about.’”
Prichard on wrestlers being paranoid about how WWE handled the draft back in the mid-00’s: “I think that a lot of it becomes paranoia, and here’s why I say that. Guys can’t tell their wives when they’re going to be home. Well, you’re on the same touring schedule. So, if you’re going to Smackdown, it means you’re coming home on Wednesday, but not leaving until Friday. If you’re on Raw, then you’re coming home on Tuesday, and you’re leaving on Thursday. Same time at home. Same schedule. Same everything. International tours? They toured simultaneous. So, how does that affect anything other than what town you’re going to go to and perform in that night?”
“I think that the paranoia and the angst came from not knowing, and not knowing where I’m going to be, what buddies I’m going to be with, what I’m going to be doing and things of that nature. How’s it going to affect my push, if you will? That’s where the angst came from, and that’s where a lot of the confusion and feeling came from and emotion. But for the most part, it was not changing anything in their personal lives, per se. Some of it was better. Some of it was, ‘Hey. I’d rather be home on Tuesday.’ Some of them would say, ‘Well, f***. I’m glad I don’t have to leave until Friday.’”