June 13, 2004
Smackdown sandwich tough to swallow
By Don Callis - WINNIPEG SUN
WWE will roll the dice, so to speak, this month by presenting three pay per views in close proximity to one another. This does not bode well for the Smackdown pay per view, the Great American Bash. The last Smackdown pay per view, headlined by Bradshaw and Eddie Guerrero was the lowest buyrate in four years. The fact that the Bash pay per view will be sandwiched in between two Raw pay per views and headlined by the same two guys looks like a tough sell.
Smackdown has been positioned as the weaker brand for sometime and placing it in between Raw events does not help to alleviate that perception. Add to that the fact that the main event for the Raw event is a potential classic "Hell in a Cell" match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels (and neither one is even the Raw champion!) and contrast that with the aforementioned Smackdown main event and you begin to see how folks are likely to allocate funds.
Why WWE is attempting this is unclear. Why they continue to place one brand clearly above the other that has certain disadvantages going in (not being live, not having the same history as Raw) is a mystery of sorts. That's what you get for thinking rationally.
John "Bradshaw" Layfield was fired from his job as a financial television commentator at CNBC for his actions at a recent WWE show in Germany. Bradshaw's actions which do not even warrant being repeated here, were, shall we say, highly controversial in Germany ... Honkytonkman has some interesting comments up on his website where he is slamming just about everyone ... There are still great seats left for the WWE return to Winnipeg for Raw and Smackdown... Jeff Jarrett is the new NWA World Champion ... AJ Styles is getting a huge push atop the TNA X division ... Speaking of TNA, their debut Impact show got great reviews and the Scott Damore interview on the NHB Radio show was one of the best we have ever done ... you can join Joe Aiello, Tony Condello, Bob Holliday, Joe Sako and the NHB gang down at Garbonzos today for the WWE Bad Blood pay per view ... Goldberg apparently finally met with Bret Hart at Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals in Calgary and "cleared the air" regarding his career-ending side kick to Bret's head while both were in WCW. Goldberg is a huge hockey fan.