RAW vs Smackdown

Hi Scott,


I’ve heard from a number of sources that Vince and co. were actively working to make sure that Smackdown did not do better ratings than Raw years ago and I’m confused as to why.

If I’m not mistaken this was around the time that Paul E. was running Smackdown and the Smackdown 6 was the best thing going, which would place it in the Reign of Terror days as well. From what I understand Smackdown was given a bunch of the top guys in part because the thought among the brass was that Triple H would carry Raw virtually single-handedly, and Smackdown was consistently drawing more viewers than Raw, and for some reason this was seen as a problem and essentially sabotaged straight from the top.

Is this an apocryphal rumor? I mean for a company to actively work toward one of it’s products’ decline in order to make another look better seems so stupid it’s bordering on criminal, given WWE was a publicly traded company.

Was this because Heyman had enemies who didn’t want his show outperforming Vince’s? Vince couldn’t possibly have been so protective of Triple H’s ego that he would make his product look bad in order to protect the illusion that Triple H was a bigger star than he was, could he?

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​It doesn’t seem outside of the realm of possibility, but it’s not like there’s definitive proof or anything. I think that Heyman having powerful enemies seems more likely, because that one I HAVE heard first-hand stories about​ from people who were there at the time. And hey, it’s hard to put any kind of pettiness past Vince McMahon at this point.