Oh crap, wrestler marking is now gonna lead to brand marking. These threads are gonna be even more of a shit show.
I think that Smackdown will end up around 2.5 million, give or take. I think that anything above 2.6 million would be surprising and a good sign.
I don't think that RAW will fall too much from around 3 million. People are programmed to watch that, it has the feeling of far more gravitas (and will probably be treated as such), and that's where all the really important stuff still happens.
I just don't buy that a lot of fans are gonna switch from there, because I feel what's left is pretty much hardcore fans anyway. Yeah, you have people saying "I'll only watch Smackdown now" but I'm not buying that the reality of that is really plentiful.
At the same time, 5 hours of television in a row is a lot, so I can only see the hardest of the hardcore sticking around for the next night. That's why I think there will be at least a 400,000 or 500,000 difference.
Another thing is that surprisingly, NXT wasn't at the top of the most watched network programs, meanwhile stuff like Swerved was, so that tells me that a show run more like NXT (which I think Smackdown will be) will not necessarily be something that the WWE fans will feel is necessary to watch.
SD has no excuse not to be beating Raw when Football starts, I agree with that. Between NFL games and having that 3rd hour, there is no reason for SD to not be beating Raw from September to December. THAT would be a major disappointment for SD if they aren't, at least, IMO. Just because the NFL is a monster, as we all know.
How can you say that, though, when you yourself said that Smackdown got MURDERED in the draft?
I just realized that if Dean loses on Sunday, 4 of the 5 champions will be on RAW.
It drives home the point even more that Smackdown is the B show. Viewers take cues from that.