Smackdown is Dead! Long Live Smackdown!

Scott Hudson


Oh God, here we go. When you go to MGM Studios in Orlando and you get in line for the Aerosmith Rock â<80>~n Roller Coaster and you wait for two hours and you finally get in the car – the adrenaline rush is intoxicating because the build-up was so, so good. We just got in line. And the ride is called â<80><9c>Smackdown Mountain.â<80> Whoooooo!

The CW (the network named after the man who wrote and performed the 70’s anthem â<80><9c>Convoyâ<80>), has shown Smackdown the proverbial door after, basically, 10 years. In many ways, a television show being cancelled is hardly news. Jeez, they cancelled â<80><9c>Emilyâ<80><99>s Reasons Why Notâ<80> and nobody batted an eye. But Smackdown, to its everlasting credit, was no ordinary TV show. It was original programing at least 50 weeks per year – every year. Simple math puts the total episode count at, uh, over 100 (yeah its about 500, Iâ<80><99>m joking.) That is a helluva run. The Simpsons, Fox TVâ<80><99>s programing stallion, has been on the air almost 20 years and is nowhere near 400 episodes. So huzzah to the WWE and Smackdown for bringing wrestling to network TV for as long as they did.

Every other website will offer up eulogies to Smackdown, assuming it never comes back, (that was dramatic foreshadowing by the way)…and give the 10 Best Moments in Smackdown History or the 5 Smackdown Episodes You Canâ<80><99>t Miss or the Top 30 Smackdown Diva Nip Slips and Squirrel Shots. But not here. I do not want to look back. I want to look forward. So I present:

The Top Ten Networks Smackdown May End Up On

10. Oxygen: Boy, talk about an extreme makeover. Gone will be all references to divas or puppies or bras or panties (unless its in this new â<80><9c>real women have curves so fatties can go mainstreamâ<80> context). Say hello to â<80><9c>Rachael Rayâ<80><99>s 30 Minute Catering Mealsâ<80> and â<80><9c>Dr. Philâ<80><99>s Dressing Room Couchâ<80> (co-hosted by Michael Hayes).

9. CBN: Here is the marketing opportunity of a lifetime. The WWE loves, adores, and worships long promos and what is a sermon if not a long promo? It seems every legendary wrestler at some point works the Jesus gimmick (Iâ<80><99>m looking yâ<80><99>allâ<80><99>s way Nikita, Budro, Luger…) So the talent roster just increased and the payroll just dropped through the pulpit. Itâ<80><99>s a win-win. And no more Phil Muchnick columns either.

8. Fox News: Things do not appear to be going the way of the Republican party this year so these guys are hurting for programing. Segments! Segments! Segments! â<80><9c>Fatu on Fox,â<80> â<80><9c>The Cassidy Oâ<80><99>Reilly Factor,â<80> and â<80><9c>McMahonâ<80><99>s Americaâ<80> all sound ratings winners. Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and John Bradshaw Layfield have endorsed Republican candidates for president so they already have a comfortable home on the â<80><9c>fair and balancedâ<80> network.

7. Discovery Health Channel: after weekly documentaries about the ravages of prescription drugs, alcohol, HGH, gas, ice, crack, pot, scoop, dip, Raid and cheese – see the after-effects live and in color! â<80><9c>Youâ<80><99>ve seen the science, now fell….THE SMACKDOWN!â<80>

6. The National Geographic Channel: Hello roster re-alignment. The Animal, The Dragon, The Cat, The Big Cat, The Russian Bear, The Birdman, Gator, The Snake, The Bulldogs – theyâ<80>~re all back! And donâ<80><99>t forget for many, many year the National Geographic guys got away with murder by showing bare boobs on television under the guise of showing native women in their natural habitat. Need I say more?

5. TNT: I hear theyâ<80><99>ve had experience at this sort of thing.

4. RFD-TV: Imagine a talent line-up featuring Uncle Elmer, Hillbilly Jim, Cousin Luke, Festus, The Mighty Wilbur, Phinneas and Henry Godwin, Trevor Murdoch, Trucker Norm, The Blacktop Bully, Thurman â<80><9c>Sparkyâ<80> Plugg. This stuff just writes itself. And Imus hasnâ<80><99>t exactly been a Neilsen bonanza.

3. MTV: There are three things that matter at Music Television: ratings, ratings, and ratings. Since Music Television never plays music, how about we re-imagine Smackdown as a reality show like â<80><9c>The Hillsâ<80> staring Van Hammer, Man Mountain Rock, Michael Hayes, Ricky Morton and Lillian Garcia.

2. TVLand: Its basically halfway there now. Who were the television contemporaries of Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka, and Ric Flair? Andy Griffith, John Ritter, and Farah Fawcett, of course! And where does one find the finest work of those thespians? You know the answer.

1. The Games Show Network: Steve Beverly, call your service! â<80><9c>Are You Smarter Than A Divaâ<80> certainly has promise. â<80><9c>Tell me, Beth Phoenix, who is buried in Grantâ<80><99>s Tomb? It is a) Grant, b) a shovel, c) you, or d) Thursday?â<80> â<80><9c>Well, since I know you canâ<80><99>t repeat the question, Iâ<80><99>ll go with e) all of the above.â<80>

Will Smackdown be back on the air? Of course. When and where? No idea. My guess is that it doesnâ<80><99>t miss a week and magically appears on another in the family of networks owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of USA Network. This opens the door for Smackdown to move to ION, Chiller, DivaTV, The Hallmark Channel International or Telemundo. And you thought I was joking.

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