After several months of speculation, it seems that Smackdown will indeed move back to Thursday nights, starting in October.
While nothing official has been released yet, SyFy released their schedule for the fall, and, according to their October calendar, Smackdown is slated for Thursdays.
This comes shortly after a WWE production truck was seen advertising a Thursday timeslot. So, it appears that for the first time since 2005, Smackdown will be shown on Thursdays.
So what does this mean for Smackdown? Many people have cited the move to Fridays as the reason for Smackdown's irrelevancy lately in the WWE landscape. Though that might be a contributing factor, while the brand split was still intact, Smackdown was a show that was worth watching on a weekly basis.
It wasn't until the split really started to fray around 2010 (and then ended officially in 2011) that Smackdown became less worthwhile. However, as with any move -- whether it's to a new channel, or new timeslot -- you'd have to think that the WWE would try to promote it more.
There's certainly a large chunk of the wrestling audience that doesn't watch Smackdown regularly because of its timeslot. But will a move to Thursday help increase that audience?
The one thing this move has against it is that back in 2005, there were not NFL games every Thursday night.
With Thursday Night Football on CBS in addition to NFL Network, that's a major chunk of audience that will be watching the NFL instead of Smakdown.
Add that to the regular Thursday night shows, opposed to the lack of competition on Fridays, and you have to wonder if there will really be an increase in ratings for Smackdown.
It will likely take a concentrated effort by WWE to raise the show's profile. It wasn't that long ago that a claim could be made that Smackdown was better than RAW. Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer listed Smackdown as the best weekly show as recently as 2011.
However, the WWE has to want Smackdown to be good to make it relevant in a tough Thursday landscape.
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