Now that WWE has split its shows into separate brands, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, and one show is average-to-bad, Raw, while one show is average-to-good, SmackDown, fans have been looking for an explanation.
What’s gotten around most is the idea that Vince McMahon is hands on in all the decision making on Raw, which is why it’s so often bad, and he’s hands off in all the decision making on SmackDown, which is why it’s so often good.
Thankfully, Dave Meltzer put this to bed in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but recommended):
For whatever reason, some people want to convince themselves that Vince McMahon is in charge of Raw but not Smackdown, as if the idea that everything bad is Vince’s fault but because they like Smackdown, it must be HHH or Ryan Ward and Vince has nothing to do with it. Vince is hands on and in 100 percent control of both shows.
We could debate forever what makes SmackDown better than Raw on most weeks — my argument continues to be that the blue brand benefits from how bad the red brand is on most weeks simply by running for an hour less and being less offensive in nature — but there’s no debate on who runs both shows.
It’s Vince. It’s always been Vince. While he’s there, it’s always going to be Vince.