Difference between Raw and Smackdown

Key difference: WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown are entertainment wresting programs. Raw was launched in 1993, Smackdown in 1999. They have different airtimes, formats, and day of telecast. Smackdown is considered by many to be secondary to Raw.

RAW and Smackdown are both entertainment wresting programs by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the professional wrestling company. Both shows feature professional wrestlers fighting with each other in pre arranged matches. Raw first aired on January 11, 1993, on the USA Network, and Smackdown began airing on April 29, 1999, on the UPN television network. At the launch of Smackdown, Raw was already quite popular.

Raw is the flagship program of WWE. Currently, it has a huge audience and fan following in up to 145 countries. Many of these fans claim that Smackdown is a secondary blue brand as compared to the red brand, Raw. They say that Raw features better wrestlers, the crème de la crème, whereas Smackdown features wrestlers who are not good enough to be included on Raw.

Many avid pro wrestling viewers also claim that Raw is much fancier in nature than Smackdown. This could be due to the odd storylines that the writers incorporate into the show to increase ratings. Traditional wrestling fans claim that these stories overshadow the wresting, which is not even authentic anymore. However, the shows continue to pick up additional younger fans that tend to love the added entertainment value.

Despite what different fans claim, only one thing is for certain, Raw and Smackdown are two shows created by two separate creative teams, in attempt to offer different levels of entertainment for the varied tastes of audiences that love wrestling.

A comparison of Raw and Smackdown follows:



WWE Smackdown


Sports entertainment

Professional wrestling

Sports entertainment

Professional wrestling


Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon

Opening theme

"Tonight is the Night" by Jim Johnston

"Know Your Enemy" by Green Day





USA Network; moved to TNN/Spike TV in 2000; moved back to USA Network in 2005 to present

The UPN television network; on The CW after 2006; moved to MyNetworkTV in 2008; on Syfy from 2010 to present

Number of seasons



Number of episodes



Airs on

Monday nights

Friday nights since 2005


180 minutes

120 minutes

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