Difference Between Raw and Smackdown

Raw vs Smackdown

RAW and Smackdown are entertainment television programs that involve professional wrestlers fighting with each other in pre arranged matches. Both are brand names of WWE, which is the professional wrestling company in the world. WWE was earlier known as WWF but changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment because the initials were used by World Wide Fund for Nature. WWE was created in 2002, and because of an overabundance of professional wrestlers who were super stars in their own right, the company decided to televise two separate programs RAW and Smackdown. This article intends to highlight the differences between these two programs.


It is a series of entertainment wrestling matches that made its appearance for the first time in 1993, and till date the program is aired on Monday nights. RAW is considered as the flagship program of WWE with a huge audience and a fan following that extends to nearly 145 countries of the world. From 1997, the show became a 2-hour program with the first hour known as Raw and the 2nd hour as ‘The War Zone’. Collectively, the program was labeled as RAW is War.


RAW was already running at the peak of its popularity when the company decided to test the waters. It telecasted a program titled Smackdown in April 1999, but because of the tremendous response from the audience, WWE decided to make it a weekly program and turned out one with Smackdown Thursdays in August 1999. However, it went back to Fridays in 2005. Currently being aired on Syfy network, Smackdown first appeared on the UPN network.


What is the difference between Raw and Smackdown?

• To a casual observer, it would seem that both RAW and Smackdown are similar programs with virtually no difference. Though technically both involve professional wrestling for entertainment, there are differences in format, day of telecast, and the wrestlers that take part in both.

• RAW is older of the two programs being aired since 1993 while Smackdown first aired in 1999.

• More than a thousand shows of RAW have so far been telecast while Smackdown stands at less than half this number.

• While both are weekly programs, RAW is aired on Monday nights while Smackdown is aired on Thursday nights.

• RAW is the flagship program of WWE though Smackdown is not far behind in popularity

• Wrestlers are divided in the two shows of WWE, to lure people to watch both the programs.