10 Ways Paul Heyman's Smackdown Was The Best Ever

The creative genius helped transform the dying blue brand into must-see television in 2002.

Does anyone watch Smackdown these days? Repetitive, derivative and colourless, the show has been on autopilot for some time. It's clearly just another WWE show now, a couple of steps above Superstars and Main Event but several steps below Raw in the pecking order. When WWE decided to split the roster into two separate touring brands in spring 2002, they split the writing team, too. Raw was penned by Brian Gewirtz, while Stephanie McMahon and Paul Heyman oversaw Smackdown (both shows had to be run by Vince, of course). Although the exact timeline is a little sketchy, Heyman's official tenure as head writer for Smackdown lasted between July 8th 2002 and February 27th 2003, approximately (although he stayed on as a consultant until 2005). In that time, Heyman helped to not only distinguish Smackdown from Raw, but to many fans, critics and insiders he also helped make Smackdown the company's best show. When Heyman took over, Smackdown was on the verge of cancellation, with UPN not happy with the ratings or the show's content. Internally in WWE, all the attention was on Raw, which was also going through something of a ratings crisis. Raw was still the flagship, whereas Smackdown was very much viewed as the 'B' show. Heyman helped to change that, albeit temporarily, by turning around ratings and winning over fans, old and new. Smackdown may be a whole lot of nothing these days, but Heyman's version of the show was the best ever. Here's why...

Student of film. Former professional wrestler. Supporter of Newcastle United. Don't cry for me, I'm already dead...