The Big Mosh sent this recap in:
MyNetworkTV’s Executive Vice-President, Paul Franklin, Discusses The WWE Decade Of SmackDown Special, The Network’s Growth Over The Past Year, Will SmackDown Go Live On A Permanent Basis, The Undertaker/Rey Mysterio/Batista’s Return To SD, What Jeff Hardy & Edge’s Departures Have Done To The Program, & If The WWE/MyNetworkTV Are Tired Of Critics Referring To SmackDown As The “B-Show”
MyNetworkTV’s Executive Vice-President, Paul Franklin, was one of the special guests on this week’s live edition (09/28/09) of Monday Night Mayhem (presented by ReelWrestling.com), hosted by The Big Mosh, Blade, “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent, & “Wild” Bill Brown. You can feel The Mayhem live & in streaming audio every Monday night (at 8PM ET/7PM CT), exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network (www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.ITunes.com. www.AudioWrestling.com, www.Facebook.com/MondayNightMayhem, www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem, & www.OnlineWorldOfWrestling.com).
Paul’s return appearance on The Mayhem (as part of the “MNM Fall Tour ’09”) is now available for free in Windows Streaming Media, or via The Mayhem’s official Podcast On ITunes:
Paul Franklin/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Streaming Audio): http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/waxfiles/092809.wax?
Paul Franklin/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Podcast On ITunes): http://www.mondaynightmayhemarchives.com/sept09/092809.mp3
Here are some of the highlights of Paul’s exclusive interview, provided by The Mayhem’s host & executive producer, John “The Big Mosh” Masiulionis:
Prior to the WWE Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View this Sunday night, the eyes of the wrestling world once again shift to Boston, as World Wrestling Entertainment gets ready to celebrate the tenth-anniversary of SmackDown. Since 1999, SmackDown has presented some of the most-memorable moments, memories, & mayhem that fans across the world have ever seen. For one night only, some of the defining superstars & personalities in SmackDown history will return, including: The Rock, JBL, Vickie Guerrero, Michael Cole, & many more! This two-hour special will also be headlined by an eight-man inter-brand attraction: The Undertaker, DX (Triple H & “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels), & WWE Champion John Cena vs. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, Randy Orton, & Legacy (Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes).
As fans gear up for this celebration of epic proportions, Paul was welcomed back to The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network for his second-ever appearance. Mosh & “The Chairman Of The Board” briefly took The Mayhem Nation back to the beginning roots of SmackDown (in 1999), when many fans believed that the program would never have stood a chance at the success it has had…and throughout the past decade, changing networks, & timeslots, SmackDown is indeed bigger & better than ever. Paul is one of the main reasons for the successful transition from the CW to MyNetworkTV, and described his feelings on looking ahead “We’re just so thrilled to be a partner with the WWE every Friday night with SmackDown. It’s obviously been a huge success for us, and we are just thrilled that we have managed to continue to maintain the success of the show. We are really, really excited about what’s going to be coming Friday night.”
The relationship between World Wrestling Entertainment & MyNetworkTV is still in its infancy stages. Paul was asked how he would grade the working ties & relationship between the network & the WWE. “From the network’s perspective, it’s been an A+. The McMahon’s & everybody associated with the WWE & SmackDown in particular have been fantastic partners. We have had a great working relationship. We have been thrilled with the direction of the program, and we feel very fortunate. This is going to be milestone moment in the history of MyNetworkTV on Friday night. We couldn’t be more pleased with what they are going to do with the show. The bulk of the ten years aired somewhere else, but yet here we’ve gone through our first season, and at the same time, they have lost no momentum, maybe even gained some momentum. It continues to be the cornerstone of what MyNetworkTV is all about.”
“Wild” Bill Brown asked Paul about the network’s future with the WWE, especially with the downturn in the economy, along with the recession over the past year. Businesses & networks tend to exhibit the “what have you done for me lately?” attitude. Is SmackDown’s future safe on MyNetworkTV. Paul was confidant in his response to The Mayhem Nation: “As long as the people that are currently here at MyNetworkTV…as far as we’re concerned, it’s not going anywhere. It is helped put MyNetworkTV on the map with the viewer. Our audience growth over the last year has been phenomenal. Here, we were perceived as a sort of small little network, and SmackDown remains the #1 program amongst all broadcasting cable networks in men 18-34…They’ve lost nothing in terms of their viewer base. All we have done is manage to grow. Our affiliates are happy with us, the network is certainly happy with us, and the corporation is happy with this particular program, so certaily for the foreseeable future, as long as we can be involved, we are gonna be involved.”
With SmackDown being taped every Tuesday night, there is a large percentage of the WWE Universe that would no doubt welcome the opportunity to see a live SmackDown experience on a weekly basis. Blade asked Paul if the idea of a transition from taping the program to airing it live has been discussed internally with the WWE & if any future specials are planned (such as the SmackDown prior to WrestleMania, which aired live from Houston). “That’s a tough one. We initially had some conversations along those lines. If they decide they wanted to go that route, we would certainly listen to it & welcome those kinds of opportunities. I think that they feel right now that’s it’s best doing the business the way they do it. We will work with them in any way, shape, or form if that’s something they would decide they’d want to do. I don’t know there is anything in the plans for that now.”
For years, some of the WWE’s harshest critics have referred to SmackDown as the “B-show,” with Monday Night RAW being the “A-show” for the company. In closing, Mosh asked Paul if MyNetworkTV over the past year is tired of having their program being referred to with that stigma, or are those “armchair quarterbacks” wrong in their assessment of their analysis — as when a show hits a ten-year milestone, that’s something they cannot even ignore. “I don’t know if getting tired of it is the right way to say it. The truth of the matter is that we understand & appreciate the value of RAW. It actually helps us. The stronger RAW only pushes more & more of the WWE fanbase to SmackDown. It helps SmackDown grown. We do a lot of cross-promotional type things with RAW. We totally understand & respect the importance that RAW is to the WWE franchise. However, SmackDown has put itself in a position these past ten years where it’s really hard to say one’s an ‘A’ & one’s a ‘B.’ I think they offer equal kind of value. We all know the importance of the Pay-Per-View. Without that Friday night cornerstone audience that SmackDown has, the Pay-Per-Views may or may not be as strong. These two brands are ultimately the strength of the WWE overall.”
More is contained in this Mayhem exclusive with MyNetwork’s Paul Franklin, including his candid thoughts & comments on having the opportunity to have The Undertaker, Batista, & Rey Mysterio rejoin SmackDown (and why he feels really good about what the WWE Creative Team has done for the show recently), what the effect of Jeff Hardy’s & Edge’s departures have had on the program, why CM Punk is “one to watch” on SmackDown, plus a look back at the top SmackDown moments/memories/superstars over the past year on MyNetworkTV (and throughout the best ten years overall).
While preparing to celebrate this historic show, check out the official Mayhem DVD review of the all-new “Best Of SmackDown 10th Anniversary” DVD, written by our very own “Wild” Bill Brown, in addition to The Mayhem’s exclusive WWE Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View Preview (featuring Scott Hudson, Jim Molineaux, & The History Of WWE.com’s Graham Cawthon). Register for The Mayhem’s official MySpace & Facebook pages (located at www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem & www.Facebook.com/MondayNightMayhem) this Friday night during the “Decade Of SmackDown” telecast, and win an exclusive copy of the “Best Of SmackDown 10th Anniversary” DVD (courtesy: TicketRelief.com). A special weekend is in store for The Mayhem Nation (thanks to The Big Mosh, Blade, & “The Chairman Of The Board” Todd Vincent), so be sure to log onto www.MondayNightMayhem.com.
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