On the latest episode of “Something to Wrestle”, Bruce Prichard discussed the 2004 draft that saw Triple H move to Smackdown only to be put back on Raw shortly thereafter. Here are the highlights:
On The Sole Triple H v Eddie Guerrero Match The Night Of The Draft:
God, I think it would’ve been an incredible issue. There was so much there to work with. And unfortunately, we got one out of it and that was it before Hunter went back to Raw. And at the same time, you kind of look at it, both characters were so strong, it would’ve been a little tough too. But for me, I thought that it brought out the very best in Eddie. And for Hunter, it showed that he could work with any and everybody. Unfortunately, we just got one out of it. I thought that the one that we got out of it was tremendous.
On Why Triple H Was Immediately Moved Back To Raw:
It was one of those that looked better in the store. I think that once Vince [McMahon] got a look at Smackdown and Raw, and he’s thinking, ‘Hmmm. I think Raw needs Triple H.’ And he wanted to make that. And we’re like, ‘Well. I thought the idea was we’re going to build some of these guys up.’ He says, ‘Yeah. but I need established talent to build them up,’ which I understand that as well. The idea was, ‘Nah. Let’s put him back on Raw.’ And we’re sitting there thinking, ‘OK.’ You do what you have to do. It was a little bit of once you saw and once you got it there and everything, it’s like. ‘Hmmm. Now that I’m looking at Raw and I’m looking at Smackdown, Smackdown’s loaded. Raw needs something else. He didn’t want to take away from a traditional Smackdown talent, or he didn’t want to move Eddie or anything like that because of the similarities with Benoit and felt that Benoit had been on Smackdown long enough, didn’t want to make that change. So, he put Hunter back on Raw and just felt that was stronger.
On The Perception That Smackdown Was A More Relaxed Locker Room & Didn’t Want Triple H There:
I think in general they did because you look at the being taped. There were wasn’t that immediacy to that. And there was a little bit more relaxed from the standpoint of, ‘If we screw something up, we can fix it.’ So, the pressure wasn’t on as much in those days from that standpoint. On Raw man, you had to be on. You had to f***ing hit it. You had to nail it every single week, and that pressure’s there. For some of the younger guys who never felt that, that’s a lot of f***ing pressure. And then when you’re on Smackdown, you’ve got a net underneath you. So, as far as the mood in the locker room and the different feel, yeah, there was definitely a different feel. When you get to Raw man, it was more intense because it was live. It was gotta go, gotta go, gotta go. And you gotta hit your times. If you go over three minutes on Raw, you f*** up the whole show. That happens on Smackdown, you’re like, ‘OK. I’m pissed off, but we can fix it. I can go back in post, and we can take something out.’ It’s not as do or die.
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Credit: Something to Wrestle. H/T 411Mania.