Daniel Bryan: John Cena's Free Agent Status Shows SmackDown Still "Playing Second Fiddle" To RAW

When SmackDown mainstay John Cena returns to TV from hiatus on July 4th, he's going to be a "Free Agent," meaning he'll be able to appear on either brand--floating between Raw and SmackDown.

A lot of people think this shows WWE's overall preferential treatment toward RAW. One of those people is SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan.

"I don't know how it's going to play out," Bryan began with a caveat.  "Traditionally, this is what happens: Nothing is spared for SmackDown. And that's part of what makes us the underdog, and the underdog brand, right?"

Bryan continued his truth-telling:

"The WWE, as a corporate entity, puts Raw first. They're the flagship show, and SmackDown Live is always kind of playing second fiddle when you're talking about the executives and how they look at the two shows. So they are always going to do what they think is best for Raw."

But Bryan says that might be a blessing in disguise: "Sometimes, that actually makes SmackDown better. So yeah, I'll be interested to see how it plays out, but I think the crew that we have for SmackDown Live right now is really good. And if we can optimize the men and women that we have right now, I think we can put out a product that is much better than Raw."

Cena has already been advertised for RAW house shows occurring within a week of the SmackDown-exclusive PPV Battleground, for which he is also advertised.

You can read the entire interview at Fox Sports.

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