Ah, WWE SmackDown vs. RAW on PSP - no matter how good last year's game may have been, the thing that people remember most vividly is the fact that it had horribly long load times. The developers remembered this, too; they made a focused effort to drastically reduce loading. And it worked: the loads aren't lightning quick, but they are far faster, now measuring in double-digit seconds instead of minutes.
Almost all of the improvements and upgrades from the console games have been crammed into this handheld version. However, the new control scheme feels less intuitive on the right-analog-stick-less PSP. You can do the "total control" moves by pressing the R and circle buttons together to lock up, then either press circle again or move towards an environmental hot spot and use the analog stick just as you would on the console versions. It's like a mash-up of the old and new control schemes.
Virtually every mode in the PS2 version is in here (the PS2's customizable 3D Locker Room and online play have been excluded, just like they were last year), meaning you can create a custom character with a custom entrance using the streamlined interface. As expected, there are little pauses between options in these creation modes while the PSP accesses the data. Actually, there are sometimes little pauses during matches as the data streams from the UMD.