As the Royal Rumble is coming closer and closer, WWE Raw and Smackdown keep trying to build up stories as we head into one of the biggest PPV’s of the year. Let’s see how each show did this week.
For Raw, having the United States Championship change hands at the end of the show was a real curve ball that I didn’t see coming. Especially, considering that Chris Jericho (who is rumored to be leaving very soon to go perform on tour with his band) is now the champion.
Week in and week out, we have been seeing different variations of Roman Reigns fighting JeriKO, and the fans have been getting really bored of seeing this. This time though, Raw mixed it up and made it a 2-on-1 handicap match for the United States Championship.
I really thought Raw was going to go in the direction of making Roman Reigns look as strong as possible going into the Royal Rumble, but, WWE decided that they’d rather have JeriKO to get the momentum going.
It will be interesting to see where the United States Championship goes from here because this is the first time that Chris Jericho has held this belt throughout his career and it should definitely help keep the titles prestigious history with a big name like Jericho holding onto the belt.
For Smackdown, the build up to the story-lines they have been pushing for have been excellent. Whether it is between Nikki Bella and Natalya, where they were brawling on the show to the point where the fans started chanting “LET THEM FIGHT, LET THEM FIGHT” or the buildup of a possible Wyatt Family break up after they failed to catch the Tag Team Championship from American Alpha.
We can also put in the Dean Ambrose and Miz story-line, the Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch story-line, and the John Cena and AJ Styles story-line in there too (the list goes on and on!). There are so many different rivalries and all of them have such great back stories behind them and every week, Smackdown consistently delivers either a great promo to help build it up, or they have a match between the rivals and they end up putting on a great match.
Expect another great show next week when they have the Women’s Championship on the line in a Steel Cage Match between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch.
For Raw, the entire Shawn Michaels, Rusev, Enzo and Cass, Jinder Mahal, etc. promo. This was a segment that I felt was meant to shamelessly advertise for Shawn Michaels’ new movie as well as kill some TV time for Raw.
This segment was bad from the beginning and the match made from it wasn’t much better at all. They ended up putting Big Cass against Jinder Mahal and the match was slowly paced, and featured a botch near the end when Big Cass tried to perform one of his moves.
The only bright spot in the segment was Rusev calling himself the “Bulgarian George Clooney” because Rusev is a fantastic worker and you can tell he is trying his best to work with what he is given.
Overall, this segment was really pointless and even though it did intensify the rivalry of Big Cass and Rusev, they could’ve done something much better to build up the rivalry than this.
For Smackdown, once again, there was nothing really bad that happened on the show. Every story line that they have going was built up very well on the show and really have people looking forward to see what the future holds.
Ultimately, Raw needs to learn from Smackdown on how to build up a good rivalry and learn how to use the TV time effectively to help tell a story.
The Final Verdict
Overall, Smackdown wins this week again. Even though Raw tried its best by bringing back the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels on their show, Smackdown delivers the better and more watchable program every week.
I do really like the fact that Raw decided to put the United States Championship on Chris Jericho because he deserves some sort of championship after looking at how much he has gotten over with the crowd.
But, Raw just has too much time on their hands and run segments that, we know as the fans, are just killing time, while Smackdown is taking full advantage of their TV and take the time to tell a story and help build up rivalries.