For Raw, the highlight reel with Chris Jericho was the best thing that happened during the show. Jericho was interacting with the crowd perfectly and really helped build up his WrestleMania match with Kevin Owens. Some of the insults included Jericho showing a picture of Owens when he was a kid, wearing a Chris Jericho t-shirt. This was an awesome sight because it just shows how much of a legend Chris Jericho is and it really helped put that extra in the story line that nobody saw coming. Along with that, they keep emphasizing the fact that Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens are starting to form a stable when they had Joe help Owens out by distracting Jericho so that he could sneak attack him.
For Smackdown, they did a fantastic job building up their WrestleMania matches this week. They helped intensify the rivalries of AJ Styles and Shane McMahon, Baron Corbin and Dean Ambrose, and Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. Out of all of these this week, they probably did the best with AJ Styles and Shane McMahon. Throughout the show, they ran a similar program to last week with AJ Styles waiting for McMahon in the parking lot, only for McMahon to outsmart Styles this week and be in the ring while he is still waiting for him in the lot. This led to a brawl between the two and the show ended with McMahon elbow dropping Styles through the announcers table. When I first heard rumors about this match happening at WrestleMania, I didn’t like the idea of it because Styles is such a good wrestler and he would be going up against somebody who doesn’t have as much experience like McMahon. But, Smackdown has done a great job making this match between these two personal and it makes me look forward to this fight.
For Raw, the show did have some moments where they were just having filler to kill time. A prime example of that was the 4-on-2 handicap match between all the tag teams in the championship match at WrestleMania. The match didn’t even last longer than five minutes and really didn’t accomplish anything other than the fact that Cesaro and Sheamus have some momentum going into their championship match. They also did the same thing with the Cruiserweight match between TJ Perkins and The Brian Kendrick. The match didn’t last longer than five minutes too and then they tried to run a promo of Kendrick saying he has Akira Tazawa’s passport, which left the crowd silent and confused.
For Smackdown, the match between Carmella and Becky Lynch really didn’t accomplish much either. The match lasted a few minutes before Natalya interfered and then it sparked a brawl between all of the Smackdown women competitors. Now, I am all for all out brawls between superstars, but they should’ve at least given the two performers some time to work with each other before the match gets interrupted.
The Final Verdict
Last week, I said that Smackdown needed to have a great show and to take advantage of the opportunities to build up their matches at WrestleMania. Well, they did that this week and they had the better show than Raw this week. I will admit that Raw did have a great job of building up their primary matches on their show, but Smackdown had that little extra this week to really make me look forward to their matches at WrestleMania. Also, Smackdown had me laughing a lot this week with the promos that The Miz and Maryse were running on John Cena and Nikki Bella along with the Fandango-John Cena match too. In conclusion, both shows did a great job this week, but Smackdown did a better job this week getting us prepared for WrestleMania!