For Raw, the opening segment with Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, and the Miz was very entertaining. While I will admit that the segment was pretty long, each superstar was able to get their time on the microphone, which all of these guys are good at, and helped build up matches. I am disappointed that Dean Ambrose vs. the Miz will not be on Payback though because they have been pushing this rivalry for the past few weeks, so you’d think they would top it off with a match at Payback, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. With Kevin Owens on Smackdown, it is hard to build up the match with Chris Jericho, but Jericho did his best work to help keep the match relevant and still put the thought of the possibility that Jericho might end up on Smackdown.
For Smackdown, they really are called the land of opportunity for a reason and they gave that opportunity to Breezango. The duo won a “Beat the Clock” challenge to become number one contenders for the tag team championship after beating The Ascension. Fans were worried that Breezango was going to have the role of jobbers especially after seeing Tyler Breeze dress up like Nikki Bella a month ago. But, WWE realized that the crowd was getting behind them because of their humor and now we can take them more serious as they will be challenging the Usos. Now, while I do not think they will win this match, it definitely is nice to see fresh faces in the championship hunt.
For Raw, I couldn’t help but laugh at the Roman Reigns promo they ran during the show because it showed how lost WWE can be with their fan base (see below). They tried to force it down the fans’ throat that he is a good guy and even played his infamous “This is my Yard now” quote after WrestleMania as it was an inspirational thing by blocking out all of the boo’s. At this point, I just find it funny that WWE is trying anything and everything to get Roman Reigns cheered, when this will never happen with the majority of the crowd unless they change something up with him. If Reigns wins at Payback over Strowman, expect there to be huge criticism from the fans, as if there isn’t enough.
For Smackdown, as great as the Women’s Championship match was, to end the show on a disqualification is wrong. Naomi and Charlotte were putting on a great match for the main event of Smackdown, but then Tamina, Carmella, and Natalya all interfered, attacking both competitors and letting the match end in a DQ. I understand the story of the other women wrestlers getting angry at Charlotte by her immediately getting a title match, but have those three cost her the match instead of interfering and leaving the fans on a cliffhanger.
The Final Verdict
Overall, Raw had the go home show before Payback and I thought they really would put emphasis on the matches for their show, but that didn’t seem to be the case this week. While they did a really good job at focusing on Strowman vs. Reigns, I feel like that is the only match they really focused on. They did have Bray Wyatt do a promo on the House of Horrors match that he will have with Randy Orton, but the fact that we know nothing about this match and we have had week after week of Wyatt being all talk and no action, really makes this match feel stale. With that said, I will say that both shows were pretty disappointing this week, but I will give it to Smackdown this week. I will give it to them this week because they did a pretty good job at building up future matches they have coming up either on their shows or their next PPV, Backlash. They helped build up the AJ Styles vs. Whoever the US Champion is after Payback match (more than likely Kevin Owens), Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal, and now they have new number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship. In conclusion, while both shows really didn’t put on anything great, Raw was more of a letdown this week since they have a PPV coming up this Sunday, so for that, Smackdown gets the upper hand this week.