For Raw, the opening segment with a majority of the competitors in the main event of Extreme Rules was a great way to start off their show. It started off with Bray Wyatt giving his spiel only to be interrupted by Roman Reigns. This led to a match between the two competitors, which wasn’t a bad match. But, things got entertaining when Samoa Joe came out to attack Reigns because this would lead to Seth Rollins coming out too because he still has unfinished business with Joe and it also gave a fans a Shield reunion since Reigns and Rollins were fighting side-by-side. The more they push this match, the bigger the match feels and the more unpredictable it is going to be.
For Smackdown, the tag team championship match rematch between Breezango and the Usos was the most entertaining and exciting part of the show. After Breezango defeated both Uso brothers in singles matches in under a minute, they asked for a championship match, which the Usos gladly accepted. The match they put on had lots of close pinfalls and featured an exciting finish by Fandango hitting his leg drop only to get caught by a frog splash by one of the Usos for the pinfall. Breezango has taken full advantage of the TV time they are getting and has really helped establish another team in the tag team division that we can get behind, which definitely helps Smackdown since their tag team division is so thin.
For Raw, the Cruiserweight match between Akira Tozawa and Ariya Daivari was nothing special and just felt like filler. They tried to have The Brian Kendrick commentate on the match from backstage, which was different, but didn’t feel right. They have been pushing this rivalry between Tozawa and Kendrick for weeks now, but it is a program that nobody really seems to care about and it has over welcomed its push.
For Smackdown, another week of no Rusev in the program is very frustrating as a fan. I thought he would be one of the six competitors announced in the Money in the Bank match, but instead he had somebody like Dolph Ziggler take his spot. That is a shame considering how talented Rusev is, and Smackdown didn’t help by having him run promos asking for a championship match at Money in the Bank, only to not even be considered for an opportunity for one.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows have to prepare for their upcoming PPVs. Raw has Extreme Rules, which is in a few weeks and Smackdown announced that Money in the Bank is four weeks away and they needed to establish a few matches going into the PPV. Both shows did a good job building up the matches they have set. They both were able to do this by having the competitors in their main events for the PPVs compete in these shows. This week though, I will have to give to Smackdown because we got to see something we haven’t seen yet in WWE, which was seeing AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura team up, which was a sight WWE fans thought they would never see. Not only that, but they also had a wonderful celebration for Jinder Mahal as he bragged to the WWE Universe about finally becoming champion, which helps build Mahal’s credibility more now that they have put him on the big stage like this. Lastly, Smackdown announced a Fatal 5-way elimination match for next week’s show to determine who will be the #1 contender for the Women’s championship, which gives fans a reason to tune in next week! While Raw did have some great moments on their show (Goldust promo, Finn Balor, etc.), I feel like they could’ve delivered more since their PPV is right around the corner.