For Raw, the hype for the Brock Lesnar versus Samoa Joe match is real. What they did this week was perfect when building up a story between two guys like this. Samoa Joe, who is known for sneak attacking, was able to do it this week as he snuck up on Lesnar as he was on his way to the ring. Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch on Lesnar until his face turned purple and Lesnar tried to fight back by ramming Joe into the stage. Eventually, superstars from the locker room had to pull Joe off of Lesnar and separate the two again. The buildup to this match has been extraordinary and their match at Great Balls of Fire will be awesome.
For Smackdown, Randy Orton knows when to turn things up a notch when it comes to rivalries. While this Jinder Mahal versus Randy Orton rivalry hasn’t been the best WWE Championship rivalry, Orton the past few weeks has really heated up this rivalry by showing more passion and anger towards Mahal and the Singh Brothers to the point where he doesn’t care if he wins the championship, he just wants to hurt them. This reminds me of the old Randy Orton who would punt people in the head and have no sympathy about it, and we have missed that fire from Orton. He cut a promo saying that he doesn’t care where or when, he just wants to beat up Mahal, which led to Shane McMahon coming out and letting Orton know that he will get his rematch at Battleground, but Mahal gets to pick the stipulation. Mahal then came out and stated that it would be a Punjabi Prison match. Now, in the past, Punjabi Prison matches haven’t been the best matches, but that is mostly because the competitors have been guys like The Great Khali and the Big Show that have been featured in the match. So, having this match with two guys who are more agile, it should be interesting what these two can do inside this structure.
For Raw, while the segment with Lavar Ball and his family was entertaining, it was definitely unorganized and just thrown together at the last second. People were cutting each other off on the microphone and at one point; Dean Ambrose was at a loss of words when on the microphone and his music cut him off. While this did lead to a 6-man tag match between Dean Ambrose, Rhyno, and Heath Slater vs. The Miz and his “Miztourage” which was a decent match, the whole skit should’ve been a little more systematized.
For Smackdown, the women’s money in the bank Ladder match was really nothing special. After all the hype they put on it, it really didn’t turn out to be as good of a match as it should’ve been. The match at the PPV was better than this one. There were no huge bumps that any of the women took and the match result ended up being the same. Overall, very disappointing main event for how much buildup they put behind it.
The Final Verdict
Smackdown laid out a few matches that they have upcoming for their PPV, Battleground, and Raw built up matches they currently have going for Great Balls of Fire as well as built up new matches for their PPV as well. When it comes to this week, I will have to give it to Raw because of how they helped build up their matches for their PPV. We had another week of Braun Strowman owning Roman Reigns by throwing him in an ambulance to get a preview of their upcoming match, we have a new #1 contender for the Women’s Championship with Sasha Banks, we got to see that the Big Cass and Enzo break up is for sure, R-Truth and Goldust are far from over, and we got one step closer to seeing Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe absolutely destroy each other. Awesome stuff from Raw all around and their upcoming PPV should be awesome. Smackdown has nothing to be ashamed of though because they do have a few matches laid out for their next upcoming PPV and I look forward to them, but the lack of intensity of their main event ladder match this week really hurt them.