For Raw, they actually did something right with the Cruiserweights this time around. While I was upset that Enzo Amore did win the championship from Neville at No Mercy, what they decided to do after this really has my attention. Amore decided that he needed to throw a celebration for his championship win and in doing so, he ran down the entire division by insulting them and acting like he was in a different league compared to them. This led to Neville (who was looking like he hadn’t slept in days since losing the championship like he did last time he lost) coming out and beating up Amore on behalf of the division. Then, when Raw went off the air, each Cruiserweight got their shots in on Amore as well. Overall, this story makes sense that everybody is angry that Amore is the champion and it makes for an even better story to see where this is going to lead for 205 live.
For Smackdown, Randy Orton crashing Rusev’s “Pride of Bulgaria” celebration was very entertaining. Rusev gloated so much (which was hilarious) after beating Orton last week that in Bulgaria, they announced that September 26, 2017 was National Rusev Day. This led to an introduction to the day and Aiden English decided to dedicate a song to this day. Then, in the middle of the song, Randy Orton snuck up on English and gave him an RKO, and then ended up giving Rusev one as well. The rivalry between these two has really heated up and I am interested to see where this goes as these two have beaten each other in record times and now it is time to settle the score.
For Raw, what they have planned for Finn Balor going forward has some good and some really bad. The good is that he said that since he is done with Bray Wyatt, he can focus on reclaiming the Universal Championship he never lost. But, then after Balor defeated Goldust in a one-on-one match, Bray Wyatt interrupted him with a child singing Bray’s favorite song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Balor clearly said he was done with his rivalry with Wyatt and I think the fans are done with this rivalry too, so why is it starting another chapter in it?
For Smackdown, the program they have going for Shinsuke Nakamura and Jinder Mahal is not going as good as it should be. We have had the same shtick for the last few weeks of Mahal coming out and insulting Nakamura through pictures. This was the same case this week except that one of the pictures of Nakamura turned out to be him standing still and then Nakamura decided to come out to the ring and beat up Mahal and the Singh Brothers. This program is falling flat because it isn’t getting as much time as it should, and it isn’t doing anything to really make this rivalry feel important. Other than a few insults and a few moments of Nakamura standing tall, this rivalry feels stale and no matter what the end result is between this two, it feel like it won’t really matter and this is a WWE championship program.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows put on pretty good shows this week. Raw started to layout a blueprint for what it has planned for their upcoming PPV, TLC, and Smackdown was able to intensify and build some new matches for their PPV in less than two weeks, Hell in a Cell. This week though, I will have to give to Smackdown again. They did a great job of helping build up their tag team match between the Usos and the New Day by officially making it a Hell in a Cell match, they intensified the rivalry between Rusev and Randy Orton as well as AJ Styles and Baron Corbin, and they helped build a new rivalry between Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode. While Raw did lay out some groundwork for their upcoming PPV with Roman Reigns and the Miz as well as Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, they still had some moments that felt like filler to the show. In conclusion, Raw did put on a decent show, but from a build up to a PPV standpoint, Smackdown did a great job as they get ready for Hell in a Cell.