For Raw, the ending when Smackdown invaded Raw was a great blueprint for what Survivor Series is going to hold. Shane McMahon and Smackdown Live superstars invaded Raw near the end of the show and took out most of the locker room. This lays out the first strike in what should be many on the road to Survivor Series. Along with that, most of the matches got announced for the PPV as it will be champions versus champions, which has some very promising matchups such as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose versus The Usos and Brock Lesnar versus Jinder Mahal.
For Smackdown, they did another good job of helping build up the team of Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable as they prepare to take on the Usos for the tag team championship soon. Benjamin and Gable put on a good match versus the New Day and they were able to walk out the winners after Benjamin kneed Xavier Woods in the back. The Usos were on commentary for this match too and they did a good job of staying focused on talking about Gable and Benjamin as well as preparing for their match against Rollins and Amborse at Survivor Series. While we do not know when these two teams will face off for the championship, it is a match we should look forward to.
For Raw, Finn Balor getting destroyed by Kane didn’t make much sense. Balor was fresh off one of the biggest wins of his WWE Career by defeating AJ Styles at TLC, only to get beaten by Kane in less than five minutes the next night. While I do understand trying to build up Kane for a program with Braun Strowman, there are so many other people on the roster that Kane could’ve beaten to help this other than Balor. Also, if Balor is the next one to challenge Lesnar for the Universal Championship, then how does losing to Kane help him?
For Smackdown, another week of Baron Corbin looking bad is starting to make the United States Championship look weak. Even though Corbin lost by DQ because he couldn’t stop beating up Sin Cara after the referee’s five count, Corbin hasn’t won a match since winning the United States Championship. He has lost both matches to Sin Cara and I would assume that Cara is in line to get a championship match soon since he is 2-0 against the champion. So far, going from AJ Styles to Baron Corbin as US Champion has taken a decline, and that’s not good considering that this is one of the main championships on the show.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were very good this week. They have laid out the matches for Survivor Series and there are still lots to be told about these matches too. Smackdown landed the first blow in this buildup as they snuck up on Raw and attacked their superstars during the Raw broadcast. Smackdown did have moments during their broadcast that felt like Raw was possibly going to counterattack them, but that never happened, which makes for good storytelling knowing that the retaliation is coming back, we just don’t know when. Overall, I will have to give this week to Smackdown. Not only did they strike first in the rivalry versus Raw for Survivor Series, but they also put on a really good show this week. They helped build up two different programs for Jinder Mahal as he gets ready for Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series as well as his number one contender, AJ Styles. This build up can also be said for the Usos as they prepare for Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as well as Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. They also are laying out a possibility of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens not being able to represent Smackdown at Survivor Series, which could led to a different match for them. Lastly, Smackdown also had a great Fashion Files promo. In conclusion, both shows were very entertaining this week, but Smackdown was able to put on a better show and strike first for Survivor Series.