For Raw, the debut of Woken Matt Hardy was great to see. If you would’ve told me that Matt Hardy would’ve actually won the rights to use this gimmick when he returned to the WWE in April, I would’ve said not a chance. But, here we are in December and it has made its debut and it feels like he is back to being fully committed to this gimmick. It fits perfectly against somebody as odd as Bray Wyatt too and I hope this rivalry gets the push it deserves because this could help boost both of these guys to back to the top.
For Smackdown, Rusev Day is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Aiden English and Rusev were able to defeat the New Day in a tag team match, which led to them getting put into the Tag Team Championship match at Clash of Champions, making it a fatal four way match. I love the Rusev Day idea and so does the WWE Universe (so much so that they had a Rusev Day chant to counter the “New Day Rocks” chant). Along with that, Aiden English has been doing a great job of committing to be a part of Rusev Day and hopefully this tag team can be more involved with the show because it is very entertaining when these two are around.
For Raw, the lack of having the Universal Champion on the show is obvious. Now, everybody is after Roman Reigns’ Intercontinental Championship instead of going after the main championship on the show. Due to this, this has caused a capacity of people asking to face off against Reigns instead of establishing a top contender. While I do understand that everybody wants a shot at Roman Reigns, they do realize that there is a championship on this show that has greater stature? Now, I know that Raw doesn’t have a PPV until the Royal Rumble in January, but they at least need to establish some ground work if Lesnar is going to defend his championship at that PPV.
For Smackdown, when WWE laid out plans for Baron Corbin to defend his championship against Bobby Roode, that was a rivalry I could see the universe getting into. But, then for some reason, when the match was made at Clash of Champions, they inserted Dolph Ziggler into the match and made it a triple threat. Why? This makes no sense considering Bobby Roode just defeated Dolph Ziggler a few weeks ago to move away from him. Now, he just gets inserted into the championship picture just because?
The Final Verdict
With Smackdown getting closer to Clash of Champions, they have to continue building up the matches that they have laid out for this PPV. They have done a good job of doing that, but they do have their moments where the layout either doesn’t make sense (inserting Ziggler in the US title match) or it doesn’t get more focus on it than it should (AJ Styles versus Jinder Mahal just gets a video package this week). With that being said, this week I will have to give to Raw for the better show. This week for Raw, WWE really focused on letting the wrestlers wrestle instead of putting promos ahead of them. Matches like Paige vs. Sasha Banks, the fatal four ways between the Cruiserweights, and Roman Reigns vs. Jason Jordan all got good amounts of time to let the superstars work and show what they have. Due to this, all of these turned out to be great matches! In conclusion, Smackdown will have to do a better job of combining building up PPV matches while helping wrestlers get the time they deserve if they want to compete with Raw, who doesn’t have any focus on a PPV until next month.