For Raw, even though we are in 2018, WWE is still finding new ways for Braun Strowman to show us something that we have never seen before. After Paul Heyman built up the fight between Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble, this led to all three competitors fighting backstage. But, then when Strowman had the upper hand, he decided to take a claw, hook it on the stage setup, and pull it down on top of Lesnar and Kane! This was insane seeing this and WWE definitely redeemed themselves this week after last week’s segment to build up this fight was a letdown. Now, people are excited to see this match.
For Smackdown, it is nice to see what they are doing in order to build up the United States championship tournament. Not only did they have a qualifying match between Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley, which was a decent match and the result made sense. But, they focused on building up the matches for the next round as they had Bobby Roode come face to face with Rawley after the match, as well as having Jinder Mahal cut a promo on facing Xavier Woods next week. This tournament is feeling more and more important as the weeks go on and it will be interesting to see who will end up the winner of this tournament.
For Raw, how many more times do I have to see Absolution face off against Sasha Banks, Bayley, or Mickie James? They have literally faced each other off for over the past month and it hasn’t really led to anything. I understand trying to build up the women’s Royal Rumble match, but there are other ways to do that other than having the same people face off every week.
For Smackdown, the same problem with Raw this week can be said of Smackdown with the Riot Squad versus Charlotte, Becky Lynch, or Naomi. The Riot Squad did have a week where they faced off against the Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Carmella, Lana, Tamina), but then we went right back to the old ways of facing the same people again. Honestly, shame on both shows for doing this.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows did a good job this week of building up the Royal Rumble. Both shows spent lots of time focusing on their main championship matches as well as helping get ready for the Royal Rumble matches too. This week though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show. Along with the Braun Strowman segment, we got to see the debut of “Woken” Matt Hardy, the return of The Miz, and the push for Balor Club (Finn Balor, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows) looks to be gaining some momentum and can be seen as a threat in the WWE. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is looking like it is not only going to be historic because of the women’s rumble match, but there are some other programs on the card that look like they will turn out great!