For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor for the intercontinental championship was a great match. These two have great chemistry and this match proved it even more. This also helped build up how resilient of a champion Rollins is as he has defended it multiple times since Wrestlemania. Rollins faces the Miz at Backlash and I expect him to win that match and start a new rivalry with a raw superstar going forward.
For Smackdown, the segment with Big Cass was a great way to get heel heat. He ran down Daniel Bryan and the Montreal crowd and basically said he is better than all of them. Then, he mocked Daniel Bryan by having a local guy come out to imitate him. To top it all off, Cass then beat up the local competitor. The crowd booed him from start to finish and really helped build up the match between these two at Backlash.
For Raw, for all the buildup that they featured last week between Natalya, Mickie James, and Ronda Rousey, you would think that they would focus on that going into this week. Instead, we got a five minute match and focused mostly on Ronda Rousey. I do not know where they plan on going with Rousey next, but hopefully it’s something after Backlash.
For Smackdown, unfortunately, what they are doing with Rusev is going to go downhill from here. Lana met up with Rusev backstage and told him that even though he has all this popularity from Rusev Day, that somebody is holding him back. Lana then gave out the vibe that it was Aiden English holding him back. It truly is a shame that they are pushing to break this team up when they weren’t even given the time to shine. What WWE does with Rusev is a joke considering how popular he truly is.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were pretty good this week. The Montreal crowd for both shows definitely helped the viewers at home be more into the shows. Smackdown focused heavily on Backlash, which was great and got me excited for those matchups coming. Raw, on the other hand, focused on just having a good show with throwing in buildup for Backlash here and there. As far as a winner this week, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. They featured an entertaining segment with Elias, we got another week of Braun Strowman shoulder tackling Kevin Owens, and had a great main event. When we have inter-brand matches, it has to build them up when one superstar is on Raw and the other is on Smackdown. With that said, after Backlash, we should get a better sense of where superstars on each brand are heading.