WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who Won this Week? April 17, 2017

The Good

For Raw, Braun Strowman really is establishing himself as a top monster for years to come. Not only does he start the show by bragging about how he put Roman Reigns in the hospital because of what happened last week, but then he goes on to take out multiple superstars backstage throughout the show because of the lack of competition he has been getting on Raw. Then, to top it all off, he gets featured in the main event against the Big Show and has a spot where the ring collapses after a superplex from the top rope, and he still gets up from it! Overall, WWE is doing a fantastic job at booking Strowman as one of the most feared wrestlers on the roster and having him come off as the next giant in the WWE, which hopefully leads to a championship match against Brock Lesnar.

For Smackdown, Charlotte made her presence on Smackdown known immediately and that is great to see. First, she comes out and already states that it is ridiculous that she hasn’t had a title match yet. Then, Naomi comes out and says that she can have a title match, which leads to Shane McMahon stating that if Charlotte can beat Naomi on the show, then she will get her title match. Charlotte proceeds to defeat Naomi clean and now we have a championship match set for next week! Solid, easy booking decision here for WWE. Charlotte deserves to make an immediate impact on the Smackdown women’s division and what a better way to make one than beating the champion.

The Bad

For Raw, for some reason, we got to see Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows versus Enzo and Big Cass again….for probably the 100th time. It feels like Raw is completely lost on how to handle Gallows and Anderson because they have gone from being the Raw tag team champions, to just filler for the show. The same can be said for Enzo and Cass too because there not winning these matches there in so they don’t really have momentum to be in the title picture. The purpose of this shakeup was to help out certain divisions on the shows, and you would think that the tag team division would be a main focus, but when we are seeing the same matches every week, nothing is improving.

For Smackdown, we had promos for superstars that we want to see wrestle, not be featured in a video. This happened with both Shinsuke Nakamura and Tye Dillinger. I understand wanting to help the fans get a grasp on who these guys are, but there are better ways to handle this. Not having them wrestle doesn’t help that either. Both of these guys have the potential to be major faces for Smackdown, so I don’t get why WWE decided not to feature either of them on their show.

The Final Verdict

Overall, Smackdown really had the surprise of the week when they decided to have Jinder Mahal win a 6-pack challenge to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship at their next PPV, Backlash. I didn’t put this as a good or a bad because I see both in this situation. I see it as good because it really does prove that Smackdown is the land of opportunity and it also helped plant a seed that Mahal will form a faction with the Bollywood Boyz since they helped Mahal win the match. But, I see it as bad because Mahal had been losing week in and week out, so to have him come out of nowhere and be the #1 contender for the WWE championship really doesn’t make any sense.

For that, I will give this week to Raw. Raw focused on their upcoming PPV, Payback, by intensifying the rivalries for their matches scheduled and did a good job at doing that. This included Strowman vs. Reigns, Wyatt vs. Orton, the Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro and Sheamus, Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho, and Neville vs. Austin Aries. While Smackdown really did make some news this week by having Mahal be the new #1 contender for the WWE Championship, it will take some time for fans to get on board for this, so Raw will take this week.