For Raw, the opening segment between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe was awesome. This is exactly the kind of fight we want to see between these two guys and to get a preview of that during Raw was a great sight to see. It helped build up Samoa Joe as somebody who has no fear of Brock Lesnar and really establish himself as a credible threat to Lesnar. We even got to see something new when it came to these pull apart brawls in that Samoa Joe super kicked Lesnar which took out not only Lesnar, but everybody that was trying to hold him back! Awesome moment between these two and when these two face off at Great Balls of Fire, expect more of what we saw on Monday.
For Smackdown, they did a great job of building up their women’s matches for Money in the Bank. We finally got a glimpse of what Lana can bring to the table as she attacked Naomi after her match and performed her finishing maneuver, which looked like a modified spine buster, which looked effective so that was a great sight to see. Along with that, Charlotte and Natalya put on a great match during their time which makes the ladder match at Money in the Bank feel that more important knowing that two of better women wrestlers are giving it everything they have before the PPV. What originally looked like a mess with the women’s division is starting to become more organized.
For Raw, the whole Noam Dar-Alicia Fox segment and match was awful. It was stupid from start to finish and didn’t really accomplish anything if WWE was trying to tell a story out of this. This obviously was filler on the show but it felt more like a waste of time. I actually feel bad for Cedric Alexander that he had to take part in this segment because he is talented and shouldn’t have to be a part of something so terrible.
For Smackdown, while the opening segment between the New Day and the Usos started off great, it took a slow turn when teams started to come out just to interrupt each other. First, the Fashion Police came out to interrupt the Usos and then once the Colons came out to interrupt the Fashion Police, interest for this segment went out the window. Nothing against the Fashion Police and the Colons, but this should’ve been more about the New Day and the Usos since they are fighting for the Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank. Also, since both of these teams are great on the microphone, this promo should’ve spent more time on these two teams going at it instead of getting cut off.
The Final Verdict
Other than the opening brawl between Lesnar and Joe, Raw had a terrible show. They had a segment where too many people came out to determine who deserves to face the Women’s Champion, their main event ended in a draw, and two of the shows biggest stars, Finn Balor and Roman Reigns, were nowhere to be found. This week was an easy decision as Smackdown clearly had the better show this week. They built up every match they have scheduled for Money in the Bank and they did it effectively. One of the better moments on Smackdown was when Randy Orton came from out of nowhere to give Jinder Mahal an RKO while the Singh Brothers were waiting for Orton at the entrance ramp. Moments like that make the WWE championship match feel more important and helps feel like Orton has the momentum going into the PPV. Overall, Smackdown did a great job at having an effective go home show before Money in the Bank while Raw needs some figuring out to do for their upcoming PPV because other than their main event, they are lost.