For Raw, I really like the angle they decided to take in the Roman Reigns versus John Cena buildup for their match at No Mercy. Roman had to control the rivalry this time around because John Cena wasn’t there for the show. This created an interesting angle in the story because Reigns called Cena a hypocrite for not being there. This is because Reigns compared it to when Cena had a rivalry with the Rock. Reigns proceeded to play a clip in which Cena called out the Rock for going Hollywood and then appearing whenever he felt like it to please the crowd. This criticism made sense and helped put a new angle on this story. This match has the “Big Match” feel and I really look forward to these two clashing at No Mercy.
For Smackdown, it is really interesting to see where they are going with the Hype Bros. They lost against the New Day on the show, which has given them a weekly losing streak. The show then cut to them backstage, where Mojo Rawley said that he is sick of losing and that it is time to change things up. It’s a small step in this story, but this could lead to a heel turn by the team, or maybe one member stabs the other in the back, or who knows? The fact that this story is up in the air really is intriguing and should help push both of these guys moving forward.
For Raw, what they did for both the women’s division and the tag team division was very sloppy this week. For the women’s division, they decided to bring back Bayley the week before a PPV and throw her in the women’s championship match at No Mercy, even though she did nothing to earn it. Along with that, Emma, was nowhere to be seen even though she is in the match and is now considered an afterthought at this point. As for the tag team division, while the program between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro and Sheamus has been good, these past two weeks they have just been involving Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in this rivalry too even though they do not even have a match at No Mercy. At this point, Gallows and Anderson feel like they are just thrown in there for the heck of it with no backstory and it is starting to make this rivalry feel stale.
For Smackdown, where are the Fashion Files? The most popular segments Smackdown has been running since Breezango has come to Smackdown and they haven’t been seen the past two weeks. The whole storyline of who’s been attacking them feels old now and is probably forgotten about. Hopefully, WWE can find a way to bring them back onto the show while still letting that storyline be relevant.
The Final Verdict
With Raw hosting the go home show before No Mercy, I was expecting a lot of the matches built up for the PPV to really be intensified during this show. Unfortunately, this only worked for their two biggest matches on the card while the others fell flat. The Universal Championship match between Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar got proper build with their sit-down interviews and Roman Reigns versus John Cena got better build up too this week. But, when it comes to the other championships on the show, Raw did a terrible job of building up these matches better. With that said, I am going to give this week to Smackdown. While both shows weren’t that great, Smackdown did a great job of carrying over what happened last week into this week and help build up their rivalries for their upcoming PPV. They did a really good job of moving onto Shane McMahon versus Kevin Owens, established a women’s championship match for the PPV by having Charlotte become the #1 contender in a great fatal four way match, and they pushed Jinder Mahal to be a hypocrite and be a bad enough heel that people really want him to lose the WWE Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura. Overall, Raw was really disappointing this week, especially considering No Mercy is in less than a week, but Smackdown has laid out some blueprints that can really lead to good matches and rivalries.