For Raw, the match between Cesaro and Roman Reigns was great! This match went on for a while and both superstars put on a show. It is matches like this that help boost the reputation of the Intercontinental Championship and make it feel very important. It is looking like Samoa Joe is next in line for a chance at Reigns’ IC championship too and that is a match we can all look forward to seeing!
For Smackdown, it is very interesting to see where they are going with the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn versus Shane McMahon storyline. Daniel Bryan decided to he will be the backup referee to their match at Clash of Champions, which is leading to speculation that Daniel Bryan may turn heel to defend Zayn and Owens. Who knows what may happen because to close out the show, Bryan decided to become the referee and count the three for Owens to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura. This program feels like the biggest story going into the PPV and Smackdown was able to tell this story correctly.
For Raw, currently, they have no idea what to do with Finn Balor. For the second week in a row, he beats one of the members of the Miztourage. This feels like filler on the show and nobody benefits from it. This would’ve been a good time for Finn Balor to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, but I guess WWE has other plans. It is unfortunate that the 1st ever Universal Champion is being used as filler right now.
For Smackdown, while they tried their hardest to build up the WWE championship match for the PPV during this show, they didn’t do a good job. They had Smackdown open up the show by hosting a segment between AJ Styles, the Singh Brothers, and Jinder Mahal and it just didn’t feel like a championship match segment. Then, later in the night, they had Mahal sneak attack AJ Styles during a backstage interview and there was an awkward pause during the attack where Jinder was just holding AJ’s head, saying nothing. This program needs to end after this PPV and hopefully it is AJ Styles who walks out still champion so that he can have a better program for the Royal Rumble.
The Final Verdict
To be honest, both shows were pretty disappointing this week. For starters, WWE is literally running the same type of story between Absolution and the Riott squad where they are the dominant team and the other women superstars want to fight them back. Along with that, Raw and Smackdown ran matches that we have seen millions of times before (Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus, Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler). Between these two, I would have to say that Raw had the better show this week again. This is mainly because they had another segment of “Woken” Matt Hardy, which was very entertaining again and they also featured a fantastic match between Roman Reigns and Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship. While Smackdown’s show did feature a lot of build to their matches at Clash of Champions, they did a poor job of doing it though. Hopefully, things will get better for both shows as we go into the Royal Rumble.