For Raw, the Braun Stowman match was so entertaining and hilarious at the same time. Strowman faced off against Rhyno and beat him within minutes. But, what made this so entertaining was the fact that Heath Slater tried to help out Rhyno and attack Strowman too but to no avail. The referee didn’t disqualify Slater for interfering either and instead just let Strowman handle business. Lastly, Strowman caved into the crowds “One More Time” chants for him to keep delivering powerslam after powerslam to these two, which was hilarious from start to finish.
For Smackdown, the buildup of tension they have between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan is a slow, but entertaining process. This time around, Daniel Bryan decided to announce that AJ Styles will defend his championship at the Royal Rumble against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match. This questions again whether Bryan is on Owens and Zayn’s side and also has the champion against very tough odds to win. McMahon didn’t like this decision one bit and the story of where this all ends up gets more intriguing week by week.
For Raw, the segment between Kane and Brock Lesnar was nothing but hype. Paul Heyman went on and on building up the triple threat match Lesnar is in at the Royal Rumble against Kane and Braun Strowman. Then, Kane came out and delivered a chokeslam to Lesnar, only for Lesnar to imitate Kane and sit up. Then, the segment just ended. There was no Braun Strowman and there was no other moves performed to show these guys want to beat each other up to build up the match.
For Smackdown, I’m not a fan of seeing things that repeat week after week and Smackdown was a victim of that this week. For the 3rd straight week, they had the Bludgeon Brothers face off against Breezango and it was the same result again, but this time, it wasn’t even considered a match. Before the bell rung, the Bludgeon Brothers attacked Breezango, which led to The Ascension coming out to help them (again), and then the segment just ends. Hopefully, they can find new competition for the Bludgeon Brothers because clearly, Breezango isn’t meant to face off against them anymore.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were pretty good to start off 2018. A lot of their focus was on the Royal Rumble and who has momentum going into the PPV. Along with that, each show put on great championship matches and intensified these rivalries in the process as well. With that being said, I would have to give this week to Smackdown. The main reason is because since Raw had all this hype going into the final segment and for it to fall flat like it did, Smackdown was able to capitalize on that and put on a better ending segment and have a cliffhanger going into next week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is building up to be a pretty good show, now it will be interesting to see how each show keeps building on it.