Welcome to another addition of Raw vs. Smackdown.
The aftereffects of SummerSlam have settled in and with both shows looking to capitalize, which show reigned supreme in week six of RAW versus SmackDown? RAW came into this week having been defeated by SmackDown comprehensively in the last month and, helmed by a championship match, it needed to bounce back, but did the fantastic main-event do enough to hold up the whole show and get it over the line against the ultra-consistent blue brand?
Let’s find out!
RAW – Positives
The Fatal 4-Way match, brought about out of the tragedy of Finn Balor’s injury, carried the show tonight. Starting with all four men being interviewed in the ring was smart and the proverbial big fight feeling was in the air. It was a simple and effective segment to build the main-event and having Roman stand tall was the right call.
The match itself was fantastic and they gave it plenty of time to be as epic as possible. Big Cass held his own and looked like he could belong on that stage, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were as good as ever and Kevin Owens, well what can you really say? The swerve ending with Triple H taking out Rollins does two important things. It makes RAW next week must-watch television. It leaves so many unanswered questions and everyone will want to tune into find out why. On top of that, they’ve replaced one fresh champion in Balor with another in Owens and that was the smartest move of them all. RAW needed to feel fresh and now it can build from here.
Sheamus, Cesaro, Jericho and Neville provided the solid wrestling that carried the show, but it all felt like filler when surrounded by the main-event.
Everything with Bayley and The New Day was also super entertaining.
RAW – Negatives
Let’s get it out of the way early, nobody cares about this Titus/Darren rivalry and so it’s not even worth discussing.
The Paul Heyman and Steph McMahon apology segment was way too long considering it didn’t really accomplish anything. The only foreshadowing was maybe Brock returning and doing what he likes again soon, but the segment was far beneath what we expect from a Heyman segment.
The squash matches are starting to get old and it’s time to move Strowman onto the inevitable Big Show feud. Just get it over with already.
There was no real progression in the tag team or women’s championship feuds. They stuck them both together for an entertaining segment, but just like the rest of the show, it was all filler that has no real significance and that’s the issue with the show. Yes, the main-event was amazing, but was the rest of the show good enough to overthrow SmackDown’s reign?
Show Grade: B+
SmackDown Live – Positives
The Miz’ segment was perfect. Once again he spoke from the heart and everything he said rang true. The intensity was there and it the real-feeling carried over from Talking Smack. Ziggler is the correct choice as an opponent too. If you look at the SmackDown roster, really, he’s the only opponent they could’ve chosen here. Ziggler and Miz have known each other a very long time and that needs to be played up in their segment next week.
SmackDown continues to be a very well-paced show. The Tag Team Title tournament matches were nowhere near as good this week, but the flow of the show meant they were easy to watch and transitioned into whatever came next before you got bored of the matches.
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton have clicked immediately. They have great chemistry together on the mic and it should lead to some fascinating promos. As long as their matches deliver, this feud can go until Survivor Series realistically.
SmackDown Live – Negatives
The lack of depth on the roster became very apparent this week. You look at RAW which has guys like Sami Zayn, Neville and Chris Jericho in throwaway matches, pointless matches, and then you see SmackDown using Corbin in the main-event and Crews working with AJ Styles. It almost feels like it should be the other way around. There was nothing wrong with either match, but Corbin and Crews never felt like they were legitimate threats to Ambrose and Styles. Corbin has the potential, but Crews continues to flounder.
The other issue with the show was simply how uneventful it was. They picked the wrong week to have a quiet, filler show. The tag team tournament matches were average at best, the Slater trailer park segment was too long and the women’s match wasn’t given enough time and did nothing to progress the six pack challenge. They desperately need to get some mic time next week.
There was nothing wrong with SmackDown Live this week, but there was nothing particularly good about it either.
Show Grade: C+
SmackDown Live: 4
By way of a fantastic main-event, RAW picks up its first win since week one. Both shows had a very average mid-card this week, but with RAW leaving everyone talking, it had to walk away victorious this week. However, if SmackDown had nailed the rest of its mid-card the way it nailed The Miz’ segment, they probably would’ve taken the cake, for having a better show from start to finish. RAW needs to improve the undercard of its show as it can’t really on championship main-events every week.
Was Finn Balor going to turn heel and be Triple H’s new pawn? Is Big Cass doomed to be Roman Reigns 2.0? What big issue could change NXT forever? LISTEN HERE for this week’s Glorious Wrestling Podcast.