Welcome to this week’s edition of RAW versus SmackDown where we will pit one roster against the other in order to determine who reigned supreme this week. Coming off week one, RAW were the comfortable winners and took all of the momentum into Monday night. Meanwhile, SmackDown had a lot of work to do after last week’s show underwhelmed for the most part.
Let’s find out who took the points this week by recapping both shows.
WWE RAW RECAP
RAW kicked things off with the Women’s Champion as a nice change of pace, showing the increased importance of the division. However, after the segment started off nicely by allowing Sasha and Charlotte some time to set up their rematch, it soon dissolved into a comedy segment, pushing the Women’s Championship feud to the side in favour of Enzo, Cass, Jericho and Owens. Enzo Amore is an incredible talent, but Sasha Banks, and the elite women’s talent on the roster, should not be treated as sex items to be hit on in the middle of the ring (personal gripe).
Strowman and Jax continued their build and The Shining Stars picked up a win in the biggest piss break match of the year. Rusev beating Henry comprehensively was fine, but adding Roman Reigns to the United States Championship picture is a fantastic idea. Roman and Rusev will both benefit massively from this feud.
Jinder Mahal returned… is anyone else still scratching their heads as to where Damien Sandow could have fit into all of this?
Finally, everything Seth Rollins touched this week turned to gold. His promo with Finn was great and any match between Rollins and Sami Zayn is obviously going to be outstanding. They were both great segments that put Seth over as the top guy on the brand.
Moment of the Night: The moment of the night was clearly Paul Heyman, as you’d expect. His promo on Orton and Brock Lesnar set the stage for what is legitimately a fight 15 years in the making. Orton popping up at the end was perfectly executed too. He struck out of nowhere before disappearing out of the building, chased out by the RAW staff. While it was a show that never really reached any great heights, this was some fantastic booking.
Show Grade: B-
WWE SMACKDOWN RECAP
Everything about the blue brand felt different this week. The storytelling was spot on from start to finish and there were no wasted segments. Everything had a purpose and advanced either storylines or characters further.
The number one contender’s triple threat match was great and something that should be done more often as SmackDown should have a strong wrestling focus. Corbin not winning but being the only man standing was very well crafted.
Eva Marie’s entrance gained her a lot of heat and the fake injury angle could be a nice way around her actually having to do any wrestling. Have her refuse to fight each week. Carmella’s debut wasn’t as memorable as she was attacked by Natalya. The Queen of Harts once again showing when it comes to promos, she’s barely, passable. However, the attack was a good way to get a feud started. Disappointing that Bliss wasn’t on the show.
Speaking of debuts, American Alpha were as good as you’d expect from the team that will soon be the hottest thing on the roster.
Lesnar’s attack on Orton wasn’t as good as the RAW version as it was seemingly inevitable and the promo between AJ Styles and John Cena was better than anything that occurred on RAW earlier in the week – but still not the moment of the night.
Moment of the Night: Everything that’s happening between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose right now is perfect. Ziggler has the perfect babyface story, but it’s going to be difficult for him to get the crowd behind him when Ambrose is the biggest good guy in the company. Taking the route of Dolph learning to be ruthless and do anything to win is smart as it sets up the potential heel turn this feud will need post SummerSlam. Inserting Wyatt into the mix gives Ambrose and Ziggler something to focus on outside of each other and wrapped up a very well-crafted two hours of programming.
Show Grade: A
The scoreboard is locked up at one win apiece as we get closer to SummerSlam. The blue brand has bounced back very nicely and now we wait to see what RAW can do to get back on top.
Follow Nic on Twitter at @NicNegrepontis.