WWE Monday Night Raw - September 26, 2016 - U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH
WWE SmackDown - September 27, 2016 – Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Screw the Monday Night Raw crowd. Plain and simple. During TJ Perkins' inaugural Raw match, the crowd chanted "CM Punk". As a WWE Universe, we collectively asked for something new—something different. And by the graces of Triple H, he brought back the cruiserweight division, and they are doing a killer job of making it feel important. So when we FINALLY get something new, you people still chant for a guy that wrestled in 2014? Screw you guys.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
On Monday Night Raw, Byron Saxton referred to his stomach as "Tammy the Tummy". Raw automatically lost because of that reason. First, I loathe Byron Saxton as a commentator. He seems like a genuinely nice guy as far as that's concerned, but as a commentator, I just don't like him at all. Second, I despise the word "tummy" because I'm not a three-year-old. Now I know those may be slightly petty reasons, but this Raw team does not mesh well. Sunday night at Clash of Champions, it really came through as they seemed to mumble over top of another all night.
SmackDown still has David Otunga, so that's rough. I think he's getting better, but he still has a lot of work. One place he stands out: he is not Byron Saxton.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
SmackDown didn't offer much in terms of matches this week. Yeah, they had a good championship match, but other than that it was just two tag matches.
Raw had two title bouts and two cruiserweight matches that were both good. I'm going to have to give the edge to Raw.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
Man...both shows had some great promos. SmackDown had a great thing between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt this week that was incredibly creative, and then The Miz and Dolph Ziggler left it all in the ring as well with a great segment.
Raw.. I love Mick Foley as GM. He's been conveying so much emotion recently and I'm really enjoying all his work. He had a great segment with Cesaro and Sheamus, and a great one with Stephanie as well. Then, of course, the Highlight Reel with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho was super funny as always. But it isn't enough to beat out SmackDown.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
Both shows have some great storylines. The main event scene is both is great. SmackDown's is borderline WrestleMania level with the triple threat stuff, but right now, I'm more interested in Raw's stories. I love the HHH/Authority and Seth Rollins line with Kevin Owens in there as well. The Stephanie and Mick Foley dynamic is getting more interesting by the week, and I can't wait for this Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens friendship to implode. Raw has my attention a little more when it comes to storylines.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Raw is getting better here. This week's show didn't seem to drag on nearly as badly as others. However, the two-hour show prevails again as SmackDown just feels like the better paced show.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
This has really become a neck and neck category. Neither show really seems better than the other here as they're both at the highest standard. However, SmackDown did some cool stuff with the Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton story this week. The way they showed that was extremely creative and different, so they get the W here.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
No extra credit this week.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
SmackDown continues to feel like the better show, and it continues being undefeated with a 5-2 win over Raw this week! Thats 5-0 for the blue brand since the brand split, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon.
That's my pick for the better show of the week, but how do YOU stand?
Which was better, Raw or SmackDown?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!