WWE Monday Night Raw - October 17, 2016 - Pepsi Arena in Denver, CO
WWE SmackDown - October 18, 2016 – Pepsi Arena in Denver, CO
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Both crowds were really solid yet again, but the Raw crowd really stuck out. Granted with the return of Goldberg they had a ton to cheer for. They seemed louder and more invested in what was happening throughout, and really stuck out to me with the Goldberg return.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
Mauro, JBL, and Otunga take home the win here. JBL really stuck out to me during the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match when Ellsworth hit that super kick on Styles. I went back and watched that moment about 8 or 9 times and JBL's reaction got me to laugh every time.
Raws crew wasn't bad. I just thought SmackDown was better.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
I think SmackDown had stronger matches from top to bottom this week. Alexa Bliss and Naomi had a great match, and the 6 man tag match was great too even though I despise The Spirit Squad. Not too mention that main event was so much fun to watch, and AJ Styles along with Dean Ambrose are over the top entertaining. James Ellsworth, of course, absolutely has his qualities as well. That super kick was beautiful.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
SmackDown was more match heavy than promo heavy. I like that. Not that SmackDown didn't have good promo's/interviews because Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt had another very creative one. But Raw, however, has Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and this week they had Goldberg who delivered a a great promo being back in the ring for the first time in 12 years. Score for Raw.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
Raw hands down here. I like some of the SmackDown storylines, but Raw has some I really can't wait to see pan out. Charlotte and Sasha, the main event scene with The Authority, Rollins, Jericho, and KO. Then of course Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. I'm all about the Raw storylines right now.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Two hours > three hours. Every time. Raw filled it better this week than they do in most weeks, but I think SmackDown pulls it off best every week.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
Still isn't overly easy to determine a difference here. At the beginning of the brand split I was really hoping for unique stages and the like, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. Still, when it comes to production I am enjoying SmackDown more so than Raw. Especially with how SmackDown is handling The Wyatts right now.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
Raw gets one point for the return of Goldberg!
SmackDown gets one point for the very creative main event, and plus I love James Ellsworth. Doing this took some serious balls on behalf of the creative staff because this very easily could've been a flop, but everyone involved pulled it off beautifully.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+1 / -0) / SmackDown (+1 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw / SmackDown
The tally this weeks sees SmackDown win with a 5-4 victory. Raw had some good moments, but I just found myself enjoying SmackDown so much more, and watching closer with every match and promo. SmackDown continues to dominate since the split.
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!