WWE Monday Night Raw - January 9, 2017 - Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
WWE SmackDown - January 10, 2017 – Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, LA
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Maybe it was just me, but both of these crowds seemed rather weak. Maybe it is because I'm currently watching the UK Title tourney on my phone, and this crowd has chanted things I've never heard before. But, since I'm forced to choose I'll have to go with the SmackDown crowd. Louder, and seemingly more involved in the show. Granted, they had more to cheer from.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
My feelings about the Raw commentary team are no secret. I do not like Byron Saxton whatsoever. That same hatred is slowly flowing over to David Otunga. However, not quite as much yet. SmackDown still wins here.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
Both shows had decent matches. I really like SmackDowns more. I know there is a theme here with me liking SmackDown more, but they're really the better show in my opinion. Natty and Nikki feud has been 10x better than I expected, Cena being back is giving them more fun matches like he and Corbin, and now heel Dolph. Not that Raw doesn't have great players like heel Neville, Rollins, Y2J/Owens, and Rusev but I still pick the blue brand here.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
I am judging based off two Raw promos and one SmackDown promo. The Raw ones include Shawn and Undertaker, while SmackDown has the lone Ambrose Asylum. While the Ambrose Asylum was good, I'll have to give this to Raw. Granted, Shawns promo was awful. Not good at all, and a clear plug for his movie. However, Rusev again proves how valuable he is really is and makes it a decent promo, and then the announcement for Taker in the Rumble is too big to ignore.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
SmackDown. Hands down. Cena being back, heel Dolph makes things fun, the imploding Wyatt Family, Nikki and Natty making it real, and Miz and Ambrose are all really good stories. The only thing SmackDown needs is some real tag teams to help out American Alpha. Like.. Hmm.. Maybe The Revival?
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Two hours > Three hours. Plain and simple. Raw is boring, SmackDown isn't. I'm hoping we get a two hour Raw at some point this year.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
This is hard to choose.. But I'll go with SmackDown because I simply enjoy it more.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
I should take away points for how awful that Shawn promo was, but I won't. New year, feeling giving. I'll let them keep it.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
SmackDown is purely the better show. No competition really, and I think it'll stay that way for a long time. Samoa Joe rumored to be heading to the blue brand would make them even more dangerous. It's good to be a SmackDown fan right now.
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!