WWE Monday Night Raw - January 30, 2017 - Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, TX
WWE SmackDown - January 31, 2017 – American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Its all about SmackDown right now. They are capitalizing week after week on weak Raws. The WWE Universe knows it, and the SmackDown crowds know they are watching the A show.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
We have breaking news in this department. For the first time in BOTB history Raw is winning the commentary section. Well.. First time I've had them winning anyway. AJ and Dean had stellar match this week but there were some commentary distractions that took me out of it from time to time. And.. I don't believe Byron said anything ridiculous this week. I should probably start taking notes because there is no way thats true.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
SmackDown wins here. Great opening match that had a good dynamic with The Wyatt Family and Luke Harper. The AJ and Dean tore the house down in what might be the best SmackDown match since the brand split.
Raw had Sami vs. Jericho which was solid, and had a chance to steal the week in this category if they had a good Universal Championship match but Roman got involved kind of taking the air out of it. Having Charlotte lose doesn't matter anymore because she is just going to win on the PPV's so I put nothing on that. All the other matches really fell flat for me.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
This is where Raw shined. Wow. Heyman dropped one of the best promos in his storied career of incredible promos, and HHH had a great one on Seth Rollins. But its all about Heyman here as he came out in full force.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
There is a lot at play here. Where WWE goes with Randy winning the Rumble, I have no clue. So that has my attention. Also seeing Samoa Joe debut for HHH is huge too along with the Rollins injury showing a gaping hole in Raws roster. What happens with Joe? HHH? Randy Orton faces who at Mania? Right now, I'm most interested in Randy because we could potentially see Orton vs. AJ.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Raw didn't feel as bad this week, but that two hours stays winning.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
This category is kind of BS sometimes because its so hard to tell. But I'll give it to SmackDown thanks to The Wyatts entrance alone.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
Raw gets one for the debut of Samoa Joe.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+1 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
Raw was much better than usual this week, but not better enough to be the A show. The men and women in blue keep getting better consistently. With Seth being hurt, Raw is in trouble. But SmackDown has options.
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!