WWE Monday Night Raw - March 13, 2017 - Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI
WWE SmackDown - March 14, 2017 – PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
This was the "last go in the Joe" for Monday Night Raw, so I thought that they would rocking and ready to go. But, that wasn't the case necessarily. Not that the crowd was awful, but it definitely had its low points.
SmackDown crowd had its lows too, but they had a lot less than Raw. Again, not that either crowd was awful, but SmackDown was definitely better.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
Byron Saxton is a total turd. He botches more lines than he's given, and thats talent. He even screws up others lines. Half the stuff he says makes no sense, and having a clear babyface commentator just doesn't work well anymore. Or maybe it just doesn't fit him. Either way, I'm not a fan of him as a commentator.
I don't like Otunga either. He just doesn't seem comfortable at all on the commentary team. Here, Mauro Ranallo makes all the difference.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
Both shows were remarkably weak in the match department, and I really wish I could just ignore this one because neither show deserves this point. But since I'm being forced, Raw had one more decent match than SmackDown did. SmackDown had Mickie vs. Alexa. Raw had a fun Cruiserweight bout along with Nia and Bayley having a better match than expected. Even though it wasn't great. Raw had potential for some great matches, but they had cop outs with DQ's and interference.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
Whew, the last promo on Raw was fantastic between Mick, Hunter, and Stephanie. I was half hoping Balor would make his Raw appearance, but that hasn't happened yet so who knows whats going on there. SmackDown had a slew of good promos for AJ and Shane too, but with Raw adding a Heyman promo it has to go to the Monday show.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
I'm incredibly disappointed that it seems to be boiling down to AJ vs. Shane. It should be Undertaker, and I'm standing by that. Survivor Series was all the set up you needed for AJ vs. Taker. But instead, no offense to Shane McMahon, we get AJ vs. Shane? Why? But the main event scene in SmackDown is going well. I like the Women's Division there too. The tag division needs a lot of work.. Or maybe a Revival? The Revival? Hmm.. Not a bad idea.
Goldberg is the champ. He is facing Lesnar at WrestleMania(again). So that gets seven thumbs down from me. Nope nope nope. I like the HHH vs. Seth angle. I'm really interested to see what Joe is going to do at Mania. Along with Balor. They're Women's division is awful, and their tag division a disappointment. With all that being said, Storylines goes to the blue brand.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
So for the first time ever, Raw wins here. SmackDown went off the air rather abruptly after Shane said he was AJ's opponent at Mania, and them running out of time like they didn't know they had two hours really pisses me off. Especially when Raw went over by like 10 minutes.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
SmackDown takes this one. Per usual.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
SmackDown wins a squeaker. 4-3 win for the blue brand. I though both shows struggled this week, so here's hoping they get it together as we build towards Mania.
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!