WWE Monday Night Raw - April 3, 2017 - Amway Center in Orlando, FL
WWE SmackDown - April 4, 2017 – Amway Center in Orlando, FL
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Man, that crowd for Raw was on fire. They verbally destroyed Roman Reigns, popped huge when Vince talked about his injured daughter, and popped big for the superstars. SmackDown had a good crowd too as both shows were in the same arena, but that Raw crowd won on Monday night.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
When they do the superstar shake-up, I truly hope that includes commentators. I think both shows could use some moves, but right now SmackDown is still the better crew even without Mauro.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
The problem with a two hour show is you don't get to show of all your guys and gals that can go in the ring. Like this past Tuesday, we didn't get to see an AJ Styles match. Now, the matches we did see were solid, but AJ always brings something extra to the show when he has a match and not just a promo.
Raw was really really good. The Revival took The New Day out, The Hardy Boyz had a good match, and a good cruiserweight match all alongside a star stuffed main event gets Raw a W here.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
One quick thing, what was with that Shinsuke Nakamura segment? I love the guy, but why have him just come out and basically dance for his entrance? At least have him challenge someone or say something even with broken english. AJ's babyface turn was good stuff and unexpected.
Paul Heyman had a good promo again(of course), the backstage segment with Sami and Kurt was entertaining, and Vince is always good on the mic. And Roman Reigns had the best promo of his career saying one sentence. Raw wins. Again.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
This superstar shake-up is going to.. Well.. Shake things up. So it's really hard to say much here. With SmackDown, I really don't want AJ to go. Not at all. Especially with Shinsuke being a part of the roster now. But all signs seem to be pointing to him switching shows to Monday Night Raw. But not all is lost if thats the case because that means SmackDown will get a big time star too in return. I still hope they throw in Luke Harper for the main event. Naomi being the women's champ is great, and Corbin needs the IC Title.
Lesnar being the champ is the best move. Goldberg ran his course real fast, and was nearly a heel by the end of the run. KO deserves the US Title(as he should still be Universal Champion), Bayley needs a long championship run, and The Revival vs. The Hardy Boyz needs to happen sooner rather than later. When push comes to shove, right now I'm liking Raws stories more, but this shake-up will change a lot of things.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Two hours is better than three when its filled right. I loved Raw on Monday night, but a good two hours is better than a good three. Three can really drag on.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
We're going to go with SmackDown here. Its hard to describe the difference, but SmackDown feels slimmer and more complete.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
When it comes to debut's and returns, thats what the Raw after Mania is all about. I'm so happy to see Tye and Shinsuke. Dillinger will be an IC Champ one say, and Shinsuke will hold the main belt along with a few IC runs as well. But in terms of how impactful their debut was.. Dillinger beat Curt Hawkins, and Shinsuke danced to his entrance. For Raw, they had The Revival and Finn Balor. The Revival beat The New Day who're the longest reigning tag champs of all time. And Finn helped Seth beat KO and Samoa Joe. So plus one for Raw with amazing returns and debuts.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+1 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw
Raw wins the week after Mania madness. I don't know if the crowd just played such a big factor on a great show, or if this Raw was truly just that good. SmackDown missed such a huge opportunity with Shinsuke & AJ both not having matches. Shinsuke will be the new face of that brand, so hopefully he is in the ring next week. Raw had it all, man. Great matches, great crowd, great promos, and great debuts/returns. They deserved the win here.
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!