WWE Monday Night Raw - May 8, 2017 - O2 Arena in London, England
WWE SmackDown - May 9, 2017 – O2 Arena in London, England
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
The world is hot for the SmackDown roster and London proved that. Between Shinsuke, AJ, Kevin Owens, and Randy Orton the world is on fire for it. Even though SmackDown wasn’t the greatest show they have ever put on the crowd was still there for it.
Raw didn’t have a bad crowd since it was in the same arena, but SmackDown just had the better crowd.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
I hate to say it, but I’m actually liking Byron Saxton. He and Tom Phillips on SmackDown is a great pairing and I just wish they’d move Corey Graves over there with them and make the best crew possible.
Michael Cole is a as professional as it gets, and I think people hate on him so much because he is forced to plug so much for the company. Either way, he works better with JBL than Corey Graves. SmackDown wins.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
Raw almost consistently has better matches even though they have the weaker roster in my opinion. That still holds true this week with some fun matches. Finn vs. The Miz was cool with the whole “I’m the general manager” thing playing into it. I really enjoyed the tag team turmoil match even though who was going to win was painfully clear from the start, and I’m really tired of seeing Bray vs. Dean as both have been on my list of underperformers so far this year.
SmackDown likes to move through feuds without matches but more so with promos. Their six man tag match was the only thing of note, and I love that Jinder Mahal was in this mix.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
SmackDown for sure. Raw had some good moments like Miz and Dean using their “GM abilities” to cause commotion for one another, but when its comes to good promos SmackDown had it down. With their video packages and Dolph’s promo on Shinsuke it is pretty easy to pick them.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
Gah there are so many good storylines to hit on here. Alexa brings new life to the Raw Women’s title, heel Sheamus & Cesaro is pretty fun, Braun & Roman is still very intriguing, and the only downside (in terms of title pictures) is Dean vs. The Miz which is still good but just a tad overdone in my opinion.
JINDER MAHAL!! I love him. His group with the Singh Brothers has been nothing short of entertaining. KO vs. AJ is going to be gold without question, Dolph vs. Shinsuke is the perfect main roster introduction for Nakamura. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of SD Lives Women’s Championship stuff and their tag division is STILL non-existent.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
With the shows being pre-taped this week, scheduling wasn’t really an issue. So for this one I’m just going to judge the progression of the show towards the main event. In that case, its SmackDown. I loved the main event and I loved the build for it.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
Still hard to differentiate the two here especially since they were in the same arena with close to the same set-up for each pre-taped show. So, just sine SD Live still feels decently new and fresh I’m going with them. SD had gone over a whole renovation since going live and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
SmackDown wins 5-2. Like I said earlier, this wasn't their greatest show but they're still doing a lot of things right and its adding up. To me, Jinder Mahal bringing a new spin to the title picture has been a huge part of that and I truly hope he gets to carry the belt for a bit even though I don't see that happening. Either way, SD Live is still the more complete and rounded show.
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!