WWE Monday Night Raw - August 21, 2017 - Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
WWE SmackDown - August 22, 2017 – Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
Both shows were in the same location, Brooklyn, following a hot SummerSlam in the same arena. Brooklyn is known for it's awesome crowds, and following a huge PPV that draws fans from around the globe this was no different. Really, both crowds were on fire, but Raw had some amazing chants. "You both suck!" at Roman and John, the "You deserve it!" for The Miz who they backed big time, and so many more great moments. So, Raw gets the win.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
Nothing really stood out to me from either group this week. I really like the Raw group, but they seemed out of whack at a couple points in the show. Nothing super serious, nothing that stood out like a sore thumb. For that reason, even though their performance wasn't perfect, I'll go with the SmackDown crew.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
Neither show was so much about matches as it was moments, but we'll get to that shortly. Oddly enough, Raw was headlined by two great tag matches which I can't remember the last time I said that one tag match was the best highlight much less two of them. The Hardy Boyz vs. Seth and Dean was just a beautiful match. A simple, pure, and so well put together tag match that could easily be the main event on a lot of shows. Speaking of the main event, we see The Miz flanked by his Miztourage tag with Samoa Joe against the team of Roman Reigns and the new Raw guy, John Cena. This started really slow, and was pretty much awful at the beginning. But it turned itself around and became something amazing. These four guys are studs, and they proved that they deserve their spot.
SmackDown had one solid match, and that was the main event. Another United States Championship match; this one yet again had Shane as a referee. Which I love all three of those guys, but we've seen this. I could watch them wrestle as much as the want, but I would love to see more stipulations. A last man standing match would be just amazing between these guys.
Either way, Raw had the best matches, and I still can't believe they were tag matches.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
SmackDown had a couple of decent promos. The opening one was fun with AJ, KO, and Shane. And KO trying to find a ref throughout the night was also pretty fun. Also, Dolph Ziggler had a interview that was kind of weird, but really pretty good at the same time.
Raw was where the real promos were at. With Heyman and Lesnar starting off the show only to be interrupted by their next challenger, Braun Strowman! Braun attacking and parading with the belt was a good moment, and I truly hope he is our next champion. The best promo of the entire week came at the surprise of John Cena moving to Monday Night Raw. He came out to call out Roman Reigns who has been waiting to face for some time now. This boils down to The Miz coming out and having one of the best promos of his career. He cuts great promos on both Roman and John for stealing all the moments and not allowing him to have one even though he deserves it. Miz deserves everything he wants as his HOF career pushes forward. Raw gets the easy W.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
DO SOMETHING WITH ELIAS SAMPSON! He has all the intangibles of something very special in this business, and I want an IC Title run coming for him soon. He seems to be floundering on the low/mid card currently. When he has the talent to be something huge in his career. Next is Jason Jordan. All the talent in the world, but still drawing crickets. They split up AA way too early, and it's starting to show through. Something needs to be done, because he has the talent to hang with the big guys but just no crowd reaction. I want The Miz to be the Universal Champ sooner rather than later. He deserves it all and then some, and he is cementing himself as one of the best IC Champs we'll ever see. Promos, matches, and crowd reaction. He has all of it. I'm happy to see Cena on Raw as he needed the jump, and now we can see some new matches with him. Seth and Dean as tag champs is best for business no doubt about it. Braun vs. Lesnar one on one? Sign me up.
It seems like the Jinder and Shinsuke feud is continuing. Which I'm okay with, but I want a clean match regardless of who wins next time. I love the AJ & KO matches, but I'm ready for a change for both of them. Also, losing John Cena would be huge for anyone but especially so for a struggling SmackDown. They have taken big steps to replace him.. With Bobby Roode! I love that, but it isn't enough for SmackDown to get the win here.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
Raw still has way too many commercials.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
Visually, seeing Strowman with the Universal belt and The Miz being in the top spot with the IC belt? Definitely winning.
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
Moving Roode to SmackDown deserves a point for sure.
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+1 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw
SmackDown has been struggling mightily. Losing Cena will not help that, but adding Roode could give us some really fun stuff. Raw was and has been firing on all cylinders lately, and this week was no different. The crush SD Live 6-3, and I don't see that changing any time soon with how they're going.
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!