WWE Monday Night Raw - May 7, 2018 - Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY
WWE SmackDown - May 8, 2018 – Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN
FACTOR 1: CROWD
I thought both crowds were mediocre at best, but the Raw crowd was loud at the beginning of the night for some not so good reasons. Prompting Kurt Angle to basically apologize for the product being awful the last few weeks. So, as the WWE Universe, we are at least being heard on how bad some stuff has been lately.
FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY
Nothing exceptional happened on wither commentary team either. Nothing worth recalling anyway, so when that happens it just comes down to which is simply the better team that played off each other more and I think it was SmackDown this week.
FACTOR 3: MATCHES
This week was a lot about qualifying for the Money In The Bank matches. On Raw: Finn, Braun, and Ember Moon all won their respective matches to earn spots in their money in the bank matches. Baron Corbin & The Revival, Ziggler & McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Bobby Roode, and Matt & Bray all picked up wins as well. Seth Rollins remains a fighting champion after beating Mojo Rawley to retain his IC Championship. Mojo and Seth was a surprisingly fun bout.
SmackDown saw Rusev, Charlotte, and The Miz all qualify for Money in the Bank ladder matches with Rusev getting a win clean in the middle on Daniel Bryan. Cesaro and Mandy Rose both got wins also. Rusev and DB was a fun match as well as Miz vs. Jeff Hardy. For the first time in a while, I think I liked the SD Live matches more overall.
FACTOR 4: PROMOS
Wow promos were bad this week. Like really bad and way worse than normal. Raw apologized for how bad Backlash was, and Bobby Lashley has a family (Bah Gawd). Oh, and did you know that everybody wants to be in the Money in the Bank ladder matches and get what is basically a guaranteed championship? Who knew! I don't feel comfortable giving anybody points here.
FACTOR 5: STORYLINES
It is all about the Money In The Bank ladder matches now. So far we have Finn, Rusev, Miz, and Strowman in the men's side which could give us some really interesting match-ups with whoever wins. I am wanting to see Finn get the briefcase, but Miz carrying that around for awhile would be absolutely awesome. In the women's side we only have Charlotte and Ember Moon. I'm expecting Asuka to be apart of it too, but I have no clue what to expect from this yet. Outside of that, there isn't a whole lot going on. I am really enjoying Roode and Elias going at it on Raw, as well as Jinder and Chad Gable. So I'll give Raw the W here.
FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING
SmackDown has this down for a two hour show. Their pacing and timing always sits better with me than with Raw.
FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION
Rusev got a win! A clean win! In the middle of the ring! Over Daniel Bryan!
EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!
POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -0)
THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown
The bad news is, this week was about as bad as it can get. Backlash was not good by any stretch, and both weekly main shows were mediocre at best. The good news is, this week was about as bad as it can get. I highly doubt we see another week hat struggles as much as this one did. Hopefully Backlash was a punch in the face hard enough to help WWE see some main issues in their programming. If that's the case, then it is a win for everybody. As for this week, SD wins 4-2.
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!