WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (September 17-18, 2018) | Smark Out Moment
Welcome to another edition of Battle of the Brands from Smark Out Moment, where we compare this week's episodes of Raw and SmackDown and determine which one of the two was the better show.

WWE Monday Night Raw - September 17, 2018 - American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
WWE SmackDown - September 18, 2018 – BOK Center in Tulsa, OK

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: CROWD

SmackDown is the clear winner for me in this one, if nothing other than the main event segment. The crowd's loud reactions towards both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair made their brawl more impactful than your typical closing angle, and that was joined by boisterous reactions for Aiden English's turn, Daniel Bryan's attack on The Miz to kickoff the show and the finish to AJ Styles vs Andrade Cien Almas.

Raw on the other hand was a mixed bag. While the Dallas crowd gave the anticipated pops to The Undertaker and Ronda Rousey, it was unlikely to give the same love to Viktor, Baron Corbin and this week's AOP punching bags. Nia Jax got a good reaction on her return though, so kudos to her.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: COMMENTARY

Honestly, I tuned out of commentary on both shows pretty early. I'm not going to preemptively say that we've finally found something Renee Young isn't great at, but it's clear she's still feeling her way onto the Raw commentary team. She definitely deserves time to grow into the position, and she's infinitely better than the alternatives, but for now she feels a little unnecessary.

On balance though I will give the victory to Raw, just mainly due to SmackDown's commentary team fruitlessly pushing the narrative that Becky Lynch is the heel in her feud with Charlotte Flair.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: MATCHES

Once again, SmackDown are winners in the in-ring department. AJ Styles vs Andrade Cien Almas was great, I thoroughly enjoyed Shinsuke Nakamura defending his United States Championship against Rusev, and Cesaro beating Kofi Kingston was a fun sprint.

Over on Raw the match quality hit a new low - singles matches for Dana Brooke AND Viktor? Add to that another meaningless AOP squash, a Seth Rollins/Dolph Ziggler contest we've seen far too often in recent months and a wildly overbooked main event, and that's a recipe for a one-way trip to Snoozeville.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: PROMOS

SmackDown's domination continues this week in the promo department. The crown jewel (pun not intended) was Becky Lynch's coronation - she was so smug in the best possible way, putting Charlotte Flair in her place and demanding recognition of her superiority. And, while I'm not always a fan of the cheap pop for a cheap swear tactic, Lynch dropping the 'bitch' bomb was perfect. Miz was also typically great in the opening segment with Maryse.

Raw's opening promo fell flat as per usual, doing little more than keeping the wheels in motion on the roads to Australia and Saudi Arabia. The Bella Twins continue to attempt 'acting', Ronda Rousey's open challenge was wooden as was the Riott Squad's retort, and The Undertaker is not exactly the crispest on the microphone anymore. Lio Rush was a definite highlight though - he could do wonders for Bobby Lashley's career.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 5: STORYLINES

Surprise surprise, another victory for SmackDown this week. Most of the show felt like it was progressing stories one way or another, while Raw feels like it's running in place with the same people in the same places. Like it or hate it, Aiden English's heel turn is a change of pace, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair's feud continues to be straight fire, and Samoa Joe got a measure of revenge on AJ Styles.

It wasn't all great, as Daniel Bryan and The Miz's feud reeks of missed opportunity and poor direction. But, I'll take this progression over most of Raw being built around The Shield, and nothing else feeling of any consequence whatsoever.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 6: SCHEDULING / PACING

I don't want to feel like I'm flogging a dead horse here, but SmackDown made the right decision in ending with their hottest feud right now, starting with the important Daniel Bryan/The Miz story and saved the midcard filler for the middle of the show.

Raw just felt slow - too many matches didn't matter and this caused things to drag tremendously. I think having the first match as Drew McIntyre against Dean Ambrose was an ideal start and closing with the Universal Championship bout was the right move, but everything in the middle lessened the impact of these positive decisions.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 7: VISUAL PRESENTATION

Not really much to choose between either show from a visual standpoint here, but I'll give the victory to SmackDown because of more differentiation between the sets with Miz TV and the setup for Becky Lynch's celebration.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

While SmackDown has dominated the overall scoring, I'm taking the opportunity to dock a few points due to the complete creative disaster that is Aiden English turning on Rusev. I don't want to bury decisions outright without giving them a chance to breathe, but I cannot see how this will be a benefit to either man going forward. Rusev loses a key part of his gimmick, and English will be relegated back to bit-part appearances on SmackDown and live events.

Negative three points seems a fair penance for this atrocity.

POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+0 / -0) / SmackDown (+0 / -3)

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

SmackDown was the far more well-rounded show this week, and I thought it included the best segment of the whole week with the Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair confrontation, and the best match with AJ Styles vs Andrade Cien Almas (although Drew McIntyre/Dean Ambrose was close).

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!



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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: CALLUM WIGGINS

Callum Wiggins hails from Essex in the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the University of York with a degree in History and has been a fan of professional wrestling since 2002. Outside of wrestling, he is also a fan of Arsenal FC and enjoys video games, darts, and Formula One. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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