WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (July 1-2, 2019) | 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 - July 1, 2019 - American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
WWE SmackDown - July 2, 2019 – AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN

FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = The quality of matches was improved this week, with multiple matches standing out in terms of quality. Braun Strowman vs Bobby Lashley had a brutal feel to it, whilst Ricochet vs AJ Styles was a continuation of their previous high quality match. With both matches, I felt I wanted them to go on for another 5 minutes, such was the quality on display.

Unfortunately, not all Raw matches are equal, with Lacey Evans vs Natalya a particular highlight for how poor some matches are. Lacey has been improving over the last few months, therefore I'm putting the fault for this poor match on the lack of chemistry between the workers. The Miz vs Elias was not much better, with the 2 out of 3 falls stipulation not helping it in any way. Overall I enjoyed the matches on show.

SmackDown = Heavy Machinery in the main event? That is an automatic mood killer for me, and takes me out of what has actually been an interesting storyline. The match itself between Heavy Machinery and the impromptu pairing of Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler was good and served a purpose, however there is no way in which Owens should be taking the fall.

Nikki Cross vs Bayley was an entertaining match that fit into the overarching narrative of the SmackDown Women's Championship scene, however Mandy Rose vs Ember Moon was poor. Ember has been placed in a feud with Mandy and Sonya Deville which almost guarantees bad matches, which is a shame as she is capable of better.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = The Undertaker delivered a classic promo, and despite having heard these exact words multiple times over the previous 3 decades, they felt genuine and most importantly, they felt real. However, Shane McMahon's promo that preceded The Undertaker's was poor, with Drew McIntyre also struggling on the mic to say anything of real note. The Undertaker saved this segment, but it is clear that Shane needs to go away for good and stop talking.

The promo from Maria Kanellis actually felt invigorating, and it was interesting to see someone new in the spotlight. Credit should be given to her post match promo against her husband Mike Kanellis, but no matter how well it was performed, it was poorly received by fans in the arena. Raw this week feels poorer in the quality of promo content, however I fully expect this to be remedied almost immediately, as long as Paul Heyman is allowed to extort his creative control over the roster.

SmackDown = The promo between Samoa Joe and Kofi Kingston was electric, with both men coming across well. Joe is one of the best promos on the main roster, however Kofi was not only able to hang with Joe here, but also surpass him in terms of genuine emotion. The promo served it's purpose well, as I cannot wait to see their match at Extreme Rules.

Elsewhere, Aleister Black continued to deliver a passionate promo, however it continues to feel by the numbers. Aleister needs to be kicking ass and taking names, not delivering what feels like a sermon. As a standalone promo, it was great, however, as yet another promo in a series of them, it feels old.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The revival of The Club was done perfectly. The way in which AJ Styles convinced both Ricochet and fans that he was not in cahoots with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson was masterfully done. The way in which they destroyed Ricochet also signalled that these 3 men are a force to be reckoned with. I cannot wait to see where this angle goes next next.

Most matches going into Extreme Rules had natural and logical progressions in their storylines this week, with the highlight being the continued angle between Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.

SmackDown = The storylines that are native to SmackDown currently feel a step below those of Raw, however the tag team division is a particular highlight at the moment, with multiple teams vying for supremacy. This leads to great matches and interesting interactions.

I do hope however, that the women's scene on SmackDown improves. The storylines they are given are not interesting, and it leads to disinterest in their division as a whole.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw opened with the Falls Count Anywhere match, which genuinely felt different from every other Raw. The pacing of the show was great, with a sense that Paul Heyman's influence may already be evident. The show felt cohesive, logical and most importantly, it felt interesting. Despite being a 3 hour show, this week didn't feel like the torturous slog it has often felt like.

SmackDown = SmackDown's pacing was great, which has often been the case due to it's 2 hour run time. However, the show dragged for a period in the middle, which meant it wasn't as easy to watch as it usually is.

WINNER: Raw

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for opening with the Falls Count Anywhere match. It was so refreshing to open to a match, rather than the same tired opening promo. Raw also gains an extra point for making me laugh at Drake Maverick winning the 24/7 Championship. The angle feels so stupid, yet it is also entertaining.
 
Raw loses points for the Maria Kanellis pregnancy angle. It feels so forced, and should not be anywhere near WWE TV, although her promo performance was believable. The subtle undertone of Mike Kanellis being henpecked also made me feel uneasy.

SmackDown gains points for showcasing Daniel Bryan in a singles match against Big E, reminding fans that although he has moved to the tag team division, he is still capable of great matches on his own.
 
SmackDown loses points for not having Finn Balor compete. Balor is perhaps the best wrestler on SmackDown in terms of work rate and connection with the fans, therefore he needs to be competing and brightening up the show. Another week, and another no show for Balor. It is disappointing, especially when SmackDown needs a valiant face in the main event scene that is not Kofi Kingston.

Special mention needs to be given to the Shelton Benjamin interview. I cannot understand what the purpose for this was, however it left me laughing for a while. As I don't believe this was the intended purpose, I cannot add or deduct a point, but it is definitely worth watching again.

POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+2 / -1) / SmackDown (+1 / -1)

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw

Raw wins this week by 4 points to 1. This is because Raw felt different, and in most areas there was a clear reason as to why Raw was better. the club angle was great, and this can lead to a period of dominance for them if booked well. SmackDown wasn't necessarily bad, however the issue is that Raw improved dramatically this week. Paul Heyman's influence is clear already, however I hope that Eric Bischoff is able to exert his influence over SmackDown soon.

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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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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