WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (July 8-9, 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 8, 2019 - Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
WWE SmackDown - July 9, 2019 – SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Ricochet's two matches aside, this week's matches felt severely lacking. Despite the attention that WWE gave the mixed tag team match between Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs Andrade and Zelina Vega, the match didn't click, and it is unclear if it is because there is a lack of chemistry between the on screen personas of Rollins and Lynch.

The triple threat tag team match also felt lacking, which is not something that should be said about a match involving The Revival and The Usos. However, the Beat the Clock segment matches were pulled off incredibly well, and the Bobby Lashley vs Rey Mysterio match served an important purpose. Overall, the matches felt lacking in real quality compared to last week, but the shining light remains Ricochet. He appears to be in the midst of a real push, and his matches feel compelling and exciting, and week after week he continues to perform to a high standard.

SmackDown = With fewer matches, it was quality over quantity for SmackDown, and it showed. Finn Balor vs Shinsuke Nakamura was a great match, with Nakamura appearing more motivated than he has in a while. Nikki Cross vs Carmella was a fun little match with the correct winner in Nikki, whilst the main event was better than what I was expecting. With a more concentrated focus on certain matchups, SmackDown's matches felt more important this week.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Paul Heyman delivered a cryptic promo this week that managed to feel slightly different to the same tired promo he has delivered in Brock Lesnar's absence. Maybe it was the restrained delivery of his tone, but his promo felt more heartfelt this week.

Alexa Bliss' absence was felt this week as Nikki Cross delivered a good promo, but it was not even half the promo that Bliss is capable of. At times she appeared to trip over herself during the promo, however she is new to the main roster so she can be forgiven for this.

SmackDown = The reveal of Cesaro as Aleister Black's Extreme Rules opponent was done well, with both men performing well in the promo. However, the highlight of the night was the promo delivered by Nikki Cross, who it seems is going from strength to strength. There was the subtle hint that Sasha Banks may be returning at Extreme Rules to support Bayley, whilst also adding another layer to the Nikki and Alexa Bliss storyline with the prospect of being co-champions. Colour me intrigued for the matchup at Extreme Rules following this superb promo segment.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Most storylines this week felt like they were treading water. The feud between Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans is already starting to feel stale and uninspired, whilst the train wreck that is the current Shane McMahon narrative continues to be torture to watch.

The shining light on Raw this week was Nikki Cross being able to stand on her own two feet with Alexa Bliss to not only compete in a credible match, but to add yet another intriguing layer to the Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross storyline. Being able to hint at a heel turn, whilst also making the match between Bliss and Bayley at Extreme Rules more tantalising is no easy task. Nikki is evidence that if you slowly build up a wrestler, they can get over organically.

SmackDown = If you overlook Shane McMahon's constant presence with his own storyline, there was much to like from SmackDown this week. Finn Balor's return has been seemingly greeted with him being placed in a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura, which will be a great feud for both men if Nakamura can be as motivated as he was here tonight.

Again, praise needs to be given to Nikki Cross for advancing her storyline two nights in a row without the amazing promo skills of Alexa Bliss. If WWE can capitalise on Nikki's current momentum, they may have a new star on their hands. This storyline continues to get even better each and every week.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw felt disjointed this week, and it is not clear if this is because of the change in direction creatively. The show did not feel like it had Paul Heyman's fingerprints on it, and it felt counter intuitive to have Roman Reigns end the show looking like a fool. The main event was a convoluted mess which only contributed to the poor pacing of the show.

SmackDown = SmackDown felt so much easier to watch this week than Raw. Shane McMahon aside, each segment felt like it served a purpose, with no focus on silly storylines. The pacing doesn't appear to have Eric Bischoff's fingerprints on it yet, however this week was a breeze to watch.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for continuing to showcase Ricochet as a star, whilst continuing to build The Club as a dangerous stable. Sometimes the easiest storylines are the most effective.
 
Raw loses points for the dire segment in which Maria Kanellis revealed her husband Mike Kanellis may not be the father to her unborn child. This is Jerry Springer material that is not acceptable in 2019 wrestling. I sincerely hope this storyline is quickly dropped, however I fear this will not be the case. Raw also loses points for showcasing Shane McMahon in the main event.

SmackDown gains points for the Ali video package. It appears he will be pushed heavily on SmackDown, and that is a tantalising prospect.
 
SmackDown loses points for hinting at Sasha Banks returning. Whilst not the worst thing in the world, I feel that the current angle for the SmackDown Women's Championship needs to be resolved without Sasha returning. The hint felt more pronounced than on Raw, which is why SmackDown loses a point.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

At 4 to -1, it is a clean sweep in favour of SmackDown this week. Overall the show felt refreshing and more interesting than Raw. With the current situation with wildcards, there is some crossover with content, however that content is better executed on SmackDown. SmackDown also felt like a better go home show for Extreme Rules this weekend.

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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