WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (July 15-16, 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 15, 2019 - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY
WWE SmackDown - July 16, 2019 – DCU Center in Worcester, MA

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = In general, the matches on Raw delivered. The 2 out of 3 falls match was extremely entertaining, with Ricochet continuing to impress as he does every week, whilst Cedric Alexander vs Drew McIntyre was a fun little battle. The glaring issue however, was the women's elimination match, which was extremely hard to watch. None of the women involved are particularly strong as in ring performers, and with a vociferous crowd chanting how poor the match was, it became extremely hard to watch. I will praise them for finishing the match in such a hostile environment, but WWE need to avoid highlighting wrestlers deficiencies in such matches.

SmackDown = SmackDown featured 7 matches this week, however 4 of these came in at under 3 minutes which dilutes the importance of them. The match quality didn't feel as strong as what was on Raw, and having two count out finishes suggest a lack of ideas. The matches weren't bad this week, however they weren't good either.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = The promos this week felt disappointing, with Miz TV in particular being hard to watch. I will attribute the poor MIZ TV segment to the charisma vacuum that is Dolph Ziggler, who is in desperate need of a character overhaul. Paul Heyman delivered the same tired promo, and despite gloating over Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship victory, he failed to intrigue me.

SmackDown = Shane McMahon's town hall meeting did not come off well, as it felt disjointed and uninteresting. The involvement of superstars such as Charlotte and Kofi Kingston felt unimportant to the overarching storyline of Shane vs Keven Owens, and as ever, Shane struggled to capture the imagination on the mic. Thankfully, The New Day managed to provide a strong promo and build to their potential SummerSlam feuds. SmackDown just about edges promos this week thanks to The New Day and not including the same tired promos that Raw relies on.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The Club continue to be pushed heavily, and this is something I can get fully behind and appreciate. AJ Styles doesn't necessarily need support, but using The Club as a vehicle for his heel turn is nothing short of inspired. AJ continues to be one step ahead of the roster, and each week I look forward to seeing how The Club will dominate and decimate their opponents. In Ricochet, AJ has the perfect foil, and their storyline continues to be a highlight of the show.

Unfortunately, Raw saw WWE return to the well with Seth Rollins. In becoming the number one contender to the Universal Championship, we have been deprived of a potentially intriguing match up for Brock Lesnar. To return to Seth vs Brock feels highly uninspired, especially when an intriguing new matchup for Brock could have been booked effectively. Hopefully over the next few weeks we will see a change to this matchup to a more interesting option.

SmackDown = Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens continues to be a thing, unfortunately, and their feud seems to be elevated over the WWE Championship. Thankfully, Kofi Kingston looks to be facing a new contender in the form of Randy Orton, which is intriguing given their history. The IIconics vs The Kabuki Warriors was lifeless and makes a mockery of the talent of Asuka and Kairi Sane, who deserve much better than treading water as they currently are. Overall, the storylines on SmackDown currently feel lacking, which is a concern going into SummerSlam.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = The women's elimination dragged the show down, and despite the best efforts of the superstars involved, the fans audibly vented their frustration. This only served to highlight how much of a chore it was to watch Raw this week. Compared to recent weeks, the pacing felt off, almost as if the writers are not clear on what they should be focusing on. The 24/7 segments are designed to make the show feel different, however they feel predictable and not interesting.

SmackDown = SmackDown felt easier to watch this week, primarily because the matches flew by rather than drag on like they did on Raw. Despite opening the show with a promo, the remainder of the show felt easy to watch, and this can be attributed once again to being a 2 hour show. The main event between Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler felt appropriate to headline the show, which helped SmackDown feel like the better scheduled show this week.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for an impressive Bray Wyatt re-debut. Bray didn't need a larger segment, as the manner in which he appeared to take out Finn Balor was highly effective. I look forward to seeing how their feud will pan out, especially if he continues to use his fiend persona.
 
Raw loses points for including 5 SmackDown superstars in the main event. The Wildcard rule is already a tired concept, and matches like this only serve to further dilute the concept. Raw needs to forge it's own identify, and reliance on SmackDown superstars only serves to prevent this. Raw also loses points for the swift fashion in which Mike Kanellis was defeated by Zack Ryder. Not only did the match serve to embarrass him, but the way in which Maria Kanellis disparages him is uncomfortable.

SmackDown gains points for Daniel Bryan trolling the audience by not revealing his career altering announcement. Usually this would feel like a poor development, however it compels the audience and makes them crave the reveal of the announcement. This was well played by Bryan.
 
SmackDown loses points for highlighting the Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens feud. We have seen this battle previously, and despite both wrestler's best efforts, it was very uninspired and left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone who was subjected to it. Now with the face and heel alignments switched, it still feels uninspiring, and the concern is this feud will continue to be elevated above the WWE Championship in terms of importance.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

By a score of 2-3, SmackDown wins this week's Battle of the Brands. Whilst neither show was a standout success, SmackDown just edges Raw in terms of less offensive content. Raw was better this week than it has been for a while, however the women's elimination match dragged the show down. SmackDown can be a much better show if they decide to reduce the focus on Shane McMahon, however this is a point that has been ignored for months now. Hopefully both shows will be better next week as we continue on the journey to SummerSlam.

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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