WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (August 19-20, 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 - August 19, 2019 - Xcel Energy Arena in St. Paul, MN
WWE SmackDown - August 20, 2019 – Danny Sanford Premium Center in Sioux Falls, SD

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = The King of the Ring tournament matches were of real quality this week, with both matches feeling compelling and exciting. Cedric Alexander is performing to a high quality each week, whilst Samoa Joe underlined why he is one of the best wrestlers on the roster. Both men fully deserved their victories, and the tournament is off to a great start in terms of producing great matches, in addition to elevating talent.

The Raw Tag Team Championship match was of real quality, with Braun Strowman reminding fans of just how talented he is as a giant wrestler. Strowman has been steadily improving year on year, and whilst he is paired with Seth Rollins, he can only further enhance his reputation. The OC again showed why they are the most underrated tag team in WWE, and more than held up their end of the match quality.

Finally, the rest of the matches this week were good to great, with the only exception the women’s tag team match. However, this can be forgiven as the division is finally being highlighted regularly, and any match involving Mandy Rose is going to struggle to be great. Everyone on this week’s show put a great effort into their matches.

SmackDown = The matches on display at SmackDown were all of real quality. Andrade vs Apollo Crews was undoubtedly the match of the night, with Andrade showing just why he is one of the favourites to win the King of the Ring tournament.

The second King of the Ring match was Elias vs Kevin Owens, and despite a screwy finish, Elias winning was the correct decision. Both men performed well, and Elias showed why he is one of the most underrated wrestlers on the main roster.

But the clear match of the night was Buddy Murphy vs Daniel Bryan, which was a hard hitting and fascinating contest. Murphy won clean in what can surely be described as his biggest victory to date. This could be the match that finally allows Murphy to compete in the main event scene.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Sasha Banks’ promo was a perfect way to reintroduce her heel persona, and despite not saying anything about why she attacked Natalya last week, she effectively underlined why she performs better as a heel. Her mannerisms were perfect, and the cadence she used when describing her blue hair as opposed to the brutal attack from last week confirmed just how dangerous she is. Banks doesn’t care for anyone but herself, and this brief but effective promo was the best way to solidify her heel persona.

The rest of the promos on Raw were well performed, with Rey Mysterio shining in a heartfelt promo which also included his son Dominik. Natalya also delivered an emotional promo about the attack she sustained at the hands of Sasha Banks last week, only to be attacked by Banks herself, who told Natalya to go to hell and tell her daddy she said hi. Chilling words from Banks that underline just how much she has changed.

SmackDown = Sami Zayn provided a quality promo on Miz TV as he revealed himself as Shinsuke Nakamura’s mouthpiece. His reasoning was sound, and as always, Zayn delivered his promo with real passion.

Charlotte also delivered a good promo as she not only revelled in her victory over Trish Stratus at SunmerSlam, but announced she would be facing Bayley at Clash of Champions for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Bayley also came out of the promo well, as she was determined to beat Charlotte and show she is the better wrestler. This match is going to be great, and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the build unfolds.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The OC vs Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman continued this week, with Rollins and Strowman ultimately coming out on top. The OC has been dominant for so long, that losing the Raw Tag Team Championships was a genuine surprise. This new element of weakness for The OC makes for compelling viewing, and I cannot wait to see how they respond to this.

Bray Wyatt’s alter ego made an appearance to silence Jerry Lawler. The Fiend is quite simply the most intriguing character in WWE at the moment, and rather than setting up his next feud, WWE have decided to have him arbitrarily take out Hall of Famers. It is unclear if this will actually go anywhere, but hopefully this leads to more destruction of wrestlers at the hand of The Fiend, leading to a titanic collision with a wrestler such as The Undertaker. It is great to see The Fiend is being showcased in a manner that does not harm his character or credibility, but the excitement is palatable for who he will choose for his next feud.

SmackDown = The reveal of Roman Reigns’ attacker as a man who looks similar to Rowan was extremely disappointing. The reveal made little to no sense, feeling both underwhelming and confusing. I hope there is a better conclusion to this storyline, but I fear the damage has already been done.

Unfortunately, Shane McMahon is extending his feud with Kevin Owens. This is terrible as the storyline has felt largely flat so far as Shane McMahon is not entertaining as a wrestler or as a figure of authority. Try as he might, Owens just cannot make McMahon look better than he is.

Another underwhelming storyline is Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston. Their feud is continuing, however the jury is still out to see if they can produce a good feud. The promo work has been good, but the feud is missing something to make fans more invested. Overall the storylines on SmackDown feel tired and lacklustre.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was once again easy to watch. The show is starting to feel like a well oiled machine, and despite a few hiccups here and there (namely with some of the backstage segments that feel tacked on for the sake of it) the show is much easier to watch than it previously has been. Raw is now largely a consistently great show to watch, feeling like less of a chore as each week passes. Whether this is due to Paul Heyman’s influence over the show or not, it feels like a concerted effort on behalf of the writers to improve the pacing and quality of the show.

SmackDown = SmackDown was easy to watch this week, as it is easy to watch most weeks, however there was a glaring issue with pacing. To have A Moment of Bliss and Miz TV on a 2 hour show seems like a waste of time, especially when Raw has an extra hour to fill. SmackDown could easily have another match instead of one of the talk show segments.

WINNER: Raw

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for starting off the King of the Ring tournament so strongly. I have every faith they can build up and elevate the next star through this tournament, and on the basis of tonight, that is not hard to believe.

Raw also gains a point for furthering the Rey Mysterio retirement storyline. It feels genuine and heartfelt, especially with Dominik suggesting he will tag with his father. The tease of Mysterio removing his mask was well executed, and I cannot wait to see where this storyline goes. This is already a much better storyline for Dominik compared to the atrocious storyline from SummerSlam 2005

Raw loses points for the awful Elias and R-Truth segment. This was proof that in terms of comedy, Drake Maverick is a better foil for R-Truth. However, if WWE want to transition to a more serious period for the 24/7 Championship, a move away from the comedy would help. The important thing is the championship yet again feels unimportant.

SmackDown gains points for giving Shinsuke Nakamura a mouthpiece. Nakamura has lost a considerable amount of momentum despite being the Intercontinental Champion. By pairing him with Sami Zayn, he should now be able to regain his momentum and push towards capturing the WWE Championship.

SmackDown loses points for the poor reveal of Roman Reigns’ attacker. The whole segment felt underwhelming, which suggests that the writers weren’t sure which direction the storyline was going in. Hopefully there will be a more satisfying conclusion to this.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw

Raw wins this week with a score of 4 to 1. SmackDown had the better matches this week, but as an overall show, Raw was on a higher level this week. Raw is starting to show consistency in quality for the first time in a number of years which makes the show easy to watch. It also helps that the better storylines appear to be on Raw.

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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