WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (September 2-3, 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 - September 2, 2019 - Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
WWE SmackDown - September 3, 2019 – Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = The overall match quality on Raw this week was a step below the high quality of last week's matches, however that is not to say the matches this week were bad. Samoa Joe vs Ricochet was a great match before the double pinfall ending, which is not a surprise considering the wrestlers involved. Ricochet once again proved he could compete at the highest level on Raw, whilst Samoa Joe underlined just how consistent he is as a performer.

Lacey Evans put in a much better showing than she did last week on SmackDown which was pleasant to see. This may have been because Natalya is more than capable of putting on a good to great match with anyone, however the marked improvement in Evans' performance needs to be highlighted considering how poor she was last week.

The biggest surprise of the night was Baron Corbin vs Cedric Alexander, which was somehow the best match of the night. Corbin has elevated his ring work during the King of the Ring tournament, whilst the tournament has also allowed Alexander to breakout into an undoubted star. Alexander looked strong in defeat, with Corbin continuing to loom over the tournament as a dark horse to win.

Overall, the matches on Raw never felt rushed or lacking in quality, but the high quality of last week's Raw matches was clearly missing this week. This is proof though of how much Raw has improved, as a few months ago, the quality of this week's matches would have been a welcome relief from the poor and often rushed matches that were on offer.

SmackDown = The matches on SmackDown this week were better than Raw, outside of the 2 matches that lasted less than 2 minutes. Chad Gable vs Andrade was an excellent match, with the added surprise of Gable winning and progressing to the semi-finals of the King of the Ring tournament. This shows just how unpredictable the tournament can be. Andrade is a consistently good performer, whilst Gable is capable of good matches but has not had the right platform to show his abilities. Until now that is.

Elias vs Ali was also a great match, and it was possibly the best Elias match I have ever seen. The King of the Ring tournament has been a boon to Elias' performances and overall character, and arguably he is the best choice to assume the heel character of King through winning the tournament.

Admittedly, there were 2 short matches that are hard to rate in terms of quality, but as SmackDown's King of the Ring matches were of such better quality than Raw's, they had the best matches this week.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Bray Wyatt delivered what was arguably his best Firefly Fun House promo yet. Everything about the performance was incredible, from the constant change of his tone as he slipped between his normal persona and the darker alter ego of The Fiend, to the re-appearance of puppet Vince McMahon. This promo served as an unofficial challenge to the winner of Seth Rollins vs Braun Strowman, in what would be a Hell in a Cell match at the appropriately named Hell in a Cell event in October. Wyatt's commitment to both characters is unwavering, which makes for extremely compelling viewing.

Bayley also provided a promo, however hers was short and sweet, hinting at what was to come in the main event. This promo took on greater significance as a result of her heel turn which I appreciate, as WWE was able to effectively set up what felt like a natural character progression.

SmackDown = Bayley's promo to explain why she had joined forces with Sasha Banks felt honest and justified, which should allow Bayley to naturally develop her new heel character. The promo allowed Bayley to show she is more than just a bubbly character, whilst also adding another layer to her feud with Charlotte.

Randy Orton also delivered a promo which came off well, which is a real surprise considering how promos have never really been his strength. His collaboration with The Revival has refreshed his character, and this shows in the confidence and arrogance that is displayed in his promos. It also helps he has rediscovered how to say stupid in such a funny manner.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The OC vs Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman storyline continues to wage on, with The OC looking dominant as they effectively and comprehensively took out Rollins and Strowman, albeit with the support of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. The simmering tension between Rollins and Strowman is an effective secondary plot within the storyline that continues to intrigue more with each passing week, with AJ Styles continuing to goad the pair into fighting. This storyline continues to be the best part of Raw and it shows no sign of becoming stale.

Bayley turned heel and aligned herself with Sasha Banks, taking out Becky Lynch in the process. This is a welcome character change as the family friendly face version of Bayley has been ineffective for a long time, but aligning with Banks allows her to unleash her dark side. This allows for fresh storylines and is just what Bayley needs to reinvigorate her character.

The storylines on Raw continue to be compelling, with a marked improvement in how storylines evolve week to week. Paul Heyman is succeeding in creating stories that connect with fans, and long may these stories continue.

SmackDown = The Roman Reigns storyline continued this week, however it took an interesting turn as Rowan admitted he was to blame for the attacks on Roman Reigns. He took Reigns out easily, whilst seemingly splitting from Daniel Bryan by slamming him through the announcers table. This storyline keeps evolving each week, and thankfully this week's development was much better than the farce of the previous 2 weeks.

Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton continue to feud, however the injection of The Revival into the storyline has helped keep their feud interesting. There are serious doubts that Kingston can retain his WWE Championship which makes their upcoming match at Clash of Champions must see.

Overall, the storylines on SmackDown are improving, however Raw continues to showcase the better storylines. It also doesn't help that most of Bayley's character development has been taking place on Raw, despite being the SmackDown Women's Champion.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw felt easy to watch this week, with no match or segment outstaying it's welcome. As has been the case for the last few weeks, it is still a long show to sit through at 3 hours, but it no longer feels like the chore it used to. The show is booked well, and this week's main event match and angle felt like a perfect and effective way to end the show.

SmackDown = SmackDown was very easy to watch this week. It felt fresh, interesting and didn't feel like a chore to watch. By sheer virtue of being a 2 hour show, SmackDown was the easier show to watch this week.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for bringing back puppet Vince McMahon. The segment was amazing, and the sight of puppet McMahon gobbling down money is genuinely the funniest thing WWE have broadcast in years. This was funny without detracting from the serious nature of Bray Wyatt and his darker alter ego.

Raw also gains points for turning Bayley heel. This is just the shot in the arm that her character needs, and alongside Sasha Banks, Bayley will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

Raw gains yet another point for the perfect manner in which the storyline between The OC, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman is playing out. There are so many layers of effective storytelling that contribute to one of the best storylines WWE have produced in years. WWE needs to be praised when they have invested time and effort in an effective storyline that captures the imagination of fans.

Raw loses points for the double pinfall finish to Ricochet vs Samoa Joe. The match was of real quality, therefore it is a shame we didn't have a decisive winner. Hopefully this will culminate in a great triple threat match next week with Baron Corbin.

SmackDown gains points for continuing the story of Bayley's heel turn. By cementing it on SmackDown, Bayley automatically feels like a fresh new character, and this can only benefit the SmackDown women's division.

SmackDown loses points for devoting time to the 24/7 Championship. This division should be featured on Raw as they have an extra hour to fill. Any time devoted to the 24/7 Championship on SmackDown, no matter how small or infrequent, feels wasted as this could be promo time for a SmackDown wrestler.

POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+3 / -1) / SmackDown (+1 / -1)

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw

By a score of 4 to 2, Raw wins Battle of the Brands this week. SmackDown was much more improved this week, whilst Raw continued to be the consistently good show it has become. SmackDown is taking the right steps though to rival Raw in terms of entertainment and importance.

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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