WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (September 9-10, 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 9, 2019 - Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
WWE SmackDown - September 10, 2019 – Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = The match quality this week was really strong, with nearly every match being good to great. Cedric Alexander used this week's episode of Raw as his coming out party, finally establishing himself as a true star by beating AJ Styles in 2 different matches. His first match with Styles ended in a DQ in his favour, but both he and Styles had put on a strong match before it ended.

However, Alexander was able to surpass this performance in his second match of the night, as part of a 5 on 5 tag team match. Alexander, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and The Viking Raiders defeated Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler and The OC, with Alexander picking up the pinfall victory over Styles. To win the main event match of a Raw episode at Madison Square Garden is the biggest indication yet that Alexander is primed for big things. This match had everything required to make it exciting, with Strowman in particular looking dominant. This was the best match of the night by a country mile.

Rey Mysterio turned back the clock this week in a fun sprint against Gran Metalik, which was both thoroughly entertaining and exciting to see. Mysterio unleashed his best luchador moves, whilst also elevating Metalik to his level. It isn't often that a luchador match will take place on Raw, therefore this match felt special, and although Mysterio winning was the correct result, Metalik can leave Raw with his head held high.

The Four Horsewomen also displayed just how good they are in the ring, as they competed against each other in a stellar tag team contest. The match was also highly intriguing due to the interwoven storylines, with all 4 women performing well. Bayley revelled in her newly discovered heel role, which added to the excitement of the match.

Overall, the matches on Raw were consistently great to watch, which has been the case for a few weeks now.

SmackDown = SmackDown’s matches this week failed to match the high standards set by Raw. During the show, it was announced that Elias was going to be replaced in the King of the Ring tournament due to an injury, which resulted in Shane McMahon taking his place. This reveal was poorly received, as too was his match against Chad Gable. Gable was able to win, however this was in part due to Kevin Owens interfering to screw McMahon over. This fell flat and made Gable look weak.

The Miz vs Andrade was a great match, with The Miz's victory well received by fans. Unfortunately, Andrade appears to be stuck in limbo again, but strong performances like this one will allow him to move onto better opportunities.

There was nothing to hate about the 2 women’s matches or the tag team match between Heavy Machinery and a pair of jobbers, but the desire and intrigue that was present in the Raw matches was sorely lacking here.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = The Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman contract signing segment came off perfectly, with the injection of AJ Styles and Steve Austin making the segment memorable. Styles continues to act like an entitled and arrogant bully, and it was this attitude that encouraged Austin to deliver a Stunner to shut him up. Styles continues to elevate his character, whilst Rollins, Strowman and Austin all delivered great lines within the segment to make it unforgettable.

Bray Wyatt delivered a great Firefly Fun House promo that was not only entertaining, but also intriguing. Wyatt hit his alarm clock which changed from 3:16 to 11:19, a reference which currently remains a mystery. Was it a reference to something in his past or an allusion to who he will battle next? This new element to the Firefly Fun House promos means they are not starting to feel old, whilst also adding to the mystique of The Fiend. Overall, this week's segment was entertaining, especially as Wyatt warning his viewers of stranger danger whilst tapping into The Fiend was ironically hilarious.

Roman Reigns also delivered a heartfelt promo in relation to his battle with leukemia, thanking the fans for their unwavering support. Roman revealed he had been visiting some young cancer patients in hospital before bringing some of them out on stage, asking fans to support them. This was emotional to watch as Reigns has battled hard to defeat leukemia, therefore it was touching for him to highlight the children in such a positive manner.

SmackDown = The Undertaker made an appearance on SmackDown, delivering one of his standard grave warning promos, only to be interrupted by Sami Zayn. Zayn more than held his own during the promo, before being taken out by The Undertaker with a Chokeslam. This was an interesting way to start the show, with Zayn showing just how good he is at delivering promo.

Mandy Rose cut a brief promo on Nikki Cross, mocking her about how embarrassed she would be if she looked like Cross. This was a distasteful promo, and in 2019 there should be no excuse for attacking how someone looks for cheap heat. This was puerile and offensive, and did not come off well at all.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The OC, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman storyline continues to dominate Raw, and every week this storyline goes from strength to strength. Rollins and Strowman appear to have an ally in the form of Cedric Alexander, and despite beating The OC in the main event, tensions are still visible between the Raw Tag Team Champions. This tension has been perfectly booked for their 2 matches at Clash of Champions, whilst also hinting at united issues with AJ Styles. There are multiple directions this storyline could go in, and it is clear that no matter which direction is chosen, not only will the matches be of a high quality, but the storyline will continue to be compelling viewing.

Sasha Banks and Bayley had a slight comeuppance this week as they were defeated by Becky Lynch and Charlotte, however in no way does this dilute the strength of their respective storylines, as both Banks and Bayley looked strong in defeat. They both have individual matches at Clash of Champions, and due to the strong manner in which they have been presented recently, it is hard to believe they both won't come away as champions on Sunday.

SmackDown = Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston continued the build to their match at Clash of Champions, continuing to build off their established history together. Both men played off each other well, with Kingston coming out on top to give him the momentum for Sunday’s match. This feud started off badly, but over the past few weeks it has developed into a genuinely interesting rivalry. The promos that have been delivered over the past few weeks have been great, however this needs to be translated into an interesting match on Sunday.

The issues between Roman Reigns and Rowan continued this week, with Rowan coming out on top. This angle has been poorly booked from the start, however this segment was booked well, which helped increase the interest in their match at Clash of Champions. Rowan is being presented as a monster, which is a role he can fulfil effectively.

Overall, the storylines on SmackDown continue to be eclipsed by those on Raw, but SmackDown has made significant improvements to make their storylines more interesting than they have been in recent weeks.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw felt special this week, which was in part due to taking place at Madison Square Garden. The show never dragged, and despite being a 3 hour show, it never once felt like a chore to watch. This was arguably one of the most exciting episodes of Raw in years.

SmackDown = The show felt easy to watch, however it didn’t feel as important or exciting as Raw was. The show was scheduled well, with each segment following a logical path, however the show felt inferior to Raw, which was paced much better.

WINNER: Raw

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for setting Baron Corbin up as the favourite to win the King of the Ring tournament. If he wins, the character of King Corbin will be so insufferable that he may actually incite riots!

Raw gains extra points for elevating Cedric Alexander into an undoubted star of the future. He won 2 matches in one night, and by pinning AJ Styles in the main event of a Raw held in Madison Square Garden, he is now set for the foreseeable future. He has an aura of stardom that I hope will be capitalised on soon with an extended run in the upper midcard, before transitioning to a main event run for the Universal Championship.

Raw loses no points, as this week's show was simply fantastic. No segment was boring or hard to watch, matches were great and everyone involved worked hard. This was not a perfect show, but it was a faultless show nonetheless.

SmackDown gains points for allowing Bayley to regain momentum ahead of her match with Charlotte at Clash of Champions. Bayley needs to win on Sunday in order to cement the believability of her new heel character.

SmackDown loses points for continuing to waste time on the Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens feud. Not once has this feud been interesting, and it is hard to envision it will improve this time around.

POINT ADJUSTMENTS: Raw (+2 / -0) / SmackDown (+1 / -1)

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw

With a total of 6 points to 0, Raw is the landslide winner of Battle of the Brands. Raw is consistently the better show at the moment, and despite SmackDown improving in certain areas, the show cannot match up to the stellar efforts on Raw. Raw is exciting in terms of both matches and storylines, whilst SmackDown seems to only be exciting every couple of weeks. This inconsistency is an issue that needs to be addressed quickly by Eric Bischoff and his writing team.

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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