WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (September 30 - October 4, 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 30, 2019 - Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ
WWE SmackDown - October 4, 2019 – Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Outside of the United States Championship match, Raw's matches felt underwhelming this week, which is a real shame considering the high quality of matches over the past few weeks. AJ Styles vs Cedric Alexander was a great match, and despite Styles winning to retain his title, Alexander benefitted the most from the match as he was able to rehabilitate his character following a few weeks of stagnation. This match not only was great to watch, but made the United States Championship feel important.

Unfortunately, Lacey Evans had yet another match on Raw, despite not actually being talented or interesting in the ring. Her feud with Natalya hasn't been great, with their match a reflection of this as it felt uninteresting. Hopefully Evans will be dropped from Raw soon, but highlighting matches of this calibre is a poor move as much more talented wrestlers could occupy this time and produce a great match.

Overall, the matches this week on Raw felt uninteresting, which is poor when you consider this was the go home show before Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.

SmackDown = SmackDown's matches were advertised in advance in such a manner that SmackDown felt important this week, and all of the matches delivered on their promise in one way or another. Brock Lesnar decimated Kofi Kingston in 10 seconds to capture the WWE Championship, and although Kingston was made to look like a chump, it was the correct decision. Lesnar looks stronger than ever, something that Fox executives will be salivating over.

The match of the night was Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon, with their ladder match highlighting just how much they hate each other. The action was great, with both Owens and McMahon getting opportunities to shine and look dominant. Owens managed to claim the briefcase to win the match and fire McMahon, with the actual dismissal feeling highly cathartic. Despite their feud being awful to watch, this match was surprisingly well set out and performed.

Overall, SmackDown's matches were better laid out than those on Raw, with most of the matches coming across as more important too. Each contest brought something new to the show, with the debut episode of SmackDown on Fox feeling more important as a result.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = This week's Firefly Fun House segment was interesting, however it lacked the typical brilliance of recent Firefly Fun House segments. Ramblin' Rabbit remains a hidden gem of these promos, with Bray Wyatt continuing to deliver the goods with his patented promo delivery. Unfortunately, this week's segment failed to hit the highs of last week's amazing offering, however this is not to say it wasn't good.

SmackDown = The Rock, Becky Lynch and King Corbin all contributed to a great opening promo segment, with all 3 performing well on the microphone. Nostalgia may have played a huge part in this segment coming across well, but Lynch and Corbin came out of the promo with added credibility. It is always great to hear The Rock talk in a WWE ring, and this was no different as he unleashed the classic insults he is known for.

Bray Wyatt delivered his second Firefly Fun House promo of the week, however this version was better received than the one on Raw. Wyatt spoke of how much damage The Fiend would inflict on Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell, before demonstrating just how this would happen as Mercy the Buzzard killed a Rollins inspired Ramblin' Rabbit. The segment was funny whilst retaining the dark element that makes The Fiend so compelling. This was by far the best promo of the week.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Bray Wyatt vs Seth Rollins continued to be presented as the top storyline on Raw, with Wyatt's dark alter ego once again coming out on top. The momentum going into Hell in a Cell is clearly with The Fiend, which sets him up as the undoubted favourite for the WWE Universal Championship match. Last week, Rollins was presented as weak and scared of The Fiend, but this week he showed more strength and belief, despite being taken out by The Fiend during Raw's conclusion. This storyline has been great so far, however this is purely down to the amazing character work of Wyatt.

Strangely, the WWE Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Kofi Kingston on SmackDown was highlighted on Raw, with Lesnar absolutely destroying Rey Mysterio and his son Dominik. This storyline hasn't had much attention due to the short notice of the match, however by destroying Mysterio, Lesnar has been able to pique people's interest in that contest. The way in which he destroyed Mysterio and Dominik was highly entertaining whilst underlining just how dangerous Lesnar is.

Much to the chagrin of most of the WWE universe, the storyline revolving around Maria Kanellis and Rusev was extended this week, with Lana seemingly hooking up with Bobby Lashley. Having such a soap opera storyline on Raw is embarrassing, and this does not benefit any of the wrestlers involved. Hopefully this storyline will be ended soon, however I highly doubt this will happen.

SmackDown = The women's tag team match advanced the storyline between Charlotte and Bayley, with Charlotte making Bayley submit for the victory. This sets Charlotte up perfectly as the number one contender to the SmackDown Women's Championship, with the match also allowing for a preview of the upcoming Hell in a Cell match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.

Seth Rollins was once again attacked by The Fiend, who interfered in Rollins' match with Shinsuke Nakamura. Once again, The Fiend incapacitated Rollins, who has been made to look like a fool going into Hell in a Cell.

Outside of a few storylines, there wasn't much development on SmackDown of existing or new storylines, mainly because it was the debut episode of SmackDown on Fox. However, the debut of Cain Velasquez was seismic, as he is seemingly positioned in a feud with Brock Lesnar. Velasquez is one of the few men who legitimately beat Lesnar in UFC, and it will be exciting to see how their real life hatred of each other manifests itself in the ring.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw continued to be a joy to watch this week, with the 3 hour duration never feeling like an issue. The only issue with pacing on the show was the addition of the Rusev and Lana infidelity storyline in the main event, which felt like a glaring issue. This aside, Raw was a delight to watch, as it so often is these days.

SmackDown = Outside of the opening promo, SmackDown felt very easy to watch as nothing outstayed it's welcome. The matches were well set out, with post match angles being perfectly and logically set up. This show felt important, and although this won't be the case every week, this was the perfect start for SmackDown on Fox.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for unleashing Brock Lesnar's destructive side. The way in which he decimated Rey Mysterio and his son Dominik was a blast to watch, whilst also increasing the anticipation for his match with Kofi Kingston on SmackDown.

Raw also gains points for ending the show with The Fiend in control of Seth Rollins. If Bray Wyatt and his dark alter ego is to win at Hell in a Cell, momentum such as this is vital to ensure he is taken seriously as the WWE Universal Champion.

Raw loses 2 points for the embarrassing storyline of Rusev's infidelity, especially now Lana has been drawn into it. This angle has no right taking up time on Raw, and it makes everyone involved look like fools. I am not a fan of this at all.

SmackDown gains points for the monumental debut of Cain Velasquez. Velasquez is genuinely one of the most destructive and dangerous athletes in the world, with Brock Lesnar correctly fearing his presence on SmackDown. I'm not sure how he will be presented in WWE, but his debut was one of the most memorable introductions in a long time.

SmackDown loses points for jobbing Kofi Kingston out in 10 seconds. Yes, his 180 day reign as WWE Champion hadn't been great, but he deserved better than losing so quickly. Not only did he lose his championship, but with the arrival of Cain Velasquez, Kingston immediately became an afterthought.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a score of 3 to 1, SmackDown wins Battle of the Brands this week. The debut episode of SmackDown on Fox delivered in multiple ways, with the crowning of Brock Lesnar as the new WWE Champion immediately trumped by the debut of Cain Velasquez. Raw felt lacking this week, and with such a huge amount effort put into SmackDown this week, it was always likely to be the inferior show. The challenge for SmackDown is to keep this momentum up as they start to establish their new identity on Fox.

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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