WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (December 16-20, 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 - December 16, 2019 - Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IO
WWE Friday Night SmackDown - December 20, 2019 – Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = The gauntlet match wasn't a bad idea in theory, but to have it ultimately end in a no contest was a bad decision. Gauntlet matches should be used as a way to elevate a superstar, but no-one in particular stood out. Humberto Carrillo is losing his momentum, as his character is seemingly a victim of the stop / start booking that WWE likes to use, which makes it hard to buy into him as a viable threat to the United States Championship.

The rest of the matches on Raw were the very definition of mediocre, with no single match standing out. It was a shame to see The Viking Raiders lose to The OC in a disappointing match as it strips them of some of their mystique, whilst Randy Orton vs AJ Styles was disappointing considering what they are actually capable of. The matches on Raw all had the feel of phoning it in for the holiday period, which was a real shame considering the potential of these matches.

SmackDown = The matches on offer this week were better than the holiday season would suggest. The Miracle on 34th Streetfight was a highly entertaining contest, with fun spots to send fans home happy. The Revival perfectly played up to their heel role, whilst Heavy Machinery were hilarious in their pursuit of victory. The Lego spot, in particular, was a real highlight of the bout.

The main event featured Daniel Bryan and The Miz vs King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler, which was a quality match to end the show. The Miz and Bryan teased dissention within their team, whilst Corbin looked strong in defeat. After Ziggler submitted to The Miz, The Fiend's laughter could be heard within the arena to indicate he was looking for his next victim, which felt very unnerving.

Unlike Raw, SmackDown featured an increased focus on women's wrestling this week, featuring 3 all female contests. Carmella swiftly defeated Sonya Deville, whilst Dana Brooke put in a more competitive showing against Bayley. Sasha Banks was also challenged to a match by Lacey Evans, however Banks used this match to taunt Evans' daughter. The increased focus on SmackDown's women's division was the right decision, as it made the show feel more important than Raw.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Seth Rollins delivered a promo whilst being supported by The Authors of Pain, however it felt like an extension of his Twitter persona, which is not a good thing. His promo fell flat, and it didn't underline how dangerous he can be. It was an improvement on his recent face promos, but it was lacking in real emotion and believability.

Zelina Vega delivered a passionate backstage promo on behalf of Andrade, which was a great way to subtly infer that there are ongoing issues between Vega and Andrade. Vega is perhaps the best manager on the microphone outside of Paul Heyman, and once again her delivery here was perfect.

SmackDown = Another Sheamus vignette was aired, hyping his return to SmackDown. Sheamus looks to be returning to his classic Celtic Warrior gimmick, which should allow for him to challenge for the WWE Universal Championship upon his return. His return vignettes continue to be a successful vehicle for hyping his return to SmackDown.

The Miz and Daniel Bryan discussed how much they dislike each other, however The Miz was grateful for Bryan helping him out at TLC. This was a great promo, as it highlighted how they are willing to team up and forgo their issues to take down a mutual enemy. Both men are talented talkers, and it showed here.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Seth Rollins took out Rey Mysterio with the support of The Authors of Pain, and this was followed up with Rollins taunting Mysterio. When it appeared he was finished with Mysterio, he turned round and hit a Curb Stomp to underline how dangerous he has become. This is a feud which can elevate not only Rollins' new heel persona, but make the United States Championship feel more important. With Brock Lesnar only making sporadic appearances, it is important that Rollins reiterates how good he is as a wrestler.

Lana and Bobby Lashley had yet another stomach churning addition to their storyline, as Lana asked Lashley to ask her to marry him. This was uncomfortable to watch, and added nothing of real note to the ongoing feud with Rusev. Lashley has lost all credibility as a result of this storyline, but as the ratings remain high for their segments, this storyline will unfortunately continue for a while.

SmackDown = The spectre of The Fiend continued to hang over the main event scene on SmackDown, with The Fiend's maniacal laughter filling the arena as the show went off the air. It is apparent he will be choosing his next victim from either Daniel Bryan, The Miz or King Corbin, and the smart money has to be on Bryan due to the events that unfolded at TLC.

Lacey Evans continued her rivalry with Sasha Banks as they went to a countout draw. Evans' daughter was taunted by Banks, which resulted in Evans understandably taking her frustration out on Banks. With Dana Brooke pulling her aside, it appears we will see Brooke team with Evans to take on Banks and Bayley. This increased focus on the women's division on SmackDown is a joy to behold, as it allows for more stars to shine in interesting storylines.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was so difficult to watch this week, and despite it being the holiday season, there is no excuse for the shameful show that fans had to endure. Matches made no sense, promos were inexcusably poor and overall, the show was one of the worst episodes of 2019.

SmackDown = SmackDown felt much more light hearted than Raw, whilst also being an interesting show to watch. It wasn't a great show compared to a normal episode of SmackDown, but it was a much better show to watch than Raw.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for bringing up Deonna Purrazzo to the main roster. Even if it was a one shot deal, it was nice to see a fresh face on Raw.

Raw loses points for the awful Lana segment. She is a poor actress, and her promo skills remain incredibly lacklustre. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, this segment ended up being pure trash, with absolutely no redeeming features.

SmackDown gains points for the use of Lego as a weapon. It is often used as a spot on the indies, so it was nice to see WWE use it here.

SmackDown also gains points for spacing out The Fiend's appearances. By limiting the appearances of Bray Wyatt's darker alter ego, it adds intrigue to the character and makes it feel special when he does turn up.

SmackDown loses points for the cringeworthy Mandy Rose and Otis segments. They felt uncomfortable to watch, and unfortunately it appears we may be witnessing the start of a long term storyline between the pair.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a crushing score of 5 to 0, SmackDown wins this week's Battle of the Brands. This is not to say though that it was a good show, it just happened to be the best of a bad bunch. The holiday season tends to lead to poor shows with no real momentum, and that was the case here. Hopefully we can get back to interesting shows once the build to the Royal Rumble starts.

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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