WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (December 30, 2019 - January 3, 2020) | 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 30, 2019 - XL Center in Hartford, CT
WWE Friday Night SmackDown - January 3, 2020 – FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Raw produced 2 great matches this week, with the highlight being Aleister Black vs Buddy Murphy. They had a great match at TLC, however I feel this match was even better. Both men were given time to put on a wrestling clinic, with both men putting on an incredible performance. Black was able to win following a second Black Mass, but this takes nothing away from Murphy who once again was able to prove he is capable of hanging with the best Raw has to offer.

Andrade vs Ricochet was the main event of the evening, with both men putting on a solid match. Ricochet put in the same performance he always puts in, as he continues to astound fans with what he can do. Andrade was flanked by Zelina Vega as ever, who managed to turn the tide of the match in his favour by interfering, allowing Andrade to pick up the win. This made Andrade look strong, but Ricochet lost in such a manner that it is impossible to not feel sorry for him. The best matches are those that elevate everyone involved, and both this match and Black vs Murphy achieved that goal.

SmackDown = SmackDown featured a slew of entertaining matches, however the quality of these matches never hit the heights of those on Raw. This is not to say that there were any bad matches though, with WWE enjoying a strong week overall for televised matches.

Cesaro vs Braun Strowman was a highly entertaining and physical contest, whilst the women’s triple threat tag team match was chaotic and fun to watch. Even Otis vs Drew Gulak was a good match, with it expertly supporting Otis’ current storyline with Mandy Rose.

The main event of the evening saw Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns face off against King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler, with Bryan set to win the match for his team until The Fiend made an appearance. This was a solid main event which was fun to watch, and was yet another SmackDown main event that didn’t disappoint.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Kevin Owens once again proved how talented he is on the microphone, with his promo segment against Seth Rollins ticking all of the right boxes. He was passionate, aggressive, and most importantly, he was also believable.

Charlotte Flair used some rare microphone time to declare her entry to the women's Royal Rumble, with her natural cockiness on show for all to see. When Flair is able to play up to how competitive she is, she shines, and by issuing an open challenge, she was able to back up her trash talk which was great to see.

SmackDown = Bayley and Lacey Evans both produced skilled promos this week as they continue the build to their inevitable match for Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship. Evans is now fully ingratiated with her face role, whilst Bayley continues to rightly irritate the fans as she continues to act up to her whiny heel character.

Drew Gulak produced a funny promo prior to his match with Otis, as he produced a PowerPoint to explain why Mandy Rose will never want to date Otis. Gulak is incredibly straight laced when performing, which only adds to how entertaining his promos are.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Lana and Bobby Lashley's wedding dominated Raw, which seemed appropriate as this storyline has dominated Raw over the last portion of 2019. As convoluted and farcical as the storyline already was, Liv Morgan's interruption of the ceremony to reveal she was Lana's lover was astounding. It made no sense in the current storyline, and felt as if it was a knee jerk decision to add her to the storyline. Rusev's arrival at the end was expected, however it proved Raw is still unable to promote specific storylines without a certain level of absurdity.

Seth Rollins' feud with Kevin Owens took another turn this week as Samoa Joe arrived to team up with Owens. The Authors of Pain and Rollins were sent packing by Owens and Joe, with Owens even bringing a steel chair into the ring to use. This was a great way for the storyline to evolve, with Joe's return greeted with a raucous crowd reception. I have a feeling this storyline will elevate Owens, Joe and AOP to Rollins' level, whilst also providing us with quality matches and memorable moments.

SmackDown = The Fiend made an appearance at the climax of the show to take out Daniel Bryan, which he successfully achieved by slamming him through the barricade and slapping on his Mandible Claw. Bryan managed to briefly take the fight to The Fiend, which gives hope to fans that he can make their fight at the Royal Rumble a more even affair.

The Miz turned heel this week, noting he has had enough of the fans after giving them his all. The reason his turn is interesting is that fact John Morrison was revealed to be in his room, seemingly re-aligning with his former tag team partner, which is a compelling partnership.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was paced much better this week than it has been for a while, however the wedding angle at the end of the show outstayed it's welcome, which unfortunately brought the show down in quality.

SmackDown = SmackDown was incredibly tight this week, as every segment felt logical and purposeful. Yes, the 2 hour run time helps, but SmackDown didn’t drag once this week.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for allowing Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy to actually wrestle, as the match they put on was a television classic. Black and Murphy both looked strong as a result of the match, with Black coming off as a true star in the ring.

Raw also gains points for booking Andrade well for his match with Ricochet. Often a new secondary champion will suffer from poor booking, but Andrade has Zelina Vega as his wildcard which allows him to look strong. Yes, his victory came as a direct result of Vega's interference, but Andrade is a heel, so it works perfectly for his character.

Raw loses points for the reveal of Liv Morgan as Lana's lover. This was not necessarily insulting, but it feels as if the overarching storyline is being booked on the fly, week to week. Fans in attendance did not really respond to Morgan's entrance either, which is a real shame.

SmackDown gains points for featuring multiple returns. John Morrison, Sheamus and The Usos all returned to positive reactions, which ensures the talent on SmackDown is reinforced.

SmackDown also gains points for The Miz’s logical heel turn. It has been a long time coming as he works better as a heel, and his potential reunion with John Morrison is an exciting proposition.

SmackDown loses no points this week, as no match or segment was bad.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a close score of 4 to 3, SmackDown wins this week’s Battle of the Brands. Both shows were good, with Raw producing the better matches. SmackDown won this week due to a much more consistent show that never dragged once.

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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