WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (January 13-17, 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 - January 13, 2020 - Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
WWE Friday Night SmackDown - January 17, 2020 – Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy put on yet another classic, with Black once again defeating Murphy in convincing fashion. It has been a real treat to see these 2 wrestlers go one on one and try to put on a fresh match each week. It feels as though Black has reaffirmed he should be breaking the glass ceiling to become a main eventer on Raw, with fans warming to him more each week. Their matches on Raw this year have quite simply been some of the best technical matches on Raw in many years.

The main event of the show featured Seth Rollins and The Authors of Pain vs Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and The Big Show in a fist fight, which was simply a glorified streetfight. It was a match that didn't let up once, with all 6 men putting in a strong effort. It was violent, brutal and exciting, with Seth Rollins and AOP winning thanks to the recruitment of Buddy Murphy.

Overall, match quality was good on Raw, but Erick Rowan's weekly squash match and Ricochet vs Mojo Rawley brought down the overall quality, which was a real shame. However, the amazing quality of Aleister Black vs Buddy Murphy more than made up for this.

SmackDown = All but 1 match delivered this week, with some intense and exciting contests on offer. Big E vs John Morrison was an incredibly athletic match, with Morrison proving he has not lost a step since he last competed in a WWE ring. Morrison winning was also the correct decision, especially if he is to be pushed as a major star during the road to WrestleMania 36.

Lacey Evans continued to evidence her improvement in the ring with a convincing victory over Bayley. Working as a face allows Evans to utilise flashy moves which make her look better in the ring, but this has genuinely endeared her to fans. Her victory over Bayley was hard fought, and should set her up as the woman to take the SmackDown Women's Championship from Bayley.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Paul Heyman delivered another promo on behalf of Brock Lesnar, running down every wrestler by noting how none of them are able to defeat the Mayor of Suplex City. Heyman also riled up the crowd by highlighting how Lesnar ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak, smugly reiterating that he doesn't make predictions, but rather he shares accurate spoilers. Heyman was a sheer delight to watch here as he revels in being an insufferable bully, and as Lesnar's manager, he has a wealth of options to choose from when getting his point across. In 2020, Heyman remains the best promo in WWE.

Lana was interviewed by Charly Caruso before Bobby Lashley's match against Rusev, however she continues to show little to no talent on the microphone. I am at a loss to understand her sudden struggles with promos, as I cannot tell if it is a part of her new character or if she is just simply working outside of her comfort zone. Unfortunately for fans, she is bringing down Raw's overall promo quality.

SmackDown = Kane produced a surprisingly entertaining promo, explaining how much he enjoys the Royal Rumble whilst highlighting how winning the match provides you with a shot at immortality. This brought Bray Wyatt out on the screen, who delivered yet another fabulous promo of his own. Wyatt called Kane a bully and taunted him about The Fiend. This was a quality promo segment from both men, and was a great way to open the show.

Elias shared a promo with the fans in attendance, however it did not come off as well as his previous promos have done. It would appear fans are quite apathetic towards his character, which is a real shame as Elias is great on the microphone. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with his promo, but it didn't feel as well received as it should have been.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Lana and Bobby Lashley's feud with Rusev does not feel logically booked at the moment. Rusev and Lashley should have been tearing into each other during their match, but it lacked any real intensity. Even Liv Morgan's appearance late into the match didn't feel logical or well played out, and reeked of booking on the fly. I have never been a fan of this storyline, and unfortunately Morgan's addition to it has done nothing to make it more watchable.

Seth Rollins and The Authors of Pain were joined this week by Buddy Murphy, which is a genuinely intriguing development. Murphy had been putting on great matches with Aleister Black, however he was unable to win which made him look ineffective, but now he has instant credibility through joining Rollins' team. The union may have come out of nowhere, but it feels logical and makes perfect sense. Unlike the Lana and Rusev storyline addition, this addition feels fresh and exciting.

SmackDown = Daniel Bryan was able to claim a modicum of revenge over The Fiend as he took him out with a Busaiku Knee, and followed this up by removing a dreadlock as The Fiend attempted to escape under the ring. This was compelling viewing as Bryan is standing up to The Fiend and taking the fight to him better than any previous opponent. It is clear their match at the Royal Rumble will be hard hitting, even if it will be a strap match as suggested by Bryan himself.

Roman Reigns defeated Robert Roode in a tables match, overcoming King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler's interference with the assistance of The Usos. Reigns has regained much of the momentum that he lost during his abysmal feud with Corbin, which is exactly what he needs as he considers moving onto his next feud. He announced post match that he and Corbin will compete at the Royal Rumble in a falls count anywhere match, which is honestly a tantalising prospect, as long as the interference is kept to a minimum.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was much better this week, however there are still some glaring issues with pacing. Anything Lana related is bringing the show down in quality, whilst some of the matches are still paced incorrectly. Raw wasn't a bad show, but there is clear room for improvement.

SmackDown = SmackDown once again was a delight to watch. Matches were exciting, character development was abundant, and promos were all executed perfectly. SmackDown is quickly becoming one of the tightest shows in WWE, which makes it a pleasure to watch.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for feeding R-Truth to Brock Lesnar. Truth is an absolute star in WWE, and perhaps their best comedic option for many years. His interaction with Lesnar was extremely funny, whilst Lesnar snapping and turning on him was great to watch.

Raw loses points for Liv Morgan's continued involvement in Lana and Rusev's storyline as her former lover. Each week Morgan is losing more credibility as a result of looking like a vexed ex-lover.

SmackDown gains points for making Roman Reigns vs King Corbin at the Royal Rumble a falls count anywhere match. This is a much better stipulation than the rumoured loser eats dog food match.

SmackDown also gains points for making John Morrison's in ring return feel like a big deal. He has the potential to be a future WWE Universal Champion if WWE protect his character.

SmackDown loses points for the continuing creepiness of the Otis and Mandy Rose storyline. Not only are his mannerisms strange, but Rose taking advantage of him is uncomfortable to watch.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a score of 4 to 1, SmackDown wins this week's Battle of the Brands. This is mainly due to the fact SmackDown features better storylines and promos, but is also a much more consistent show. Raw cannot put on a full complement of great matches, whilst the reliance on the Lana and Rusev storyline is hurting Raw considerably.

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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