WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (January 20-24, 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 20, 2020 - Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, KS
WWE Friday Night SmackDown - January 24, 2020 – American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Andrade defended his United States Championship against Rey Mysterio in a ladder match, with both men putting in a strong performance. Andrade has steadily improved his stock within WWE, and this match is a great example of what he offers the current product. He is a strong wrestler who can pull off flashy moves, whilst employing Zelina Vega as his x-factor to ensure he wins matches he should otherwise lose. Vega was a large contributor to Andrade's victory, but Andrade himself looked amazing as he hit a Hammerlock DDT onto a ladder to essentially win the match.

Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy captured the Raw Tag Team Championship, defeating The Viking Raiders in a frenetic match. This match validated Murphy's decision to join Rollins' faction as he immediately benefitted from the union, whilst the contest itself was fun to watch. Raw has steadily been putting on great matches with the midcard, and it was genuinely heart warming to see Murphy's recent efforts rewarded.

SmackDown = John Morrison vs Kofi Kingston was the best match on offer this week on SmackDown, with both men putting in an eye catching performance. Morrison is currently undefeated since he returned to WWE, and it is difficult to ignore how much he has improved. Kingston elevates everyone he is in the ring with, but in Morrison he has a foe who will also elevate his own performance.

Unfortunately for fans, the rest of the matches on offer weren't particularly interesting. The biggest offender was Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs Fire & Desire, which was immediately declared a no contest when Lacey Evans and Bayley interrupted the match. This was designed to build anticipation for the women's Royal Rumble, but this segment just infuriated me. All 4 women deserved much better than this, whilst Bayley and Lacey Evans looked no stronger as a result of the segment.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Paul Heyman delivered a flat promo on behalf of Brock Lesnar, with Heyman only able to regurgitate what he has shared over the past few weeks. Yes, we know that Lesnar is better and stronger than anyone else on the roster, but the impact of this is diluted when we hear it every week. This is no complaint of Heyman who can only work with what he is given, but Lesnar's appearances and respective promos need to feel important. Ricochet's interruption came off poorly, whilst Lesnar speaking was simply cringeworthy. This was not a good promo at all.

SmackDown = Daniel Bryan and The Fiend were scheduled to have a contract signing for their upcoming match at the Royal Rumble, however Bray Wyatt engaged in a verbal battle with Bryan on The Fiend's behalf. Their interaction was pure gold, with Wyatt seamlessly switching from his jovial character to a more dark and brooding character, as he mentioned how Bryan previously made a mistake in screwing him over. This was simply the best promo segment between the pair so far, and it makes me crave a continuation of their feud.

Lacey Evans delivered what was intended to be an uplifting promo, but it fell flat as she meandered from one cringey point to another. I'm sure there was a genuine edge to what she was saying, but it fell flat as it appeared to be pandering to the fans. I was not a fan of this, especially as it appears to have damaged the credibility of her character.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Seth Rollins' faction went from strength to strength this week, primarily because he captured the Raw Tag Team Championship with Buddy Murphy. With Brock Lesnar due for long periods of absence, Rollins is essentially the biggest name on Raw, therefore it is heartening to see his faction be treated with as much importance as The Shield received.

Andrade continues to be built up as a centrepiece of Raw, with his victory over Rey Mysterio cementing his place in the upper midcard. Humberto Carrillo made his return this week to save Mysterio, which means Andrade will be tasked with finally putting Carrillo away over the next few weeks. Assuming Andrade doesn't win the Royal Rumble this weekend, a decisive victory over Carrillo should propel him into the main event scene as the road to WrestleMania 36 starts.

SmackDown = The Fiend vs Daniel Bryan rightly took centre stage, with The Fiend gaining the upper hand after a few weeks of Bryan getting one over him. Their strap match at the Royal Rumble may not be a candidate for match of the year, but at least it is a battle that fans are looking forward to from a storyline perspective.

Lacey Evans vs Bayley, The New Day vs John Morrison & The Miz, and the internal conflicts within the SmackDown women's division were all further established this week, which was great to see. SmackDown has tended to neglect non-main event storylines, but for the moment at least, there is a good mix of interesting and established storylines to enjoy. If we could only get something new for Roman Reigns to do that would be great, but I suspect after this weekend he will be on a collision course with The Fiend.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was exciting in places, however the show could not maintain this for the full 3 hours. My main issue with Raw is how they have some supremely talented wrestlers, but they struggle to put them in interesting storylines or competitive matches, which brings down the overall quality of the show.

SmackDown = SmackDown was a consistent blend of interesting matches and promo segments, which was a delight to watch. It wasn't a bad go home show to this weekend's Royal Rumble pay-per-view, with most relevant storylines being advanced in a positive direction.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for re-introducing Humberto Carrillo to fans in an effective manner. If he is to get over with fans, he needs to build on this week's defence of Rey Mysterio.

Raw also gains points for Aleister Black's 4 second victory over a jobber. It was highly entertaining to watch, whilst also allowing Black to look even more dangerous. This was a squash match used perfectly.

Raw loses points for making Ricochet look like a chump. The fact Brock Lesnar only needed to low blow him to take him down was offensive, whilst Lesnar's not scared comment was laughably pathetic. There is a reason why Paul Heyman is Lesnar's mouthpiece.

SmackDown gains points for turning The Fiend vs Daniel Bryan into a compelling storyline. It so easily could have been one sided in favour of The Fiend, but Bryan has put in some of the best character work of his career as he stands up to the maniacal monster that dominates SmackDown.

SmackDown loses points for sending Lacey Evans out to die in an interview which came off poorly. Surely someone in the writing team could see that the segment would come off badly?

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a score of 3 to 2, SmackDown wins this week's Battle of the Brands. It is amazing to note that both shows were of high quality this week, but SmackDown's recent consistency allows for it's storylines to shine more. Raw has been steadily improving, with Seth Rollins and Andrade in particular looking strong, but The Fiend and Daniel Bryan are just amazing in their current roles. Both shows were great in building to this weekend's Royal Rumble pay-per-view, and I am confident the road to WrestleMania 36 will be exciting and compelling.

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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