WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (January 27-31, 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 27, 2020 - AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
WWE Friday Night SmackDown - January 31, 2020 – BOK Center in Tulsa, OK

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:

RAW vs. SMACKDOWN


FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Raw's matches were largely entertaining, with Humberto Carrillo defeating Andrade in the night's standout match. Although Carrillo was victorious, the DQ finish meant he was unable to capture the United States Championship. These 2 wrestlers have a strong chemistry in the ring, which ensured this match was exciting and entertaining, with Zelina Vega's interference in the match only adding to the enjoyment factor.

Aleister Black and Erick Rowan both enjoyed another swift squash match victory, with Black in particular looking devastating. Drew McIntyre also earned a squash victory over The OC, which underlines just how strong he will be booked following his Royal Rumble victory. All 3 of these squash matches were entertaining, which has not always been the case for recent Raw squash matches.

Lana vs Liv Morgan was quite simply the worst women's match I have witnessed in quite a long time. Lana is absolutely appalling in the ring, whilst Morgan needs a strong opponent in the ring to look good. Thankfully this match didn't last long, but the near 3 minutes they spent in the ring felt like an eternity.

SmackDown = This week's matches were consistent, with no contest outright coming across as a failure. The best offering of the evening was the fatal 4 way tag team match, with The Miz and John Morrison winning the match to become the number 1 contenders to The New Day's SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Not only does Morrison continue his undefeated run on SmackDown, but each team involved looked strong, with Heavy Machinery in particular proving why they are fan favourites.

The main event of the evening was a losers must eat dog food match, with King Corbin, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler taking on Roman Reigns and The Usos. This wasn't an outright bad match, but the finish left a lot to be desired. Reigns was able to roll Corbin up to secure the victory, however it would have been much better if a more decisive finish had taken place, especially as Reigns needs to move onto his next feud. Reigns is a surprisingly talented wrestler, and his talent was sorely wasted in this match.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Drew McIntyre delivered a brief promo explaining how he's not scared of Brock Lesnar, whilst issuing an open challenge for the evening. McIntyre isn't known for his promos, therefore it was important that this delivery was short and sweet, which essentially secured the effectiveness of his words. It was great to see him look like a true star, and this promo helped achieve that.

Becky Lynch was interviewed about her victory over Asuka, with Lynch confidently stating that she is in a different league to everyone else. She issued a warning to Charlotte Flair about using her Royal Rumble contract to face her at WrestleMania 36, advising it would be the last time she challenges The Man. This was highly effective as Lynch came across as the ultimate women's wrestler, underlining what her true value is within WWE.

SmackDown = Roman Reigns delivered a show opening promo on King Corbin and his lackeys, noting how easily he has beaten Corbin. The King retorted by reminding Reigns about how he previously covered him in dog food, which resulted in a challenge being issued for the main event of the show. The delivery from both men was poor, with Corbin in particular failing to shine on the microphone.

Bayley gloated about her record over the rest of the SmackDown women's division, which allowed her self entitled heel character to shine. Bayley has developed a unique style of promo delivery, which was just as effective here. What wasn't effective was Naomi's response, as she shakily declared that Bayley has never been able to defeat her. I do not look forward to this feud because I have no confidence in Naomi's ability to engage the crowd through promos, therefore Bayley will need to carry this rivalry over the next few weeks.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = Brock Lesnar exacted some revenge over Drew McIntyre by taking him out after his match with The OC. This was an interesting way to start their WrestleMania 36 feud as McIntyre completely dominated Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, with this attack highlighting how dangerous The Beast can be. It is clear that Lesnar won't be present on each Raw in the lead up to WrestleMania 36, but Paul Heyman should be able to create a sense of anticipation for their titanic clash through promos on his client's behalf. McIntyre still looks strong, but this attack shows his victory will not be a mere formality.

Edge was attacked by Randy Orton in one of the most vicious and shocking segments for quite some time, which immediately made Orton the most hated heel in the company. There is so much history to explore between the former Rated RKO tag team partners, with the build to their match sure to be highly compelling. It is unclear if their match will take place at Super Showdown or WrestleMania 36, but the journey is guaranteed to be unmissable.

SmackDown = King Corbin vs Roman Reigns was the highlighted feud on this week's show, with the show being bookended by their interactions. Due to the embarrassing punishment sustained by Corbin as he was doused with dog food and forced to eat it, there is a slim chance this was a decisive end to their feud. We can only hope, as this feud is officially past it's expiry at this point.

The only other storyline to be fully expanded on was Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura, with Strowman defeating The Artist to win the Intercontinental Championship. Strowman has slowly been gaining enough momentum to overcome Nakamura, Sami Zayn and Cesaro, with his championship victory underlining how dominant he has been. It is clear this feud will continue, however it will be hard to bet against The Monster Among Men now he has championship gold adorning his waist.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was a better show this week, however this was mainly due to the appearance of Edge, which added something new to the stale Raw formula. This segment aside, Raw was as bland as it usually has been over the past few months.

SmackDown = SmackDown was a consistent show, however it didn't feel as strong as recent offerings. None of the matches or promo segments were outright failures, but most of them struggled to be more than just ok.

WINNER: Raw

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for ending the show with such a memorable angle. Edge's return to in ring competition at the Royal Rumble was greeted with universal acclaim, which makes Randy Orton's devastating attack more impactful. Quite simply, Orton is now the most hated heel in the company.

Raw loses points for having Humberto Carrillo take out Andrade. It doesn't match the behaviour of the typical face, which meant it was hard to get behind his actions.

SmackDown gains points for showcasing Braun Strowman's Intercontinental Championship victory. By having the title change hands on SmackDown, the moment was seen by more people than if it happened on a pay-per-view. Hopefully this is the first step in rehabilitating his damaged stock within WWE.

SmackDown also gains points for the emotional Daniel Bryan promo, as he noted his wounds were too severe to show his daughter. It is intriguing that he contemplated if he loves wrestling too much, which may hint at a new direction for Bryan over the coming weeks. This was highly effective at garnering sympathy for Bryan.

SmackDown loses points for the awkward Otis and Mandy Rose segment. Any credibility Otis has is lost when he communicates in such a strange manner, with Rose and Sonya Deville coming across in a negative light. This storyline unfortunately benefits nobody.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = Raw

With a score of 4 to 1, Raw wins this week's Battle of the Brands. SmackDown had very little storyline progression, whereas Raw had much more on offer. This is a real shame as SmackDown was advertised as Super SmackDown, however it felt like anything but super. Raw wasn't perfect, but it had better matches, promos and storyline development. To say this was the first set of shows on the road to WrestleMania 36, I was very disappointed, and can only hope that next week brings a marked improvement in both shows.

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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