WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (January 11-15, 2021) | 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 11, 2021 - Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL

WWE Friday Night SmackDown - January 15, 2021 – Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN

FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Impacted by a spate of positive COVID-19 tests, many wrestlers played double duty this week to pad out the number of matches. Whilst commendable they would do this, the quality was clearly lacking from most of the matches. Triple H vs Randy Orton was clearly used as an incentive to watch the show, but even they failed to dazzle in the main event slot.

SmackDown = Match quality was a mixed bag this week on SmackDown. Whilst Jey Uso vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro were solid matches, Natalya vs Liv Morgan was a disaster. As the show was heavily booked around the Roman Reigns storyline with Adam Pearce, match quality understandably took a hit.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Triple H and Randy Orton opened the show with a promo that came across well on screen. Triple H was fired up, whilst Orton was the perfect asshole that we know he can be.

SmackDown = The debut of ‘Ding Dong, Hello’ was a roaring success. Whilst not the same quality as ‘A Moment of Bliss’, it was a solid first attempt, and it is clear this is a great vehicle for Bayley.

WINNER: Raw

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = The biggest talking point from Raw was Alexa Bliss potentially blinding Randy Orton as the show went off the air. This was the biggest sign yet that The Fiend will return, and this week’s development solidified how dark Bliss can be.

SmackDown = The show was dominated by Roman Reigns’ attempts to trap Adam Pearce in a Last Man Standing match, which backfired spectacularly as it was revealed Pearce would be replaced by Kevin Owens. As much as I absolutely love Reigns’ cool new persona, it was sweet to see him get outsmarted.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw clearly suffered from a number of positive COVID-19 cases, which resulted in a jarring show. The number of repeat performances hurt the overall pacing and quality in comparison to SmackDown.

SmackDown = SmackDown was a solid show, featuring much better pacing than Raw. This can be attributed to the less apparent impact of positive COVID-19 cases.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for Drew McIntyre advising in his promo that people keep safe. Although asymptomatic, it was refreshing to see him warn people of the dangers of COVID-19.

Raw also gains points for ending the show properly this week. Too many episodes lately have been taken off air at an inopportune moment.

Raw loses points for the main event having no real heat to it.

SmackDown gains points for finally giving Roman Reigns some level of comeuppance.

SmackDown also gains points for giving Bayley a platform to further refine her character.

SmackDown loses points for making a farce out of Billie Kay and The Riott Squad.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a score of 4 to 2, SmackDown wins this week’s Battle of the Brands. Raw was heavily impacted by re-writes due to COVID-19, which meant the show was just not as enjoyable as SmackDown.

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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