WWE Battle of the Brands: Raw vs. SmackDown - Best Show of the Week (April 19-23, 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 - April 19, 2021 - Yuengling Center in Tampa, FL

WWE Friday Night SmackDown - April 23, 2021 – Yuengling Center in Tampa, FL

which WWE TV show was better this week Raw vs SmackDown

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS:
RAW vs. SMACKDOWN

FACTOR 1: MATCHES

Raw = Riddle vs Randy Orton was a genuinely entertaining match, coming across much better than it had any right to. Riddle managed to sneak a surprise victory, but the nature of the match allowed both men to shine. I suspect that this is the start of a renewed push for Riddle, which is fair enough considering how talented he is in the ring. Unfortunately, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs Naomi and Lana was predictably awful, whilst The Miz vs Damian Priest was no better. Overall, the matches on Raw failed to inspire outside of Riddle vs Orton.

SmackDown = The tag team match between Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, and Jey Uso was a fantastic way to kick off the show. All four men worked hard to deliver a fine match, with Bryan playing the role of a face in peril effectively. Rollins and Uso sufficiently beat up Bryan enough to make Cesaro's support come across as much more effective and dynamic than it otherwise would have been. Whilst Nia Jax vs Tamina was awful, the show was redeemed by the strong WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens, which allowed both men to look strong.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 2: PROMOS

Raw = Charlotte Flair delivered yet another unremarkable promo, which was a real shame considering the opportunity to expand on last week's offering. It was notable that Asuka's contribution, albeit only brief, was more entertaining than Flair. Additionally, Miz TV was a sicknening segment to endure, completely reducing The Miz to a joke of a character.

SmackDown = The show opening promo was a solid way to start the show, with Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan excelling in their performance. I especially enjoyed Rollins' contribution, particularly due to the fact he operates perfectly as a slimy heel that believes his own bullshit. Aleister Black's vignette was also a work of magic, and hopefully this is the dark gimmick he needs to get over in WWE.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 3: STORYLINES

Raw = I fail to fully understand what the point was in causing Charlotte Flair to be suspended from Raw indefinitely. Yes, she has a genuine reason to need time off, but the manner in which it unfolded was extremely underwhelming. Attacking the referee of her match multiple times was a cowardly move, which sets her up as a mardy loser as opposed to the killer heel she needs to be.

SmackDown = The show was largely dominated by the issues surrounding the WWE Universal Championship picture, allowing Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, and Jey Uso to shine. Roman Reigns once again expertly created heel heat by denigrating Bryan and Cesaro, simultaneously creating a groundswell of support for Cesaro in particular.

WINNER: SmackDown

FACTOR 4: SCHEDULING / PACING

Raw = Raw was simply not a well paced show. It dragged at many points, with the sceduling of matches and promos not helping the cause.

SmackDown = SmackDown was benefitted by the prominence of the storyline surrounding the WWE Universal Championship picture, which allowed the show to feel much suitably paced than Raw. Overall, SmackDown felt less lethargic and bloated in comparison to Raw.

WINNER: SmackDown

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS ROUND!!!

Raw gains points for unmasking T-BAR and MACE, however this is only a positive development if they actually intend to separate them from the bullshit that was RETRIBUTION. Let them be 're-vitalised' characters, please!

Raw loses points for not featuring a truly satisfying explanation for RETRIBUTION attacking Drew McIntyre last week.

Raw also loses points for Adnan Virk's commentary still feeling rather stilted. It is clear he used to commentate baseball games, as he still uses the urgency and cadence of that sport, rather than adapting his skills for wrestling.

SmackDown gains points for the length of the opening match of the show. It was refreshing to witness such a high octane match between top calibre talent to open proceedings.

SmackDown also gains points for the improved quality of Pat McAfee's commentary, which felt more confident and natural this week.

SmackDown loses points for Nia Jax vs Tamina, which was an absolutely embarrassing match.

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

THIS WEEK'S WINNER = SmackDown

With a score of 5 to 0, SmackDown once again crushes Raw to win this week's Battle of the Brands. Raw has been torturous to watch these past two weeks, whilst SmackDown has suceeded on the basis of the strength in depth their smaller roster has.

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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