The week after the Superstar Shake Up and Monday Night RAW continues to hype up its next pay-per-view (PPV) Payback, while SmackDown LIVE felt like a bizarro world of types with interesting superstar pushes and number one contender matches.
But, who presented the better show? Here’s what I think …
Monday Night RAW
Elias Samson: His segments backstage was just the right touch. Last week, RAW provided Easter eggs, as Samson walked through the crowd during the women’s match and walking near the announcers’ table/entrance ramp at one point. This week? He’s backstage while talents are walking around and conducting promos. Perfect way to set up a superstar for the main roster. And he also made Jericho’s List! That’s got to be a win for him.
Broken Matt: Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who caught Matt Hardy slip into his ‘Broken’ character only to slip out with the same ease. It was simply, delightful! Kudos to Matt for the ‘Broken’ tease.
Fatal Four-Way: The women killed it again on the show, and the best part of this number one contender’s match is we get to see a program between Alexa Bliss and The Hugger on the horizon. This should be good.
Finn Is Okay: His match against Curt Hawkins was a quick one, but it also signifies that despite a reported concussion injury last week, Balor is okay! Phew, I was worried.
Bray’s Promo: Whoever handles the production side of Bray Wyatt’s videos needs to get some accolades. Wow, Wyatt seems to outdo himself more and more every week. The best part is that fans have been treated to these creepy vids twice weekly and on both shows, thanks to his match with Randy Orton at Payback.
Main Event: I initially rolled my eyes at the Big Show and Braun having another match on RAW. Again, while the last one they had was good, booking this one felt like the ‘same old, same old’. I was wrong, this match was incredible! Breaking the ring at the end was the icing on the cake. I have one question though: is the referee okay? #epic
Opener: I wanted to care about RAW’s opener, but I didn’t. Strowman and Angle going back and forth, felt too much like when Strowman went ‘back and forth’ with Mick Foley. I should’ve been excited to see what was coming next, but I wasn’t.
Same Old, Same Old: I had a general feeling of ‘same old/same old’ from Monday Night RAW this week. From Braun beating up random superstars backstage – to get a reaction from Kurt Angle – to the Miz and Ambrose starting up a program they just had on SD LIVE, I felt a ton of déjà vu while watch the show; and this was disappointing.
Foxy/Dana/Emma Promo: Terrible backstage promo. Not sure if it was because of Foxy over doing her crazy, Dana’s poor mic skills, or what. But I cringed the entire segment.
Opener: I loved SD LIVE’s opening segment. The Queen walked out strutting her stuff, Naomi seems to have a little new-found aggression. Moreover, both ladies were strong on the mic and a story has begun to unravel. To boot, their match later in the night, was incredible.
Six-Pack Challenge – The Match: The winner was shocking in Jinder Mahal, but the match was excellent and provided a lot of entertainment.
House Of Horrors Match: The buildup around the unknown to this match better live up to its hype. For now, I’m interested … really interested.
Face of America: Being a Canadian girl myself, I love this heel ‘Face of America’ angle from Kevin Owens. He’s shaking things up on SD LIVE.
Main Event: How could Baron Corbin versus AJ Styles not hit the wins’ list? Excellent match from both superstars.
Six-Pack Challenge – The Story: Okay, the match itself, deserves to be on the wins’ list. The story behind the six-pack hits the fails list. First off, how do all these upper/mid-card talents end up getting a shot at the WWE Championship? In fact, I was all-around confused because I thought Bray Wyatt was getting his re-match at Payback and wouldn’t it be presumptuous to have a number one contender set before that match (as if Wyatt wins this title, it could go to RAW)? Anyhow, perhaps I missed an explanation during SD LIVE on this, but Wyatt versus Orton at Payback is not for the title (I checked online). Sad, because Wyatt got cheated out a title rematch. Even more confused, because Jericho gets his US title rematch at Payback, despite the fact that Kevin Owens moved to SD LIVE.
Bizarro World: Still ranting about the six-pack challenge here. While I’m indifferent to Mahal getting a push (I’m not opposed to it, nor for it, really); once again, it just seems baffling that a RAW jobber suddenly becomes number one contender for the WWE title, while Bray Wyatt doesn’t get his rematch … yet bonefide main eventers AJ Styles and Baron Corbin are battling it out for a match to face Kevin Owens for the U.S. title. I love the fact that the WWE is focusing on building up the United States Championship, but the scales were totally tipped in opposite directions last night in a bizarro world of sorts. Three main eventers involved in a U.S. title program, meanwhile some upper to mid-carders (plus a jobber, who wins number one contender) are placed in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship title race. Confusing, doesn’t make sense, and to me, Jinder’s push was rushed.
Despite the bizarro world rant about SD LIVE above, it still provided some solid entertainment last night and trumps RAW’s same old/same old edition (the breaking of the ring really did make the show, however, that is if fans could make their way through 2 hours and 45 minutes of trying to stay awake). My winner this week? Once again, SmackDown LIVE!