For Raw, lots of people are not invested in the Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns match at Extreme Rules, but I thought WWE did their best in building it up this week and I thought it was a very entertaining this week. They started the show off with a pull apart brawl between the two and then each competitor got to say their peace after the brawl. While the Philadelphia crowd at Extreme Rules will probably act disinterested in this match, the buildup for it has been really good especially after this week and it does give this match a “big fight” feel.
For Smackdown, we finally got to see the Andrade Almas vs. Sin Cara match that had been building over a month and kept announcing that they would have, only not to have it. That finally came to an end this week and these two put on a great match. It wasn’t that long, but it didn’t need to be as the spots Sin Cara were doing were insane. This finally helps Almas get his foot in the door on Smackdown now that he has a credible victory. It will be interesting to see what happens next for El Idolo (hopefully a run at the US championship!).
For Raw, they didn’t even mention Brock Lesnar being on the UFC PPV this past weekend. That is ridiculous considering he is the main champion on the brand and is trying to now become a UFC Champion. Along with that, they didn’t even mention anything about his upcoming plans for Summerslam. WWE has handled the Brock Lesnar situation as poorly as you can.
For Smackdown, the lumberjack match between James Ellsworth and Asuka was something we really didn’t need to see. While fans wanted to see Asuka beat up Ellsworth, the rivalry for the women’s championship is still between Asuka and Carmella, not Ellsworth. While it did help build up the championship match for Extreme Rules, seeing these two fight wasn’t necessary.
The Final Verdict
With both of these being the go home shows before Extreme Rules, both brands needed to focus on the matches featured on the card. I feel that both brands did a pretty good job at doing this, but as far as who put on a better show is the bigger question. For this week, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. They focused on the WWE Championship match, had a pretty good main event, finally had the debut of Almas against a good competitor, and built up the US championship too. Overall, Extreme Rules is turning out to look like a really solid PPV, hopefully WWE gets positive results out of it and they have momentum going into Summerslam!
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 12, 2018
For Raw, when Smackdown invaded Raw this week, it was an awesome segment from start to finish. After Alexa Bliss announced that Ruby Riott would be the final member of the women’s team, the cameras cut backstage to Becky Lynch attacking Ronda Rousey. Soon after that, Lynch came out with other Smackdown women superstars and a brawl ensued. Lynch broke her nose and had a few facial fractures after Nia Jax punched in the face during this brawl. This led to Lynch bleeding profusely from her nose, but that didn’t stop her from fighting. Lynch then attacked Rousey with a chair and stood tall in the crowd. This made Becky Lynch look like the baddest women on the planet and the WWE universe seem to agree as they were chanting her name throughout this.
For Smackdown, we have a new WWE Champion! Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles after hitting a low blow and then a running knee. Bryan then attacked Styles after the match and shocked the WWE Universe. Bryan now gets to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and some have considered this a “dream match.”
For Raw, the whole ordeal with the tag team Survivor Series elimination match was a mess. Raw opened up with a battle royal to determine who the captains would be for Raw for that match. This battle royal was interrupted by Braun Strowman, so they pushed the match for later in the show. Then, when the match happened, nobody really cared. Lastly, the team that won could only just brag that they were the captains because all the other teams involved in the Battle Royal will be the same teams to represent Raw in the match anyway.
For Smackdown, there was no invasion angle on their show this week, which is confusing. Last year, both brands invaded each other’s show before Survivor Series. But, this time around, Smackdown only invaded Raw. When this doesn’t happen now, it really makes the matches at Survivor Series not feel as important as they should. What really doesn’t make much sense either is that during the show, they showed that security was preparing for an invasion, but it never happened.
The Final Verdict
With these being the go home shows before Survivor Series, WWE usually ramps up the build to these matches by having invasions happen as well as taking a lot of time to talk about these matches. But, with the Becky Lynch injury, she had to pull out of her match with Rousey and find a replacement. WWE also decided to throw the fans a curve ball by having AJ Styles 365+ days reign as WWE Champion come to a screeching halt this week too after losing to Daniel Bryan. As far as which brand had a better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. Raw did a really good job of building up Survivor Series as well as what is to come after the PPV too. They had time to show what is going to happen next between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as well as Braun Strowman and his situations with Baron Corbin and Brock Lesnar. Lastly, the ending invasion with Smackdown was an awesome moment for years to come. Survivor Series is looking to be a solid PPV and it is also intriguing to see what happens after the PPV too.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 5, 2018
For Raw, we have new tag team champions this week after the Authors of Pain defeated Seth Rollins. After Rollins called out Baron Corbin for helping Brock Lesnar win the Universal Championship, Corbin retaliated by having him defend the tag team championship against AOP knowing that Dean Ambrose wasn’t going to help Rollins out. That was the case as Rollins tried to his best to win two on one, only to fail. After the match, Ambrose attacked Rollins again. When I stated last week that this Seth Rollins versus Dean Ambrose rivalry is going to be a slow build, this is a prime example of it and doing it in a effective way.
For Smackdown, we had a great one on one match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade Almas. Before this bout, Daniel Bryan picked Mysterio to be on the men’s team, only for the Miz to question it and say that Mysterio will have to prove it against Almas. Both Mysterio and Almas put on a high flying match which ended when Mysterio hit the 619. After the match, Randy Orton attacked Mysterio too, which questions where his intentions are going forward too.
For Raw, while I do not mind the Bobby Lashley versus Finn Balor rivalry, having them face off against each other every week is not a good way to build up the rivalry. This is the 3rd week in a row they have faced off against each other and it hasn’t really led to anything for either competitor. There are much better ways to help develop this rivalry. Having them fight every week gets repetitive and boring quickly.
For Smackdown, the reveal for the women’s team at Survivor Series didn’t really have the intriguing impact compared to what they are doing on Raw. For Smackdown, there is no team captain and they don’t even have one fully committed to the team. When it was Charlotte’s turn to get introduced, she didn’t show up, instead we got Mandy Rose questioning why others were on the team in her place. While that aspect of the team is interesting, there are still some things left up in the air about this.
The Final Verdict
After Crown Jewel, it felt like WWE was trying to move past that as soon as possible and move onto Survivor Series. This seems like the smartest decision for WWE considering the controversy that was behind Crown Jewel. But, as both brands moved on, they did a pretty solid job of building up Survivor Series. But, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. They spent all of their allotted time on focusing on Survivor Series and have some pretty interesting stories going into it. While Raw, on the other hand, had some matches that felt like filler and have been extremely repetitive. Overall, WWE needs to ramp up the buildup for Survivor Series, especially considering that this is one of the Big Four PPV’s.
John Cena Addresses Future with WWE, Slowing Down
While WWE superstar John Cena may not be participating in this Friday’s Crown Jewel event from Saudi Arabia, Cena is still committed to performing in the ring, but he won’t be the full time performer that he once was.
Cena, 41, admitted that aging and the importance of maintaining his body moving forward are reasons why he has scaled back in the ring, while also adding that he will always be a part of WWE and will never leave.
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