For Raw, we got to see Dean Ambrose return to in ring action against Dolph Ziggler this week and he looked great. He presented some new moves, showed that he has more strength this time around, and was really smooth in his return to the ring. The ongoing rivalry between Ambrose and Rollins vs. Ziggler and McIntyre is still going strong and it will be interesting to see where they go from there, especially now that the Shield has formed back together.
For Smackdown, there were so many good things Smackdown presented this week, but the ongoing rivalry between Samoa Joe and AJ Styles is really starting to get intense and stuck out this week. After Styles got himself DQ’d at Summerslam for attacking Joe with a steel chair after Joe’s comments to Styles’ family at ringside, Smackdown decided to have an interview with Styles to explain his actions. While Styles was getting fired up talking about the situation, Joe snuck up behind Styles and attacked him. Then, Joe proceeded to throw more insults towards Styles’ family while Styles laid there unconscious. This rivalry has heated up and gotten really good these past few weeks and WWE fans should look forward to this rivalry going into Hell in a Cell.
For Raw, they decided to have repeat matches this week and it is starting to make these rivalries feel stale. The matches Raw decided to have for what feels like the 5th week in a row are the AOP vs. Titus Worldwide and the Riot Squad vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks. WWE does realize there are other tag teams in their division that either of these teams could face? At least with the Titus Worldwide storyline, they are hinting that Apollo Crews may go on his own. But, as far as the Riot Squad vs. Bayley and Banks, its been the same story for the past few weeks and it seems like no progress is being made.
For Smackdown, they only had one match that didn’t really entertain much and that was Peyton Royce vs. Naomi. It just felt like filler this week but maybe they are trying to lay out something with the IIconics going forward.
The Final Verdict
Overall, WWE had to move forward from Summerslam and show what the layout is going to be for the rest of 2018. Raw was more about the aftermath from Summerslam while Smackdown went right towards building up Hell in a Cell. Due to that, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. Honestly, this was one of the best Smackdowns of the year. They already had a match prepared and built up with Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse and they did a really great job of building up some matches that we will more than likely see on the PPV (AJ Stlyes vs. Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch). Raw will lay out some matches going forward for this PPV, but Smackdown is already off to a great start post Summerslam and fans should look forward to the constant build up for Hell in a Cell.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 10, 2018
For Raw, their main event was between Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin in a TLC match for the Intercontinental championship and it was a great match to end the show. It had some crazy spots and was intriguing from start to finish. To make things even more interesting, Heath Slater’s story of him being a referee played into this as well and questions what lies ahead with him too. Rollins ended up winning so the championship match with Dean Ambrose at TLC is still on.
For Smackdown, the opening match between Daniel Bryan and Mustafa Ali was as good as it sounds. Along with that, they had a promo before their match started in where Daniel Bryan picked on Ali and ended up slapping him right in the face. Bryan ended up winning after applying the heel hook,which may be his new finishing submission since he has been doing that the past few weeks. After the match, Bryan proceeded to attack Ali even more on the entrance ramp, giving him all the momentum in his title match against AJ Styles.
For Raw, it seems a little crazy that they are trying to embrace that their ratings are at an all time low. To open the show, Seth Rollins had some things to get off his chest towards Baron Corbin. In his rant,he stated that the ratings were at an all time low and that the recent shows have been bad because of Corbin. While it is a good way for management to look bad, it still looks bad to address the bad numbers and try to think of a bailout reason to address why that is.
For Smackdown, the rap battle between the Bar and the Usos was bad and good at the same time. While it was pretty humorous to see the Bar try their best Vanilla Ice impersonation, the whole concept of having a rap battle is what made it bad. While it did help build up the tag team championship match at TLC, their could’ve been another route WWE could’ve gone.
The Final Verdict
With TLC being this Sunday, both brands needed to put on good shows to get fans prepared for the PPV. Both shows did give a lot of time building it up, but things feel a lot smoother on Smackdown compared to Raw. Smackdown has done a really good job of putting time into their championship matches along with things just meant for their show. A prime example of this is giving proper build up for the WWE Championship match while at the same time wanting fans to turn in every week to see where things go for the Miz and Shane McMahon as the Miz keeps trying to get Shane on his side. Due to this,Smackdown had the better show this week and overall had a really good build for all of their matches at TLC. In conclusion, the matches for Smackdown have all the momentum going into TLC.
Tetsuya Naito Posts Video Aimed at Chris Jericho
Kevin Owens Likely to Return In March
WWE Superstar Kevin Owens is slated to make his return to the ring sometime in March, but despite his timetable making him available for WrestleMania 35, it is still unclear if WWE has plans for Owens at Mania.
Owens is still recovering from surgery and WWE may be hesitant in putting him a big angle for WrestleMania, opting instead to hold off on his official return to the ring until after WrestleMania 35, perhaps at the Monday Night RAW following the event.
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