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? April 16, 2019
For Raw, they got the best addition from the shakeup to their show, which was AJ Styles. After Styles really made his mark on Smackdown, it seemed like WWE creative was running out of ideas of what to do with Styles on Smackdown. So, having him on Raw is really intriguing now and it should be interesting to see what the future holds for him on Raw.
For Smackdown, their biggest addition from the shakeup was Roman Reigns and the way they introduced him to the show was entertaining. After Vince McMahon announced that the “biggest addition in Smackdown history” was Elias, Roman Reigns interrupted and ended up clearing out the ring and declaring that Smackdown is his yard now. Reigns needed a change of scenery after being on Raw for few years, so this is something the WWE universe should be excited for.
For Raw, while it was great to see an NXT tag team called up, the name they gave him is horrible. Formerly known as the War Raiders, who are the current NXT tag team champions were called up to Monday nights. But, they decided to change their name to the Viking Experience, which is one of the worst name changes in WWE history.
For Smackdown, they had a match between Carmella and Charlotte Flair and this felt like filler. After all the new names that they brought onto Smackdown during the shakeup for the women’s division, they could have had one of them in this match instead of putting them all together in the 8-women tag match that was featured on the show later.
The Final Verdict
For these being the superstar shakeup episodes, both shows felt a little underwhelming. While we are able to think of the possibility of matchups that we will see in the future because of this shakeup, the introduction of these new names felt like they should have been a bigger deal. Along with that, it seemed like WWE either was confused on how to handle some of these shakeups or they purposely wanted to confuse the fans. A prime example is how Finn Balor went to Smackdown with the Intercontinental championship. Since this was introduced to us on Smackdown, is there no secondary belt now on Raw? Or did Samoa Joe just automatically move to Raw because he currently was holding the original secondary belt on Smackdown? Overall, as to who had the better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show. The additions of the Miz, the Usos, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, AJ Styles, and Naomi are all new faces that were due for this. In conclusion, while the shakeup could’ve been handled better, the future should be intriguing as WWE prepares to fully move on from Wrestlemania.
AEW Signs CIMA
All Elite Wrestling has announced his latest signing.
The Khan-family backed promotion has officially announced that they have signed Dragon Gate superstar CIMA to a contract following the announcement of his involvement with the ‘Double or Nothing’ event.
The announcement came during the latest episode of ‘Being The Elite.’
Matt Hardy Responds to John Oliver’s WWE Segment
John Oliver, host of HBO’s popular ‘Last Week Tonight’, took WWE to task in a recent episode over their lack of healthcare for their performers, bringing a dark element of the treatment of WWE superstars to light.
Since then, wrestlers have spoken out, both in support of Oliver’s segment and coming to the defense of WWE.
One of those coming to WWE’s defense is WWE superstar and future Hall of Famer Matt Hardy, who praised WWE and how far they have come over the years.
“When I first started here [1997/1998] the locker room, everything was like the wild wild west then” Hardy said in an interview with FOX Sports (h/t Wrestling Inc). ” The change that has happened in those 20-plus years has been unreal. I mean, now the drug testing is very stringent. … You have to be here, and you have to be good and you have to be on top of your game. You have to be a professional. The physicals they do as far as cardiovascular and just checking you over and over — [there have] been several guys they caught that have had serious [health] issues that could have been life threatening if they didn’t catch it here, and just the way they take care of you. “
“Every surgery I ever had, WWE has paid for. They’re very faithful and very good about that. It’s just some of the stuff that the John talked about was kind of passé, kind of outdated because now they really do [take care of wrestlers’ health]. They take care of everything especially stuff that happens in house. As far as the whole health insurance thing, that’s kind of a different argument, because we do a different gig in many many ways. But WWE has never done anything but be great to me.
“They’ve taking care of me in every capacity, every front. And they’ve given me a great life. I mean one of the characters I play is ‘Big Money’ Matt, who’s like this millionaire that’s been around for a long time, and you know there’s a lot of truth to it in some ways, and I wouldn’t have that persona and I wouldn’t have the great life that I have right now if it wasn’t for WWE.”
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