For Raw, the Baron Corbin GM era on Raw is officially over. After losing to Braun Strowman at TLC, Corbin asked for one more opportunity to get the chance to be permanent GM. All of the McMahons decided to give him that chance, but it was a 4-on-1 no disqualification match against Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, and Chad Gable. It was basically the same result as TLC as they all took turns hitting Corbin with a chair and then Angle pinned Corbin after an Angle Slam. Even though it was very similar to what happened at TLC, seeing a bad authority figure get what is coming to him is always entertaining.
For Smackdown, the tag match between AJ Styles and Mustafa Ali vs. Daniel Bryan and Andrade Almas was a solid main event and a good way to end their show. Each of these guys got to show their skills in their respective time and surprisingly, Mustafa Ali ended up pinning the WWE Champion for the win.
For Raw, while it is nice to move forward with Ronda Rousey and her championship, having an hour long gauntlet match to determine who will face her next isn’t really the best way to go about it. This closed out the show and it just felt like it was dragging on after about half way through. In the end, Natalya ended up making Sasha Banks tap out to the sharpshooter and these two women will face off next week for the championship.
For Smackdown, for some reason, Paige was relieved of her duties of GM. This doesn’t really make sense as they didn’t really give a good reason as to why. This opened up the show as their McMahons promise to deliver new things going forward for both brands. Getting rid of somebody who was doing a great job like Paige in her role doesn’t seem like it will help though.
The Final Verdict
With both brands moving on from TLC, a shakeup is an interesting way to go immediately after the PPV. Along with that, with the Royal Rumble a few weeks away, it will be interesting to see how WWE integrates who goes where and how that plays a factor. In regards to this week though, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. A good main event, trying to bring other tag teams back to relevancy, and solid buildup for next weeks show make Smackdown still the better brand going forward for this shakeup. But, with new superstars arriving and some coming back, WWE has a lot in front of them going forward.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019
For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.
For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.
For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel.
For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up.
The Final Verdict
Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.
McKenzie Mitchell Announces Impact Wrestling Exit
Impact Wrestling backstage interviewer McKenzie Mitchell has officially announced her departure from the promotion.
Mitchell, who has been with the company since 2016, made the announcement in a lengthy post on her Instagram page:
Grateful. Changed. IMPACTed. Undoubtedly the most exhilarating and exciting experience of my life thus far. Words can’t describe my appreciation for @impactwrestling and company and all that I’ve learned with this experience. To my friends, family, and fans- you guys rock and are the reason why I love doing what I do each and every day. 2019 is a year of change and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
A post shared by McKenzie Mitchell (@mckenzienmitchell) on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:49pm PST
NXT Takeover: Blackpool Card
WWE is preparing for their upcoming NXT event, NXT Takeover: Blackpool, and after the airing of this week’s NXT, the full card is now in focus.
NXT UK’s first Takeover event hits the WWE Network, live from Blackpool, England, this Saturday.
Here is the card, at the time of this writing:
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match – Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match – Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey
No DQ Match – Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
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