For Raw, it was funny to see Rhyno make a comeback to help out Heath Slater. During Slater’s match with Jinder Mahal, Rhyno dressed up as Santa Claus and was handing out gifts during the match. When it looked like Slater was about to win the match, the Singh Brothers interfered to help out Mahal, giving Slater the win via DQ. Rhyno then came to the ring to save the day. I guess that this means that they are back to being in the tag division.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States Champion! In the main event of Smackdown, Rusev was able to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura in a great match. This match was given a good amount of time and it was able to show what each competitor was about. Overall, this was an interesting change considering Nakamura’s title reign wasn’t really effective, so this is a change to embrace.
For Raw, when WWE announced that we would see new matchups, I expected some interesting things to see in the future. But, WWE decided to recycle the Riott Squad versus Bayley and Sasha Banks once again. This matchup was literally shoved down the WWE fans’ throats when the Riott Squad first came onto Raw and now they seem to be bringing it back. Hopefully though, one of these teams moves to another brand during this new era.
For Smackdown, one thing I noticed was how much they edited the crowd and other things during this show. A prime example was during Rusev’s entrance, they showed a clip of a fan chanting Rusev Day, which a shot that was taken earlier in 2018. Along with that, a majority of the crowd noise was edited too, which doesn’t give it much of a authentic feel.
The Final Verdict
Both brands put on a pretty good show. The Royal Rumble isn’t for another month so building it up extremely wasn’t necessary this week. Both shows were entertaining and helped integrate the Christmas theme too. With that said, I would have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. With a new US champion, and a very interesting exchange between AJ Styles and Vince McMahon to close the show has questions going into next week. In conclusion, Smackdown continues to roll with solid show week after week so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes for 2019.
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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