For Raw, the whole segment and match featuring Seth Rollins was a great feature on this show. With Rollins demanding a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose, Triple H decided to come out and address this. Triple H told him that the “automatic rematch” clause is no longer going to happen and that superstars have to earn their title opportunities from now on. This then led to a match with Bobby Lashley, which ended in a DQ when Rollins took out Lashley and Lio Rush with a steel chair. This has fans thinking if Triple H possibly set something off in Rollins going forward.
For Smackdown, the main event was a fatal five way match to determine who would face Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble and it was a spectacular match. With each superstar getting their time to shine, it was a solid showing from everybody. AJ Styles ended up winning the match after hitting a 450 splash on Randy Orton. With what has been happening with Styles recently after his encounter with Vince McMahon last week, it is interesting to see what is going to happen next in this feud.
For Raw, their main event compared to Smackdown’s was underwhelming. We got a standard tag team match between Natalya and Ronda Rousey versus Nia Jax and Tamina. The match was ok overall but didn’t really have anything too attention grabbing. Along with that, this is a match we have already seen multiple times.
For Smackdown, we really didn’t get anything out of the tag team division this week. There was no segment, promo, or anything in regards to what is next in store for the champions so that was very disappointing.
The Final Verdict
Overall, with the holidays falling on both scheduled times of these shows, they had to put on good shows that would get people to actually watch. While they could throw in segments related to the holidays, they still need to push forward for the Royal Rumble. In regards to which brand did a better job of this, Smackdown takes this week too. With a solid main event, proper time given to build up the United States Championship, and things to look forward for next week’s show, Smackdown keeps hitting on all cylinders while Raw still needs to figure out what to do.
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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