For Raw, lots of people are not invested in the Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns match at Extreme Rules, but I thought WWE did their best in building it up this week and I thought it was a very entertaining this week. They started the show off with a pull apart brawl between the two and then each competitor got to say their peace after the brawl. While the Philadelphia crowd at Extreme Rules will probably act disinterested in this match, the buildup for it has been really good especially after this week and it does give this match a “big fight” feel.
For Smackdown, we finally got to see the Andrade Almas vs. Sin Cara match that had been building over a month and kept announcing that they would have, only not to have it. That finally came to an end this week and these two put on a great match. It wasn’t that long, but it didn’t need to be as the spots Sin Cara were doing were insane. This finally helps Almas get his foot in the door on Smackdown now that he has a credible victory. It will be interesting to see what happens next for El Idolo (hopefully a run at the US championship!).
For Raw, they didn’t even mention Brock Lesnar being on the UFC PPV this past weekend. That is ridiculous considering he is the main champion on the brand and is trying to now become a UFC Champion. Along with that, they didn’t even mention anything about his upcoming plans for Summerslam. WWE has handled the Brock Lesnar situation as poorly as you can.
For Smackdown, the lumberjack match between James Ellsworth and Asuka was something we really didn’t need to see. While fans wanted to see Asuka beat up Ellsworth, the rivalry for the women’s championship is still between Asuka and Carmella, not Ellsworth. While it did help build up the championship match for Extreme Rules, seeing these two fight wasn’t necessary.
The Final Verdict
With both of these being the go home shows before Extreme Rules, both brands needed to focus on the matches featured on the card. I feel that both brands did a pretty good job at doing this, but as far as who put on a better show is the bigger question. For this week, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. They focused on the WWE Championship match, had a pretty good main event, finally had the debut of Almas against a good competitor, and built up the US championship too. Overall, Extreme Rules is turning out to look like a really solid PPV, hopefully WWE gets positive results out of it and they have momentum going into Summerslam!
Lio Rush Backstage Reputation
WWE superstar Lio Rush has been in the middle of a confusing wrinkle in his association with Bobby Lashley, who seems to be done with Rush, but still teaming with him.
Lashley attacked Rush following Fin Balor pinning Rush in their handicapped match at Elimination Chamber, which cost Lashley his Intercontinental Championship despite not being pinned.
It’s been an interesting direction for Rush’s character, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingNews.co) Rush may have a reputation backstage.
“It appears Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin. There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people, including other workers, the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 11, 2019
For Raw, The Revival finally were able to become tag team champions. After months and months of seeing them go up against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, it was about time WWE finally decided to shake things up in this rivalry. The tag team division got the attention it deserved this week and all of these guys were able to put on a great match. Hopefully, things start to go into a more intriguing direction now that the Revival are the champions.
For Smackdown, the gauntlet match they had between all of the competitors in the men’s elimination chamber was a great way to close out their show. Kofi Kingston ended up replacing Mustafa Ali after Ali announced he was injured and would not be able to compete in the match. Kingston put on a show as he defeated Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe before losing to AJ Styles. Randy Orton ended up winning the gauntlet by hitting an RKO out of nowhere on AJ Styles to end the show. This match has really good build up going into the PPV and now after Kofi Kingston’s last minute placement in this match, it really does leave it up in the air who could win at the PPV.
For Raw, Ruby Riott beat Nikki Cross and it was a quick match, which was won by Ruby Riott. Riott has a match on the PPV against Ronda Rousey and there has been minimal effort to build up this match. Rousey is more focused on her Wrestlemania match than this one and it is clear by the WWE is looking at it.
For Smackdown, they had a promo with the women’s tag teams from Raw building up their elimination chamber matches, and one of them was so bad that it has to be mentioned. When it was Nia Jax and Tamina’s time, Nia Jax kept cutting off what Tamina was saying by talking over her. This happened a few times and who knows if WWE meant to do this or not, but either way, it was painful to see.
The Final Verdict
With these being the go home shows before Elimination Chamber, WWE seemed only to really focus on two matches for the whole PPV. Those matches were both the Elimination Chamber matches, which do have big implications. But, WWE still should at least put effort into building up the other matches. Some of these were announced the day of this week’s show. Smackdown had the better show this week as a whole. A great gauntlet match and proper time put into all of their brand’s matches is the main reason why. In conclusion, WWE is more focused towards Wrestlemania so expect any of these PPV’s in between to shake things up going towards the biggest show of the year.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 4, 2019
For Raw, the whole back and forth rivalry between Jeff Jarrett and Elias was entertaining. What started at the Royal Rumble and has carried over for the past few weeks, seeing Elias and Jarrett exchange guitar shots had a throwback feel to it. Along with that, Road Dogg being in the corner of Jarrett really brought times back. Lastly, Elias ended up winning the match, which helps give him momentum going into whoever his next rival will be.
For Smackdown, Mustafa Ali and Randy Orton put on the best match during their show this week. Ali’s high flying against Randy Orton’s slow attacking pace was a great matchup of styles and it showed. Orton ended up winning after hitting an RKO from the top rope and gives him the upper hand towards the Elimination Chamber match.
For Raw, the lack of featuring the tag team champions on their show this week was evident. While they did have a number one contenders match featured this week, the winners ended up being the Revival. This is a match that we have already seen one too many times and if there isn’t a different result this time around, then what is the point of the Revival facing off against the tag team champions.
For Smackdown, after R-Truth shocked the world last week by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States championship, you would think that we would get a segment of him celebrating this victory the next week. Instead, he wasn’t even really on the show this week. As good as R-Truth is, at least a 30 second segment would’ve been better than nothing from him.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were average this week. They did help build the Elimination Chamber as well as still pushing Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch as the main event of Wrestlemania. But, there was lots missing from both brands this week. Both shows were missing champions this week and didn’t even bother mentioning them. As talented as the champions currently are, each one should get respective time. With that said though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A debuting EC3, a solid double match with Ronda Rousey, and a decent main event gave Raw a better show this time around. In conclusion, WWE still has some work to do when building up these next two PPV’s, hopefully, they can put on better efforts that they did this week.
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