For Raw, the opening segment with Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey was an awesome way to carry over from the PPV. Bliss came out and bragged about her accomplishment in cashing in the Money in the Bank contract, etc. Then, Rousey came out to confront Bliss and it caused absolute chaos. She took out Bliss, attacked Kurt Angle and WWE officials, and topped it off by putting Bliss through a table. Due to these actions, Rousey got suspended for 30 days, but we all know that when she gets back, she has some unfinished business to attend to.
For Smackdown, the gauntlet match to determine who would face AJ Styles at Extreme Rules was great from start to finish. Rusev ended up winning the gauntlet, which was a bit of a surprise, but it should get fans excited for this match for the upcoming PPV. The best match out of this gauntlet though was the opener between Big E and Daniel Bryan. These two beat the hell out of each other and put on one of the best matches of the year. Overall, this was great booking by WWE for this layout from beginning to the end.
For Raw, they had a few matches that felt like filler on their show, but at the same time I can understand why they needed to have these matches because they do need to figure out what to do with a few superstars after the PPV. Names like Jinder Mahal and Bobby Roode come up because they basically had jobber matches this week. Mahal is moving on from Roman Reigns and Bobby Roode is still lost on the roster so WWE is trying to figure out where to go with him from here. Maybe a rivalry between the two start up, either way, when the roster has that much star power, some may get lost.
For Smackdown, the only match that didn’t really have any meaning behind it during their show was the match between Becky Lynch and Billie Kay. Lynch is trying to bounce back from the Money in the Bank loss and she was able to against Kay. It just leaves questions on where to go with Lynch from here, which hopefully can get answered in the next few weeks if they’re going to put on her display.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were really entertaining this week. Raw had a surprise championship change when Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental championship as well as had a great opening segment. Smackdown hosted a fantastic gauntlet match and helped layout a few rivalries going forward. With that said though, the brand that made the best out of their time given this week, Smackdown had the better show. Not only was their main event great, but they debuted SaNity, helped push more towards a Jeff Hardy versus Shinsuke Nakamura rivalry, and left questions about where Daniel Bryan goes from here. Overall, both shows were very great coming out of the PPV, hopefully WWE keeps this pace up going into Extreme Rules.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 10, 2018
For Raw, their main event was between Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin in a TLC match for the Intercontinental championship and it was a great match to end the show. It had some crazy spots and was intriguing from start to finish. To make things even more interesting, Heath Slater’s story of him being a referee played into this as well and questions what lies ahead with him too. Rollins ended up winning so the championship match with Dean Ambrose at TLC is still on.
For Smackdown, the opening match between Daniel Bryan and Mustafa Ali was as good as it sounds. Along with that, they had a promo before their match started in where Daniel Bryan picked on Ali and ended up slapping him right in the face. Bryan ended up winning after applying the heel hook,which may be his new finishing submission since he has been doing that the past few weeks. After the match, Bryan proceeded to attack Ali even more on the entrance ramp, giving him all the momentum in his title match against AJ Styles.
For Raw, it seems a little crazy that they are trying to embrace that their ratings are at an all time low. To open the show, Seth Rollins had some things to get off his chest towards Baron Corbin. In his rant,he stated that the ratings were at an all time low and that the recent shows have been bad because of Corbin. While it is a good way for management to look bad, it still looks bad to address the bad numbers and try to think of a bailout reason to address why that is.
For Smackdown, the rap battle between the Bar and the Usos was bad and good at the same time. While it was pretty humorous to see the Bar try their best Vanilla Ice impersonation, the whole concept of having a rap battle is what made it bad. While it did help build up the tag team championship match at TLC, their could’ve been another route WWE could’ve gone.
The Final Verdict
With TLC being this Sunday, both brands needed to put on good shows to get fans prepared for the PPV. Both shows did give a lot of time building it up, but things feel a lot smoother on Smackdown compared to Raw. Smackdown has done a really good job of putting time into their championship matches along with things just meant for their show. A prime example of this is giving proper build up for the WWE Championship match while at the same time wanting fans to turn in every week to see where things go for the Miz and Shane McMahon as the Miz keeps trying to get Shane on his side. Due to this,Smackdown had the better show this week and overall had a really good build for all of their matches at TLC. In conclusion, the matches for Smackdown have all the momentum going into TLC.
Larry “The Axe” Hennig Dies at 82
Former AWA, NWA, and WWE superstar Larry “The Axe” Hennig, father of WWE Hall of Famer Curt “Mr.Perfect” Hennig and grandfather of current WWE superstar Curtis Axel, has passed away at 82 following a lengthy illness and kidney failure.
WWE released the following statement regarding his passing:
“WWE is saddened to learn that legendary Superstar and Hennig family patriarch Larry “The Axe” Hennig passed away today at 82 years old following a long illness and kidney failure.
A five-time tag team champion in the AWA, Hennig entered the sports-entertainment world under the tutelage of Verne Gagne and crossed paths with some of the most illustrious performers of all time. Most famously, Hennig was among Bruno Sammartino’s challengers for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden.
Though his own career was cut short due to injury, Hennig’s legacy spanned another two generations thanks to his son, the late WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect, and grandson, former Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel.
WWE extends its condolences to Hennig’s family, friends and fans.”
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 3, 2018
For Raw, the segment and match featuring Drew McIntyre is the best thing going for this show right now. After Baron Corbin decided to honor McIntyre by giving him a medal, Dolph Ziggler interrupted the presentation to ask for some credit for Drew’s rise to the top. McIntyre stated that he used Ziggler, which irritated Ziggler and led to a match. The match was great too and Ziggler surprisingly won after getting an assist from Finn Balor. Overall, this was a good story told to help get some spotlight for the Balor vs. McIntyre match for TLC as well as solidify the split between Ziggler and McIntyre.
For Smackdown, they did a good job of putting a lot of time into building up the WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles for TLC. First, they had Daniel Bryan guest star on Miz TV, which led to a brawl between Styles, Bryan, and the Miz too. This then led to a match between AJ Styles and the Miz in the main event of the show. The match was pretty good and ended when the Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Styles after a Bryan distraction. Then, after the match, Daniel Bryan beat up Styles even more and yelled at the crowd to end the show.
For Raw, we had another repeat match between Lucha House Party and the Revival and it just felt like filler. This has been the 3rd week in a row they have had this match and it has been the same result every time. The same thing over and over again tends to get boring after almost a month.
For Smackdown, they honestly did not have anything bad on their show. They gave time to feature a rivalry for each championship they have going as well as rivalries that they have just been building up through their show.
The Final Verdict
Both shows did put a lot of effort into building up TLC this week. Smackdown’s stories have more intrigue than Raw’s though. With that said, Smackdown ended up having the better show this week. A lot of focus was on their championship matches going into the PPV and when a brand puts a lot of time into their championships, they have a bigger feel to them. While Raw, on the other hand, doesn’t even have competition for their tag team championships anymore and we still have the same problem with the Universal Championship that we had a year ago. In conclusion, Smackdown is still doing everything right going into TLC while Raw is just coasting by.
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