For Raw, they finally escalated the Bayley and Sasha Banks storyline and gave it the time it deserved. Along with that, it felt right on what happened between these two. After losing to the Riott Squad for what feels like the 10th week in a row, Bayley finally had enough and attacked Banks post-match. The crowd went nuts during this which made it feel much better and it felt like it was long overdue. Unfortunately, Kurt Angle sent both of them to counseling to get over this, which is not necessary considering these two have been going at it for weeks. Hopefully, these two get a match at the next PPV.
For Smackdown, team Hell No has reunited! With Daniel Bryan facing off against Luke Harper trying to get retribution for what happened to him last week, Bryan had Harper beat when he applied the Yes lock to him. But, Rowan interfered in the match and the Bludgeon Brothers started to beat up on Bryan. But, Kane came out of nowhere to save his former tag partner. This led to the team reuniting and now they have a championship match at Extreme Rules. While I do think there are other tag teams, such as the Bar, could be in the spot to face the Bludgeon Brothers, this program between these two teams has the potential to be great.
For Raw, it seems like they do not what to do with Nia Jax when it comes to booking her. First, she is trying to overcome bullying from Alexa Bliss in her first rivalry to get the women’s championship. Then, during her program with Ronda Rousey, she comes off as a bully. Now, in her second program with Alexa Bliss for the championship, she is helping out Ronda Rousey’s best friend, Natalya to help fight off Bliss? There are too many holes when it comes to booking how Jax comes off so WWE needs to figure that out.
For Smackdown, they tend to promote matches that don’t end up happening. We STILL have yet to see Andrade Almas vs. Sin Cara, and this week, we were unable to see Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Now, they cited that Nakamura was injured before the event started, which is fine. But, to keep having this trend of matches that don’t end up happening, it makes the average fan look stupid for believing that the match is going to happen in the first place.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were really good this week. They built up for Extreme Rules while still having great matches on their shows. Raw had a great main event between Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins, had an entertaining segment with Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens, and finally reached a breaking point between Bayley and Sasha Banks. Smackdown, on the other hand, had a pretty good main event between Daniel Bryan and Luke Harper, built up the WWE Championship program between Rusev and AJ Styles, and lastly had a wild 6-man tag match. With that being said though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. The show was entertaining from start to finish and left us wanting more going into next week. In conclusion, both brands have been putting on much better shows since Wrestlemania and hopefully they can keep this momentum going all the way 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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