For Raw, the promo between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre to build up their match for Wrestlemania kept the momentum going for this rivalry. After McIntyre pleaded Reigns to come to the ring to give him an answer to his Wrestlemania challenge, Reigns came to ring, accepted the challenge, and started a brawl between the two. When Reigns was gaining the upper hand, McIntyre hit a low blow and stood tall. The match between these two is getting a lot of attention and has a big fight feel to it, which how a fight like this should be.
For Smackdown, the tag team gauntlet match to determine Kofi Kingston’s future at Wrestlemania was solid from start to finish. While the gauntlet match idea is starting to run its course for this story because they have done these the past few weeks, this should bring an ending to this story. Xavier Woods and Big E put the New Day on their back as they were able to beat out all the teams thrown at them. Now, we wait and see wait happens as Kofi Kingston is set to face Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship.
For Raw, the whole segment on a Moment of Bliss with Braun Strowman and the two actors from SNL was not good. First off, having these two guys from SNL compete in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal makes this match feel like WWE is not taking this seriously. Along with that, the delivery of all of this was just bad too. This is a match that won’t mean anything come Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we were told that we were going to have a fatal four way match to determine who would face Asuka at Wrestlemania. Instead, this match did not happen at all and Asuka defended her championship against Charlotte Flair this week. Surprisingly, Charlotte Flair won and really shakes things up for the main event triple threat match at Wrestlemania. While this is an intriguing way to go with the build up to the main event, Asuka’s championship run as a whole flopped, which is a shame considering how dominant she was in NXT.
The Final Verdict
Both brands continue to focus most of their time on the Wrestlemania matches. Some segments have been good, while others have been bad. As far as overall delivery this week, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. A feel good ending with the Kofi Kingston story, an added stipulation to the Miz versus Shane McMahon match, and a new women’s champion are why they were able to have the better show. Smackdown was due for a really good show and with all this new information going forward to Wrestlemania, it will be interesting to see how each one is handled.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? April 16, 2019
For Raw, they got the best addition from the shakeup to their show, which was AJ Styles. After Styles really made his mark on Smackdown, it seemed like WWE creative was running out of ideas of what to do with Styles on Smackdown. So, having him on Raw is really intriguing now and it should be interesting to see what the future holds for him on Raw.
For Smackdown, their biggest addition from the shakeup was Roman Reigns and the way they introduced him to the show was entertaining. After Vince McMahon announced that the “biggest addition in Smackdown history” was Elias, Roman Reigns interrupted and ended up clearing out the ring and declaring that Smackdown is his yard now. Reigns needed a change of scenery after being on Raw for few years, so this is something the WWE universe should be excited for.
For Raw, while it was great to see an NXT tag team called up, the name they gave him is horrible. Formerly known as the War Raiders, who are the current NXT tag team champions were called up to Monday nights. But, they decided to change their name to the Viking Experience, which is one of the worst name changes in WWE history.
For Smackdown, they had a match between Carmella and Charlotte Flair and this felt like filler. After all the new names that they brought onto Smackdown during the shakeup for the women’s division, they could have had one of them in this match instead of putting them all together in the 8-women tag match that was featured on the show later.
The Final Verdict
For these being the superstar shakeup episodes, both shows felt a little underwhelming. While we are able to think of the possibility of matchups that we will see in the future because of this shakeup, the introduction of these new names felt like they should have been a bigger deal. Along with that, it seemed like WWE either was confused on how to handle some of these shakeups or they purposely wanted to confuse the fans. A prime example is how Finn Balor went to Smackdown with the Intercontinental championship. Since this was introduced to us on Smackdown, is there no secondary belt now on Raw? Or did Samoa Joe just automatically move to Raw because he currently was holding the original secondary belt on Smackdown? Overall, as to who had the better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show. The additions of the Miz, the Usos, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, AJ Styles, and Naomi are all new faces that were due for this. In conclusion, while the shakeup could’ve been handled better, the future should be intriguing as WWE prepares to fully move on from Wrestlemania.
AEW Signs CIMA
All Elite Wrestling has announced his latest signing.
The Khan-family backed promotion has officially announced that they have signed Dragon Gate superstar CIMA to a contract following the announcement of his involvement with the ‘Double or Nothing’ event.
The announcement came during the latest episode of ‘Being The Elite.’
Matt Hardy Responds to John Oliver’s WWE Segment
John Oliver, host of HBO’s popular ‘Last Week Tonight’, took WWE to task in a recent episode over their lack of healthcare for their performers, bringing a dark element of the treatment of WWE superstars to light.
Since then, wrestlers have spoken out, both in support of Oliver’s segment and coming to the defense of WWE.
One of those coming to WWE’s defense is WWE superstar and future Hall of Famer Matt Hardy, who praised WWE and how far they have come over the years.
“When I first started here [1997/1998] the locker room, everything was like the wild wild west then” Hardy said in an interview with FOX Sports (h/t Wrestling Inc). ” The change that has happened in those 20-plus years has been unreal. I mean, now the drug testing is very stringent. … You have to be here, and you have to be good and you have to be on top of your game. You have to be a professional. The physicals they do as far as cardiovascular and just checking you over and over — [there have] been several guys they caught that have had serious [health] issues that could have been life threatening if they didn’t catch it here, and just the way they take care of you. “
“Every surgery I ever had, WWE has paid for. They’re very faithful and very good about that. It’s just some of the stuff that the John talked about was kind of passé, kind of outdated because now they really do [take care of wrestlers’ health]. They take care of everything especially stuff that happens in house. As far as the whole health insurance thing, that’s kind of a different argument, because we do a different gig in many many ways. But WWE has never done anything but be great to me.
“They’ve taking care of me in every capacity, every front. And they’ve given me a great life. I mean one of the characters I play is ‘Big Money’ Matt, who’s like this millionaire that’s been around for a long time, and you know there’s a lot of truth to it in some ways, and I wouldn’t have that persona and I wouldn’t have the great life that I have right now if it wasn’t for WWE.”
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