For Raw, the ending segment with Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch was a great way to help build up one of the key matches for Fastlane as well as the main event for Wrestlemania. After Rousey gave Stephanie McMahon an ultimatum in regards to her match at Wrestlemania, McMahon announced that Becky Lynch would face off against Charlotte Flair at Fastlane and if Lynch won, she would be added to the Wrestlemania match. Roused agreed to this stipulation and then decided to go on a rant and turn into a bad guy. She ripped on the fans, WWE itself, and Becky Lynch. The show closed by Rousey beating up both competitors. Solid way to build up key matches going into Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States Champion! After R-Truth decided to host another open challenge for his belt this week, it was answered by three guys. Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, and Andrade all answered the call and created a fatal four way match. The match was great from start to finish and Samoa Joe ended up winning. Joe has been long overdue for a championship in WWE so the United States Championship is a great starting point for him.
For Raw, while The Shield reunion is a feel good moment because Roman Reigns came back, it also isn’t clicking like it should. This is because the break up between these three the past few times has been so emotionally driven that the reunion doesn’t deliver back in the same way. There is a 6-man tag match between The Shield and Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin at Fastlane, but does not feel like one of the more important matches on the PPV.
For Smackdown, the only bad thing I saw from Smackdown was the fact that Andrade and Rey Mysterio will have a match at Fasltane, but on the pre show. These guys have already put on spectacular matches before and they probably will again, but the fact that those great matches have only led to them being on the pre show doesn’t make much sense.
The Final Verdict
Both brands put on very good shows before the Fastlane PPV. They were able to give time to all the matches on the PPV as well as help get some time to get some Wrestlemania build up too. As far as better shows from start to finish though, Smackdown had the better show this week. Putting a lot of focus on the WWE Championship match, tag team championship, women’s championship match, and the Becky Lynch is why Smackdown had the better show this week. Since the McMahon family has decided to be the authority figures, WWE television has been more interesting and put a little bit more emphasis in their rivalries.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: March 11, 2019
For Raw, their main event was a falls count anywhere match between Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre and this was awesome to watch. This match was created after McIntyre sneak attacked Roman Reigns before his match with Baron Corbin, which angered Ambrose and made him demand that match. These two fought all over the arena and McIntyre ended up winning after hitting a claymore kick on Ambrose, who’s arm and head were pinned against a rail. It is looking like McIntyre face off against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, which should be a solid match.
For Smackdown, the ending segment with Kofi Kingston and Vince McMahon is really making the story for the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania intriguing. After Kingston confronted McMahon about not getting a championship opportunity after 11 years with WWE, McMahon said he will give him his opportunity, if he can survive a gauntlet match on Smackdown next week. This gauntlet includes Rowan, the Bar, Randy Orton, and Samoa Joe.
For Raw, they had a segment between Nia Jax and Natalya, which felt rushed from the beginning. After Natalya announced that Beth Phoenix would accompany her for her match against Jax, the match didn’t last longer than a minute before Phoenix interfered and got Natalya DQ’d from the match. This may led to a tag match at Wrestlemania, but having segments that don’t last longer than five minutes is not a proper way to build up a match.
For Smackdown, there was a five minute match between Asuka and Sonya Deville and it was not very good. The ending was similar to the PPV match between Asuka and Mandy Rose, but it was very poorly executed this time around. Asuka has been more involved in a storyline between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville than her actually being champion, which is not how she should be handled.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were solid again this week. Both brands focused heavily on Wrestlemania as well as the fallout from Fastlane. There are lots of exciting stories going into Wrestlemania so hopefully both brands continue to ramp up the intensity of each one. With that said, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A great promo between Batista and Triple H, an entertaining main event, and an emotional goodbye to Kurt Angle is what gave Raw the better show this week. In conclusion, WWE has been doing really good building up the road to Wrestlemania, so hopefully they keep this momentum going after this PPV too.
Kurt Angle vs. John Cena Planned for WrestleMania 35
This week on RAW, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle announced that he will have his farewell match at WrestleMania 35, putting an end to his legendary career.
While an opponent has not been officially announced, sources say that the plan is to put Angle against John Cena, bringing their storyline full-circle.
Cena fueled rumors with a post on Instagram this week, but the match is pretty much set.
Harlem Heat Announced for WWE Hall of Fame
Legendary WCW tag team Harlem Heat has been officially announced for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Harlem Heat will join Torrie Wilson, Billy Gunn, Sean Waltman, Chyna, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, & the Honkey Tonk Man as this year’s inductees and WWE made the announcement during Monday Night Raw with the following video:
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