For Raw, it is actually interesting and funny to see where they are going with the Authors of Pain. After Drake Mavericks “accident” at Survivor Series, WWE had a segment where other tag teams were making fun of Maverick. One team that angered Maverick was Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, which led to a match. Roode and Gable ended up winning pretty quickly in their match and they now look to be in line next for a championship match. While potty humor is childish to some fans, others found it funny. But, overall, it helps give Maverick a reason to unleash AOP on tag teams going forward.
For Smackdown, the main event was between Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton and it was a great match and left fans wanting more. After a back and forth match, Orton ended up winning after hitting a 2nd RKO on Mysterio. After the match, Orton then kept attacking Mysterio and ripped off his mask. This is intriguing because now we wait and see what Mysterio is going to do for payback.
For Raw, for what feels like the 3rd week in a row, we had the Lucha House Party versus the Revival, with the same result of LHP winning. While I do understand trying to build up a new tag team in the division, there are better ways than to build them up every week at the expense of the Revival.
For Smackdown, it is really confusing what they are trying to do with Charlotte Flair. After explaining her attack on Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series, she then had a match against both of the IIconics. While they are pushing this idea that Charlotte now is ruthless and thinks she is the best, this sounds very similar to what they did with Becky Lynch, but it just doesn’t have the firepower that Lynch had when she changed her attitude.
The Final Verdict
Each brand had a lot in front of them going forward. While both brands prepare for TLC, each show had to spend respectable time on which rivalries they are going to push for this PPV as well as still focus on the fallout of Survivor Series. For Raw, they did a good job of focusing on Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as well as Baron Corbin versus Braun Strowman. But, as far as Ronda Rousey, they are trying to balance out focusing on her match with Nia Jax as well as what happens next between her and Charlotte Flair. As for Smackdown, they have a WWE Championship rematch between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan and that’s about it, so they need to push some ideas going forward. With that said, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. They were able to build up TLC better than Smackdown was this week. But, with Smackdown having to come up with a few more matches for the PPV, I expect their build to increase these next few weeks.
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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