Welcome to the first edition of Raw vs. Smackdown. Where I will be reviewing both shows, pointing out the highs and lows of each, and giving my opinion on which one of the two had the better show. And what better week to start than the go-home shows before the biggest event of the summer, SummerSlam.
First things first, Monday Night Raw made history this week by having the first woman to ever call an entire broadcast. Renee Young took the place of Jonathan Coachman at the announcers table, and she did one hell of a job. Here’s hoping she gets more opportunities.
Monday Night Raw – Greensboro, North Carolina
Ronda Rousey kicked off the go-home show of Monday Night Raw by giving a nice speech about the passing of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, but quickly turned it into defending Natalya and beating Alexa Bliss at Summerslam for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Not only did Natalya receive some respect from the audience but Alexa Bliss was greeted with boos, showing who was the true heel of this feud. Bliss fed off the boos and continued to give Rousey the business. She went on to call Rousey an “overrated, over-hyped rookie.” I’m sure we can all agree that Bliss is a perfect heel and should never turn face.
Bliss even took a shot at Kurt Angle, saying he only defends the Universal Championship picture, but easily forgets about the Raw Women’s Championship. Bliss came out firing and took everyone down.
Alexa Bliss vs. Ember Moon
The match had two commercial breaks, so I’d fast forward to the end of the match where Moon looked to almost have Bliss in a position to win, but was interfered by Alicia Fox. Rousey charged the ring and dragged Fox by her arm. The crowd popped for Rousey and I’m all for it, I just don’t want her to turn into a part time champion. She needs to show up each week and be the face of the division.
Match Result: Ember Moon defeated Alexa Bliss by disqualification.
A clip was shown from last week’s interview with Paul Heyman and Renee Young where Heyman said Roman Reigns has no chance against this Brock Lesnar, pauses, and then says “unless” right before walking out of the interview.
Could Heyman be aligning himself with Reigns, or could a possible heel turn be in the works for SummerSlam?
Constable Baron Corbin vs. Tyler Breeze
Some talking points from this match; It’s disappointing to see Breeze continue to job with all the talent he has. I’m still looking for an answer as to how comfortable it is for Corbin to wrestle in dress clothes. But the biggest point was Corbin winning with the Deep Six, showing how it just isn’t fair that he has that and the End of Days as signature moves.
Match Result: Constable Baron Corbin defeats Tyler Breeze by pinfall.
Finn Balor and Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens
This was originally a handicap match for Balor, but Kurt Angle added Strowman at the last minute to thwart Corbin’s plans. The high point about this match was the chemistry between Balor and Strowman. I could see them teaming together in the future and forming a bad ass duo, but also being very entertaining to watch. I’d check this match out.
Match Result: Finn Balor and Braun Strowman defeat Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens by pinfall.
Bobby Lashley demolished some guitar wielding jobber as Elias watched from the entrance ramp. Don’t bother with this.
Deleter of Worlds vs. The Revival vs. The B-Team (c) for the Raw Tag Team Championship
The Revival and Deleter of Worlds did a fantastic job of making this match entertaining. Although the B-Team are champs, their title reign is just for giggles. Which is sad to say since both superstars have wrestling in their blood. Either way, this is the match of the night thus far, I was just hoping for a better ending.
Match Result: The B-Team retain the Raw Tag Team Championship
Roman Reigns came out to spew the same garbage he has every time he’s faced Brock Lesnar. It has become so repetitive it’s almost like a sing-a-long now. Heyman interrupted Reigns and made a claim to him that if he had him in his corner, on Sunday, he’d walk out as the Universal Champion.
The crowd filled the air with yes chants, but Reigns denied Heyman’s offer. Heyman then sprayed Reigns with pepper spray, blinding him. Shortly after Brock Lesnar came out and beat down Reigns. This seemed very similar to the Raw before Wrestlemania, but it is still very entertaining. I’d suggest watching just so you can remember what the Universal title looks like again.
Titus O’Neal, Apollo Crews and Bobby Roode vs. Mojo Rawley and The Authors of Pain
There’s no point in even talking about this match. It lasted all of 2 minutes. It’s a shame Bobby Roode is being relegated to filler matches. Lowest of the lows right here.
Match Result: Titus O’Neal, Apollo Crews and Bobby Roode defeat Mojo Rawley and The Authors of Pain by pinfall.
Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott
This match is also another baffling situation on Raw. Sasha Banks and Bayley were on pace for a great feud. Then it got canned and had them settle their differences. Maybe it’s being left for when one of them has the title again, but having them on the mid-card seems like a waste. It was nice to see Riott back and picking up the big win. I’d suggest watching, but wouldn’t blame you if you skipped it since there’s no storyline here.
Match Result: Ruby Riott defeats Sasha Banks by pinfall.
Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins closed out the show with the contract signing of the Intercontinental Championship match at SummerSlam, and what a way to end the show. Ziggler cut a fantastic promo, while Rollins gave us what we all wanted. A returning Dean Ambrose. And the man looked jacked and ready for action. If you only choose to watch one part of the show, let it be this.
Raw Rating: 2.75 out of 5
Smackdown Live – Greenville, South Carolina
Smackdown kicked off its go-home show much like Raw did with the competitors for its Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam. Carmella did what she does best and trash talked both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, but Flair didn’t hold anything back. She called Carmella a “diva” living in a Women’s era.
General Manager Paige then interrupted the trio and made a tag team match between Flair and Lynch and Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville with Carmella at commentary. It wasn’t as great a segment as Raw’s but still had its moments.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Mandy Rose not only is nice to look at, but her in-ring skills have improved drastically. It’s unfortunate that when Rose and Deville came out the crowd had no reaction to them. Overall this match was much better than the women’s matches on Raw.
Match Result: Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch defeat Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville by submission.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Triple Threat
The Triple Threat are three local jobbers that got obliterated by the Bludgeon Brothers. It was much better than Bobby Lashley’s squash match because they destroyed three guys, but it’s nothing more than filler.
Match Result: The Bludgeon Brothers defeat The Triple Threat by pinfall.
Sanity vs. The New Day
Fantastic match! The New Day gimmick has died down a little, but there is no doubt that they continue to perform so well in the ring. Unfortunately, Sanity hasn’t made their mark on the main roster yet. They were destined to be a feared faction, but much like the Authors of Pain, have been misused.
Match Result: The New Day defeat Sanity by pinfall.
Aiden English vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Extremely short match that was cut even shorter by commercials. It can easily be skipped.
Match Result: Andrade “Cien” Almas defeats Aiden English by pinfall.
Throughout the show, a three-part vignette was shown about the 8-year feud between Daniel Bryan and The Miz, and it is what WWE does best. I don’t want to give it away, so watch it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy
This was a fun and nostalgic match that ended with Shinsuke Nakamura ambushing Hardy. But I’d rewatch it just to see what Benjamin can do in the ring. There’s no reason he should be on television once a month.
Match Result: Jeff Hardy defeats Shelton Benjamin by pinfall.
AJ Styles closed out the show talking about how Samoa Joe broke him physically and mentally over the past weeks. Joe then interrupted Styles to read him a letter from a fan. The letter stated how everything Joe said about Styles caring more about the WWE Championship than his family was true. Joe then revealed that the letter was written by Styles wife.
I’m not sure how to feel about the involvement of Styles family in the feud, but I’d suggest watching it and letting me know if it feels like a touchy awkward subject.
Smackdown Rating: 2.74 out of 5
Although Smackdown had better matches, the opening and closing of Raw put them just slightly over.
Winner: Monday Night Raw