Raw vs. SmackDown – 8/10/16
Just two weeks away from SummerSlam, you would hope for things to keep heating up in WWE. Unfortunately, we got “filler” episodes from both Raw and SmackDown Live. Nothing really significant happened on either show and most storylines underwent just minor development. You don’t want to see “filler” episodes but they are necessary sometimes, especially when the show airs every week. These episodes were mainly to hold us over until the go-home editions of Raw and SmackDown Live next week before SummerSlam. Regardless of the quality of the shows, we still have to break them down and determine which was better. While there weren’t many, let’s take a look at the highlights from this week.
Monday Night Raw
Our first highlight is Seth Rollins’ promo on Finn Balor. The promo wasn’t one his best by any measure. It also had a weird kayfabe break with Rollins saying Finn Balor isn’t his real name. Made weirder by the fact that Seth Rollins isn’t his real name either. But all that aside, Rollins is one of the best on the mic and he was engaging as ever during the promo. I do like how they are really emphasizing Rollins’ accomplishments versus Balor’s lack of accomplishments in WWE. It’s a solid feud and this promo only made me more excited for this match at SummerSlam, which means it did its job.
Another highlight for me was the match between Cesaro and Sheamus. While it isn’t the most compelling feud, these guys are both great in-ring workers and they really brought their A-games for this one. In what was an otherwise dull show, this was one of the more compelling segments. It was a shame that the title shot Cesaro won in the match amounted to a simple match that was only there to eventually further the feud between Reigns and Rusev.
The segment between Jericho, Owens, and Enzo and Big Cass was another highlight. With that said, I am not a fan of the pairing of Jericho and Owens only because I think the Owens character works best on his own. Nonetheless, it was a fun segment with four really talented guys. I liked the chemistry between Owens and Jericho and the match between Jericho and Enzo was decent. It should be a good match at SummerSlam.
Bray Wyatt remaining in the main event picture was a big highlight. After losing last week to Ziggler, I figured WWE would move Wyatt onto another feud. It is still unclear what his role will be at SummerSlam, but based on what we’ve seen, it’s possible that he could be added to the match between Ambrose and Ziggler. (At least, that’s what I hope they do.) Although, I wish he and Rowan had won the match since he’s such a big talker and rarely seems to back it up because he always loses these matches. Could’ve made Wyatt look really strong with a win.
Another highlight was the first women’s segment featuring Becky Lynch, Eva Marie, and Alexa Bliss. I know I criticized them for this last week, but it worked much better for me this week with Eva Marie once again being unable to compete. I really liked Becky’s frustrated promo in the ring and then she had a decent match with Alexa Bliss with Eva Marie coming back out towards the end saying she was fine to compete. The execution this week was much better.
Now is the time to determine a winner this week. Last week, I gave Raw the win. Also, since I didn’t write this article for the first week, I am going to retroactively give Raw a win for the first week of this New Era. This gives Raw a 2-0 lead over SmackDown Live. This is a tough week since neither show really stood out. Raw had more highlights for me but they also have an extra hour of television. In fact, I feel that all these highlights are reaches when compared to last weeks. Since neither show really stood out, I’m going call this week a tie.
Next week is the final week before SummerSlam, so hopefully this week was just a down week. Make sure you check back next Wednesday for another edition of Raw vs. SmackDown.
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