The battle for brand supremacy is finally over. Raw and SmackDown were able to hit the reset button and once again the product feels fresh. Raw crowned a new Intercontinental Champion and featured the return of an Anti-Diva, and SmackDown focused heavily on the McMahon/Owens drama while also featuring some strong debuts of their own.
Here are 5 things WWE got right this week and 5 things they got wrong.
Enzo Amore as the cocky heel has so many intriguing possibilities, but without a proper contender, we really don't care. Kalisto's return and inclusion into the division was a fail, and as of now, Rich Swann, Cedrick Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and Akira Towzawa might as well be named Face #1, Face #2, Face #3, and Face # 4. WWE has done nothing to make any of these guys stand out, and every time we start to care, their momentum is cut short. For example, why isn't Towzawa part of Titus Worldwide anymore?
At Survivor Series, Asuka was the sole survivor for Team Raw, single-handedly eliminating Carmella, Tamina, and Natalya herself before quickly disposing of Dana Brooke the following night on Raw. WWE has been smart to keep her undefeated streak intact, as any future fights from big challengers will be must-see.
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For the most part, The Miz is a bad guy and always has been, but does he have to continue sh*tting all over the audience even when they're supporting him in his disdain for Roman Reigns? It's almost out of character for The Miz not to soak in the love, as his character is literally a fame-seeking narcissist hellbent on being the most important fixture on Monday Night Raw. With his Intercontinental title loss to Reigns, Miz might be off television for the foreseeable future, and it might be best to give this man a face run when he returns.
The Women's Division has been stale. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James, although awesome performers, have been made to look utterly useless this year. Especially Bayley.
Thankfully, Raw decided to spice things up with Paige's return. And with her two former trainees at Tough Enough by her side, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville, WWE Creative has a lot more bodies to work with and so many stories to tell. With Raw being three hours, we won't be surprised to see much more women's wrestling featured on the show.
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OK, What happened on SmackDown was pretty sick. It's not bad by any means and we're very excited that their Women's Division is getting a major overhaul as well.
But how come we got the exact same thing on SmackDown that we got on Raw the night before? Like legit the same. Instead of a pale gothy tattooed Paige, we got Ruby Riot. Instead of the beautifully blonde Mandy Rose, we got Liv Morgan. And instead of a tough brown haired Sonya Deville, we got—ferociously googles SmackDown results to remember her name— Sarah Logan.
It's an exciting time for the women in WWE, for sure, but. A little more originality?
We were all prepared to hate the reintroduction of Harper and Rowen as their vignettes in the woods have been laughable at best. But after seeing them debut on SmackDown this week, we've completely changed our mind. They were impressive!
SmackDown has many teams on the roster right now, so we're not sure why they weren't drafted to Raw, but alas, we're pumped to see what these two will do next.
One thing though. The outfits need to go.
Whereas the Raw Women's Division is about to flourish, we can't say the same for their Tag Team Division. That's because there isn't a Tag Team Division. Barely anyway. Which is why we've only seen Cesaro and Sheamus constantly do battle with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. With Jeff Hardy and Scott Dawson injured, that leaves The Hardy Boyz and The Revival off the show. And sure, we have Gallows and Anderson, and Rhyno and Slater, but they've been treated as the bottom feeders of late.
It's time WWE does something to shake things up because we're bored AF!
Shane McMahon was one syllable away from firing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, but General Manager Daniel Bryan interrupted with other plans, pitting the two of them in a Lumberjack match instead, allowing for the entire locker room to get their revenge. This is where Shane left it to Bryan to fire them after the match. But The Yes Man had other plans, and something tells us Shane McMahon isn't going to be too pleased with his GM next week.
WWE doesn't want anybody kicking out of the F5 until Wrestlemania. And that's fine. Nobody should be kicking out of the F5 we wholeheartedly agree. But wouldn't it have been amazing had Styles reversed his F5 to pick up the upset victory? Lesnar's title wasn't on the line, and the match didn't matter anyway it being a Raw vs. SmackDown affair.
Let's face it. Lesnar's probably not resigning with WWE. AJ Styles, on the other hand, is arguably the most important star in the company. Him defeating the Beast would have made him the star.
At Survivor Series, Triple H pedigreed Kurt Angle just so he could take the credit by defeating McMahon himself. We don't know what his beef is with Kurt Angle. Maybe he's still pissed off about that kiss he gave his wife some fifteen years ago. Or maybe because he knows Kurt Angle is a much better athlete through and through. Who knows?
WWE was smart to have Kurt Angle get in Triple H's face, telling him that if he hits him again, he doesn't give a sh*t about his job. He'll beat the living sh*t out of him. Yes! You could argue, does Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have to be the focal point of Raw every single year as The Authority? But. Yes! Yes! Yes! The crowd loved it. And so did we.
Until next week!
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