WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Thoughts – Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st, 2016
While Raw came off a decent Hell in a Cell PPV, it immediately switched gears over to hyping Survivor Series, which takes place in just under three weeks. After watching Raw AND Smackdown this week, I just have absolutely no interest in the next PPV. (Note: this reflection will flip-flop between both shows as I rant).
Both shows were in hype mode about one show’s team potentially dominating the other show’s team. I just don’t understand this as a) the viewers really don’t have that much invested in one brand’s dominance over the other (especially with a brand split that hasn’t even been around six months and b) there are ongoing feuds between people on these teams. How can we possibly believe that people will work together just because they want their brand/show to win?
For example, on Smackdown, WWE JUST finished showing the Baron Corbin vignette where the narration was all about Corbin looking after himself and no one else. Then Daniel Bryan goes on Miz TV to say that he put Corbin on the Smackdown team? WHAT?!?!? WHY?!??! Why would Corbin even care and when was the last time he was on TV?
As well, Ambrose and Styles have had match after match and they just announced that the main event for the TLC PPV in December for Smackdown will be a tables, ladders and chairs match between the two. Why on EARTH would these two want to be on the same team, or even consider working together well? Basically a lot of logic is going to be thrown out the window for the next two weeks until this PPV is over. At least the GMs should promise a money bonus or SOMETHING tangible for the performers if they win for their brand to have us buy into this more.
As much as I’ve enjoyed the AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose matches, if we now are waiting for another match in December as (probably) the final blow off for this feud, I’m not sure how they’ll keep this feud entertaining until then. I did appreciate James Ellsworth’s involvement the last few weeks, but after his awful and annoying sobbing, apologizing, and pestering (and showing that he won’t listen to the GM when told not to go down to the ring), I think I’m done with his involvement.
Over to Raw, the see –saw of chants continued this week as the crowd seemed to eat up Goldberg’s appearance and boo anything Paul Heyman said – the opposite of last week. It’ll be interesting to see how the crowd reacts when they’re both on the go-home show on the 14th. I’ll tell you this: Survivor Series is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the crowd will try and boo Goldberg out of the building – just you watch. Did I mention that I have no interest in seeing this match?
Why would anyone be invested in a Reigns vs. Jericho match for the US Championship? I mean, Reigns’ over the top booking in his Hell in a Cell match once again showed that unless someone shoots him or paralyses him, he’ll kick out of anything. He can be beaten down all match and be beaten down after a match and barely move but he can’t be pinned. That’s why to have Seth Rollins come down to make a save again even more illogical – why would Rollins even want to help Reigns? Yeah, yeah…common enemies. Boring. Are we supposed to forget their heated matches and exchanges (and Rollins’ shots at Reigns’ suspension) not even half a year ago? I can’t. (Note: I’m using hyperbole with Reigns, as it is needed, but I hope you know I don’t want him shot or paralyzed).
Was anyone else wondering why, if Dolph Ziggler is so great, he would NOT be included on the Smackdown Survivor Series team? At least they put it to rest quickly as Ziggler announced he was challenging anyone from Raw to face him for the Intercontinental Championship at the event. Now that intrigues me as I wonder who would step up. Sami Zayn?
The qualifying matches for the Tag Team spots on Smackdown were totally a waste of time. You knew who’d be winning as soon as you saw who was facing each other, so why not use the time or the talent in a more meaningful way?
Orton and the Wyatts make me cringe. You just know it’ll be a month or two, leading up to the Royal Rumble until Orton turns on them – and Bray loses, so what’s the point? I hope I’m totally wrong and they actually pull a surprise out of this one.
Overall, both shows were less than average for me. I think the fall weather and this whole brand vs. brand thing is just bumming me out. It’ll be interesting to see, with so many people on the same teams who are feuding, how the GMs will build team/brand unity and make them (and us) care about the matches.