This week i watched what i consider to be a full week of WWE programming. I watched RAW, Smack Down Live and NXT. This isn’t something i’ll be aiming to complete again before my next holiday. Starting with RAW was a bit of an issue, starting by watching 50% of the weeks show by hours was both daunting and unwelcome, thankfully, on both counts i was wrong. As it turned out in my opinion, this week the simple rule of the longer the show, the more i enjoyed it applied. NXT was by far the least enjoyable, The booking i thought was transparent and the story lines felt loose and uninspired.
Before i go on, i must say that the performers and characters in NXT are some of my favourite. Ones i would like to point out would include No Way Jose, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode. Three of the best performers around and i love every moment they’re on screen.
This though plays into my problem, with the main even of this weeks NXT being Roode vs Jose I should have loved it, the problem lay in knowing the outcome of the match the moment it was announced, Roode was always going over, and as it ended the beat down was totally predictable based on the time left in the show. I realise that NXT is supposed to be developmental, but if it is being pitched at this point and being utilised for these reasons, what drawback would there be for mixing the booking up? The superstars are there to learn the WWE system and tighten up different aspects of their performance, what difference would it make if they were doing this with more complicated and unpredictable storylines? with booking that wasn’t so see through. No other aspect of the show is an issue, i don’t need the grandiose stage of the bigger two shows and i don’t need huge, sold out arenas, what i need is good characters (which i have) and a compelling story line (which is missing).
RAW and Smack Down Live
Well i really wasn’t expecting to write this, I really enjoyed RAW and Smack Down felt a bit hollow. The last two months i really have been focused on Smack Down, i love the AJ Styles angle (even if i resented how little he was doing with the title), the Miz has been on fire with his scathing promos and the leadership provided by Shane and Daniel has been both perfectly pitched and on point. Raw on the other hand i have worried has been adrift, listing from feud to feud, the only consistently good pint has been team Kevin and Chris (tear).
This week was a total contrast, the main even of both shows this, Braun Strowman vs Big Show was shockingly good, with the chain wrestling at the start a particular highlight. Smack Down, on the other hand, has its 10 man #1 contenders match, which was unremarkable. If i just look at how much I wrote in notes for both shows as an indication…
The woman devision on Smack Down has been fairly understated, where as i have issues with what they’ve been doing on RAW, another Alexia vs Becky match was too soon, i’m guessing Naomi getting injured threw a spanner into the works or this is building to a wrestle mania match (which are understanding and interesting respectively).
The tag devisions on both shows are only marginally better than the woman devisions, and this is only probably the case because of the larger number of teams. Enzo and Cass have done very little in the ring since joining, though are obviously valued for their promo work, and when Enzo went down the injury Cass came on massively. On SD Live American Alpha are being built slowly as being a dominant tag team, Chad Gable has made as good of a cross over as Curt Angle did.
I’m going to tie up here, i don’t want to do a play by play but more of my opinion of the week, RAW was better, yes there were many issues, but a far more compelling storyline to make me look forward to next Monday night (well, Tuesday for me).