Raw lost some viewers to Trick or treating this week, down from 1.81 million viewers to 1.60 million this week. Smackdown had a slight improvement, going from 2.12 to 2.18 million viewers this week.
As we progress towards the Survivor Series event, the Hell in a Cell pay per view will become simply a distant memory. However, the mixed reaction to the event was evident on the night of the event and the morning after. I for one thoroughly enjoyed the pay per view, with the three cell matches obviously being the highlight. None of the matches were the best cell matches I’ve ever seen, but with the restrictions in place on the match these days, how could you ever outdo the early editions?
I personally prefer to stay positive about wrestling; I think that probably shines through in these articles. There are matches and segments that I don’t enjoy – probably a lot less than some others, but nonetheless, it happens. For me it’s important to just focus on what I’ve liked about an event, or just a single match, rather than contrite on the negatives, otherwise I find myself not enjoying what I’m watching. If I’m not enjoying it, I may as well be doing something else. Obviously I come from a position where I never saw the likes of the Attitude era or early 2000’s “Smackdown Six” Smackdown’s live. Sure I’ve seen much of both periods on the network but that will never be the same. So it only makes sense I’d enjoy the current product more than some older viewers, as the era I grew up watching is considered the be far worse than now by a lot of people. Nonetheless, I personally believe if you go in with a negative mind set, it’s going to make it ten times harder for you to get the enjoyment out of something in comparison to someone going in with either a positive mind set, or without an existing opinion.
Speaking of positive mind sets, I’m looking forward to Survivor Series. I understand why the event isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; some people just aren’t fans of tag team matches all that much in the first place. For others who do enjoy normal tag team matches, put together teams and multiple eliminations maybe isn’t their thing. For me, I’ve always had a soft spot for Survivor Series. Much like the Royal Rumble, part of my fandom for these events is that they are obviously quite the contrast to many of the other events we get throughout the year. You just don’t see these matches on every Raw and Smackdown and then every pay per view those shows have built up to. The added element of Raw Vs Smackdown is also a big plus for me. Having grown up in a brand split era, that’s nostalgia for me.
Many of the teams are starting to come together and both shows largely focused on the building of these teams. On Raw, Braun Strowman is clearly beginning to become a larger focus of the show. For me, Braun has been impressive. I understand the concerns of “well sure he looks good in squash matches, but what happens when you put him in a longer more competitive match?” but it’s also clear that they are avoiding that, so as of now, it’s a none issue. That seems like a we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it type situation to me.
Over on Smackdown, AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose will have to coexist on a team when at the very next event they’ll be facing off for the WWE Championship. This is one of the situations I love when two wrestlers are placed on the same team. While this feud has been going on for quite a while, they’ve continued to keep feud fresh with different elements. Now they can have the distraction of Survivor Series to keep the feud going, but again keeping it fresh. Plus, AJ Styles Vs Dean Ambrose in a TLC match seems like a match I want to see. If Smackdown can add some more interesting matches, like possibly a tag team tables match, Nikki Bella Vs Carmella in a chairs match and Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss in a ladder match (I really like the sound of that one) I will be fully in support of this event.
Since having Triple H cost him the Universal title, Seth Rollins has struggled to come off as a fan favourite after so long playing the biggest villain on the show. The brutal beating he took from Kevin Owens and Jericho at Hell in a Cell and the fight he showed has really helped him. Not only that, but Roman Reigns has notoriously struggled to get cheers from the audience. One thing that has always guaranteed cheers from pretty much any crowd has been throwbacks to the Shield. With Reigns and Ambrose already being part of this Survivor Series men’s tag team match and Rollins seeming like a sensible addition to team Raw, I’m pretty positive we will see a bit of a Shield altercation at the event. Obviously it’s hard to have them work together, Ambrose is on the opposite team, but with the Royal Rumble not long after, I’m positive we will have a lot of Shield interactions in the coming months. Should all three members not be a part of a title match I could see an interpromotional six man tag team match happening at Wrestlemania. Possibly against the Club?
Regardless of your thoughts on the match Charlotte and Sasha put on at Hell in a Cell, the fact the match took place hopefully leads to some changes. I’m hopeful that with this having now happened, we can stop talking about how “revolutionary” everything is. Quite honestly, these steps are far less impressive when the company is constantly patting itself on the back for knocking down walls the company itself built. Yes, I understand that you have to take the marketing opportunity that these matches presented, but if you aren’t spending so long speaking about it, more often than not, someone else will do all that marketing and talking for you. Had the WWE presented this as they would any other big match, I feel like other people and places would have started the hype train that WWE attempted to start themselves, which didn’t really have many passengers as it arrived at its destination. This whole thing should have had press and hype around it from many outside places. With the climate we are living in, with so many people striving for equal opportunity this should have been something celebrated by outlets other than WWE. Many would argue the reason this didn’t happen was because it simply didn’t seem genuine.
Next week’s Smackdown will suffer due to being taped earlier in the day in Scotland and coming up against the election. Raw will also likely drop slightly due to being taped earlier in the day.