Raw drew a 1.1 while Smackdown drew a 0.56 against election coverage, both if the 18-49 age bracket. Sadly it’s proving difficult to find full ratings, rather than a rating in a specific age frame. Therefore from now on we will cover the 18-49 ratings and the overall viewership. Raw managed to draw 3.066 million viewers whereas Smackdown managed 1.921 million viewers.
Both brands were in full Survivor Series preparation this week. Of course the issue with having so many brand vs brand match up’s, is you kind of have the same story with everyone. Each team is put together of good guys/girls and bad guys/girls. People who fight with each other each and every week. So with every team you end up with this “dysfunctional team” story. There really isn’t any way around this though; I mean anything else would make little sense. You can’t just suddenly have everyone getting on “for the good of the brand”. So you are forced to go this way because they chose to have three tag team matches rather than one.
One thing I really am enjoying about the build is the emergence of Braun Strowman. Strowman has stepped up for a guy who doesn’t speak and just beats up nobody’s to speaking quite a bit (although as of yet not too much) and being involved with many of the top levels guys. Braun still hasn’t impressed many others, or at least some opinions I’ve seen, but I’m enjoying his work. Quite a few people will make the argument “well he won’t be able to work long matches”. Now we don’t know that because he hasn’t been given the chance, but let’s just assume for a second that that statement is true. Why does he even need to work long matches? Or be heavily involved in multi-man matches? The guy is a massive target, so he’d either finish it quickly or others will team up on him to eliminate him, like we saw on Monday. A match doesn’t have to be long to be good. Raw proves every single week in the very fact its three hours long that longer doesn’t always mean better.
I mentioned last week that it would be cool to see Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch finish their feud in some kind of stipulation match at the TLC event. I had proposed a ladder match, but any of the four possible would be nice to see. Neither woman is incredibly physical in the way they wrestle; however, both have proven to be very creative. So I am of no doubt that both ladies could pull it off. Their match this week on Smackdown was one of quality, the finish allows this feud to continue as it should (Even though it may make you question the referee’s eyesight). What I do hope is that Becky offers Alexa another match. Otherwise it makes Becky, who is meant to be the good one in this story, seem like she is taking shortcuts. While it would provoke sympathy for the villainous Bliss if Becky refuses to give her a rematch she rightfully deserves. Nonetheless, both ladies deserve credit for stepping up to the plate on Smackdown Live. The entire women’s roster on Smackdown Live has really been impressive since the brand split.
After Baron Corbin’s injury this week, Smackdown Live needed a new team member. Firstly, I’m sad that Corbin won’t have this opportunity to be in the match. Again, I’m probably a bigger advocate for Corbin than many others, but I think he has continued to improve since he first appeared on NXT TV. Over the last few months since joining Smackdown I’ve thought Corbin has looked more and more like a star and would have fit right in at Survivor Series. Sure, he isn’t on the level of an AJ Styles or Seth Rollins. In all fairness, very little people are, in fact in some opinions no one is on AJ’s level. Nevertheless, Corbin will continue to improve and I think it’s important to now put him in the role you want him to fill. Rather than keep him in his current role and hope he eventually finds his way to the main event.
Corbin’s replacement was announced as Shane McMahon. To be completely honest, I was disappointed with this. WWE is already enough about the McMahon’s, I don’t think Shane needed to be added to this match just so we could see who WWE thinks the real stars of the shows are, because we can see that clearly. Additionally, I don’t think Shane adds much to this match, in fact he really actually detracts from it. One positive from this is you could have Shane, a none wrestler who doesn’t need any kind of boost from this match, take a pinfall earlier on, rather than one of the Smackdown guys. However, I know I’m being foolish hoping for that, Shane will probably work most of the match and I wouldn’t even be surprised to see him go without being eliminated, making new stars is fun huh?
Much like everything that seems to happen in wrestling these days, the crowd on Raw was very polarising. Now I’m not one to tell you what you should and should not like but I loved the crowd this week. Sure, I am Scottish and a football (Soccer) fan – where atmospheres like this are common – so that probably explains it, but I love crowds like this, they add to the show for me. If you didn’t enjoy it, then hey, you are entitled to your opinion. Although I don’t think there is too much reason to get annoyed about the crowd too much, we get two tours a year over here and I’m not sure they’ve even taped TV in Glasgow before. So I think those who don’t like crowds like this can let them have their fun. Although, to clear it up, some people said they thought this crowd was disrespectful, specifically singing over Bayley. I can see how you could think this but for me it’s more important to look at intentions rather than actions. By singing for her the crowd was doing so in support of Bayley, almost a way of “Hey, you guys in the back, look how much we love her”. This wasn’t a case where the crowd wanted to get themselves over; otherwise they’d have chanted for anything and everything other than any of the talents in the ring.
Having said all this, the crowds intentions were to support Bayley, although they might not have actually done her many favours, as the fact she couldn’t control them might be a black mark against her name for some in the back. I don’t think the Glasgow crowd should be blamed for some of the silly ways some people in charge in the WWE act sometimes. The segment did get out of control and it would have been better had they slowed down their singing and allowed Bayley to speak. However, I really do think the crowd was waiting to be given a reason to stop; reciting a scripted promo a writer wrote for you isn’t the way to do that. That is not to say this is Bayley’s fault. Bayley just did as she knew she was expected to do. For me this all comes down to the WWE being too controlling. Had Bayley not being trying to get her next line out, maybe she could have improvised something, we all know that is what the likes of Stone Cold would have done. Sadly WWE does not allow its talents such luxuries nowadays it seems.
Finally, the Cruiserweights. When the division was brought to Raw, I could see why they made that decision, the longer show needed extra content. I’ve enjoyed the wrestlers they’ve brought it, but I would agree with many who say they really haven’t played to the strengths of the division. The action has been slowed down, matches cut for time, good singles wrestlers forced into tag teams and instead of wrestling, half the time these guys are made to act backstage. So now we find out, that at Survivor Series, Kalisto will challenge Brain Kendrick for the title, with the winner not only being champion, but allowing his brand to have the whole division. It was odd when Kalisto wasn’t drafted to Raw to be a part of the division and Smackdown has always been the brand I relate cruiserweights to, plus with the new cruiserweight exclusive show happening on Tuesdays it would only make sense.
What wouldn’t make sense is why in the world Raw would agree to this deal. Apparently in exchange for Dolph Ziggler putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line against a Raw talent, Smackdown were granted this match. So Raw get a title if their guy wins, while Smackdown gets a title plus an entire division to go with it. I can’t understand why Raw would accept that deal? It would make more sense if they said when the division was given to Raw, it was decided this would only happen if this match was agreed to; that would be simple storytelling though.
I’d expect Smackdown’s viewership to be way up next week. Not only is it not running against the election, the show was will be Live due to being back in the states. Additionally to those massive factors, it’s the 900th episode where we already know Edge and The Undertaker will appear. I’d imagine Raw will stay pretty much the same.