Raw drew a 2.21 rating while Smackdown did an above average 1.78. So two good ratings this week.
Both Raw and Smackdown were highly enjoyable shows this week. I’d even go as far as to say that this is the most I’ve enjoyed both shows in the same week since the beginning of the draft split.
Part of the enjoyment of both shows was the fact that they seem to be getting edgier. We had both Dean Ambrose and Paul Heyman have things they said censored, while Becky Lynch called Alexa Bliss a “bitch” after Alexa put her through a table, Enzo Amore made some graphic sexual references, Charlotte and Sasha Banks fought with weapons and both shows featured some neat backstage/parking lot brawls. While this type of content, similar to any other kind, can be over-done, I’m hopeful we continue to see more of it on WWE television. Generally when superstars are given less restrictions on what to say they seem more natural. Additionally, weapons and swearing can be very fitting when applied to the right situation. While sexual references are likely one of the things that can offend people the most, if they are actually funny they are effective at keeping viewers tuned in – good comedy always keeps an audience hooked.
Paul Heyman’s interview regarding Brock Lesnar was fantastic for all types of reasons. Obviously the censoring of Heyman saying they “Fucked up” was a nice touch – but there were a lot of elements that made this segment. The focus on the finer details was clear – Heyman had an unshaven face and the interview began with Heyman already having red eyes and seeming emotional. Heyman has long been regarded as an excellent speaker and you could see why in this segment. Paul exuded emotion and his portrayal of this emotional truly made you believe this was a broken man. Paul truly is a promoter and he certainly promoted this feud between Goldberg and Lesnar. I’d expected Lesnar to be a part of the Rumble since Goldberg announced his inclusion, but the confirmation of this has made me even more excited. Just as I’m excited for what I’d assume will be another match between the two, presumably at Wrestlemania.
One thing I really enjoyed about Raw’s main event this week was the fact that it didn’t seem like Sasha and Charlotte were having this stipulation of match “to make history”. Instead it seemed like a necessary step for Mick Foley to take in order to guarantee a winner of the match. Both ladies certainly delivered and the finish of the match was very inventive, although similarly to how many others are feeling, I’ve become a little desensitised to the rather frequent title changes. Hopefully this will be the last change for a while, however with the rematch likely to take place at a pay per view and Charlotte’s pay per view streak still intact, I’m not holding my breath.
I was a little worried last week that after the great showing American Alpha put on that it would all be wasted with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt dispatching them in relatively easy fashion. I was pleasantly surprised though, as Alpha looked incredibly competitive and were actually screwed out of the match. On top of that, it was a very entertaining match and has me very excited that if Orton and Wyatt win the tag titles on Sunday we will hopefully get to see Alpha challenge them. Some of the transitions into moves and sequences in this match were perfectly timed and I think there is a real chemistry between these two teams. I’m hoping Orton and Wyatt pick up the win this Sunday.
I was a little bit frustrated when Becky Lynch Vs Alexa Bliss was initially announced as a normal singles match. I felt the feud deserved some kind of a stipulation seeing as though it is at the TLC pay per view. So I’m obviously happy to see this match turned into a tables match; although I’d have preferred to have seen the two in a ladder match. One concern with the women and tables is always if they will go through them. Generally many of these ladies weigh far less than their male counterparts and therefore sometimes hit the table which fails to break. Becky thankfully did manage to go through the table on Smackdown. I think this was mostly due to her own effort in smashing through it. Alexa is probably the lightest woman on the entire roster so if she ends up going through a table; which I assume she will as I see Becky retaining, it may have to be via a splash from Becky.
Hopefully Both Raw and Smackdown can continue to be as entertaining as they were this week. I’m sure the WWE will want to continue to have their ratings staying similar to the way they were this week. I see no reason why both shows can’t stay around the same ratings or even rise a little next week.