Raw drew 2.929 Million viewers this week while Smackdown drew 2.361 million viewers.
The main event scene on Raw, as I said left week, as felt a little bit uninspiring to me. That’s even with me liking Roman Reigns more than a lot of other fans. It just feels a little flat, which again probably stems somewhat from the fact we are just weeks away from bigger and better things such as the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I also feel that there is much more potential in possible match ups with keeping the Universal title with Kevin Owens. I do get the feeling that we could be seeing Roman Reigns as a double champion coming out of the show on Sunday. With Owens there is the obvious feud with Chris Jericho that could still be done, there is still potential in a Sami Zayn feud and of course when Finn Balor returns that is an obvious matchup. If Reigns is kept as the same character he is now, there is a limited number of people to feud with. Owens would get his rematch but after that I’m sure who would be next. Chris Jericho would easily get a better reaction than Reigns so that would seem a silly idea, Reigns has already feuded with Rusev and it would certainly seem too early for Braun Strowman. There is the potential for an NXT call up to maybe come in and challenge Reigns for the title, but even they’d likely get a better fan favourite reaction than Reigns at the moment.
Unfortunately for the WWE, it seems their next idea for the tag team division has been disrupted. It seemed as though the Hype Bro’s were set to challenge The Wyatt family for their Tag titles, although this was likely going to be a filler feud, it will mean the WWE will now have to fast track into whatever they were trying to put a filler between. My guess would be that the eventual aim was to have the Wyatt’s feud with American Alpha. The fact the WWE wanted some sort of filler before the Alpha feud could be promising. That could suggest the feud is set to be a fairly long one, possibly until Wrestlemania? Plus Alpha could eventually be taking the titles, as the Hype Bro’s feud may have been a way to give the Wyatt’s a couple successful defences before losing them. Of course this could all now change with Zack Ryder out injured, although hopefully we do get a lengthened feud between the Wyatt’s and American Alpha.
The Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn storyline on Raw has been one that has floated under the radar slightly for me. I’m a fan of both guys but I almost expected Zayn just to be used to look weak and be beaten easily by Braun. While Braun has beaten up Sami in previous weeks, it hasn’t quite been as bad as I had expected, it came as a result of some underhand reasons such as Braun attacking Sami from behind. The 10 minute time limit match could be a fun inventive way to make both guys come out well from this storyline. Should it end in a way where possibly Strowman has given Zayn a beating but the time limit is met due to Zayn’s heart and determination not to be beaten, I think that comes off well for both men. It will be important that both guys are given the right follow up after the storyline though in order to really make the most of it.
Smackdown have had to work around AJ Style’s injury and due to that have now got two contenders set for his title. Firstly James Ellsworth is still set for a title shot and now Dolph Ziggler has won himself a shot at the title. It seems again both will be used as filler matches and hopefully Ellsworth will move onto something else afterwards but it will be interesting to see what feud Styles will move onto afterwards. My hope is that the Undertaker will be next up – I mean apparently he’s back but he hasn’t been seen since he said that. Some have complained about Ziggler getting a title shot, which seems even more so silly after he was just beaten by the secondary champion on the show. The match will probably take place soon and seems to be a place filler but I’m unsure what is next for Ziggler as he constantly loses his feuds and that has seemed to have a negative effect on his character.
Next week will likely be a whole lot better in terms of viewership than the week following it. In terms of comparison to this week, I don’t expect too much change although a good show at Roadblock on Sunday could nudge Raw’s viewership up.