Raw drew 3,259 million viewers this week with Smackdown getting 2,792 million, respectable viewership’s for both shows.
This week in WWE felt a little bit different somehow and it didn’t take long for me to put my finger on it. When some guys were talking they felt especially more creative and even though I might be wrong here, like they were given more freedom as to what they said on the microphone. I’ve got an example of this from Smackdown but let’s take the example from Raw first. Kevin Owens had a fantastic showing on Monday as he grabbed a microphone and showed everyone why he’s long been regarded as one of the best speakers in the world of Wrestling. When Kevin Owen’s is cracking jokes with Chris Jericho and having fun, sure he’s entertaining to watch, although I just don’t think it quite adds up to this Kevin Owens. This Kevin Owens reminded me of the one that we saw in NXT, this Kevin Owens is pretty much a badass, if not a cowardly one, but most importantly this Kevin Owens is out for himself and his family. Although I said last week that Owens being beaten in quick fashion by Goldberg would be good because it would basically have been avoided had Owen’s not turned on Jericho – creating a poet sense of justice – I’m just not sure that’s the route to take. After seeing Owens speak this Monday I’m not sure I want to see him looking so inferior to Goldberg. Instead I feel it would be a perfect time for a returning Jericho to cost Owen’s the title, setting up a match at Wrestlemania between the two.
The other segment this week that had me feeling that maybe some WWE superstars had been allowed some extra freedom on the microphone came on Smackdown. The Uso’s have never been two guys I’ve looked at as highlights on the microphone. I’ve never thought they were bad, I just didn’t feel they stuck out as being particularly amazing. Well this week on Smackdown they truly did change my thoughts on that. Firstly having them come from the crowd was a small thing, but something that made it feel different, and because it was different you sat up and listened to them. As some others have pointed out their promo had a bit of a Rock type feeling to it, they were so quick and they said things that actually had meaning, had something behind them rather than empty words. I’ve instantly grown in interest in seeing American Alpha and The Uso’s face off for the Smackdown tag team titles, even if I’m slightly worried about how the depth issues on the division will leave whoever emerges victorious from the feud without a real threatening opponent.
Samoa Joe has made a decent impact since his main roster debut, and I for one have enjoyed it. Samoa Joe is quite unique compare to much of the rest of the roster, and when you have someone who is unique like that and special like that, they work best when treated like a special talent. Thus far that’s exactly how Joe has been treated, he’s a bit of a monster, he’s aggressive but he isn’t some supernatural human being, he is just a badass that similarly to Kevin Owens will do what he needs to make money, and to provide for his family. Of course at the moment there is rumours that Owens and Joe could be part of a stable with Triple H, although I’m not sure that Triple H dominating Raw with yet another villainous stable is the way forward.
Anyone who has been reading my articles knows that I’ve been a real fan of the whole storyline with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. I pitched a few weeks ago that you could possibly insert Luke Harper into their potential match at Wrestlemania. Harper has been a big part of the feud and it feels like he is deserving of a place in that match and would make it better. This week we came a step closer to that possibly happening. After Harper and AJ Styles drew in the battle royal they will face off to decide a number one contender for Bray Wyatt’s title. Of course it seems obvious that at some point Orton will perform a u turn and decide he is going to challenge Bray. The question is if the winner of that Harper Vs Styles match is included in the match with Orton and Wyatt or if they are screwed out of the match. If Harper wins I think he will be added to the match to make it a triple threat as I suggested. If Styles wins I think Shane McMahon will overrule Styles saying he no longer gets the title match at Wrestlemania leading to a feud between them.
I will predict that next week’s Raw will take a slight hit in viewership next week, meanwhile Smackdown will stay relatively the same if not lose a little bit of viewership as the Harper Vs Styles match will interest people as it’s high stakes although some may be turned off from the fact they thought they’d see a new number one contender this week only for there to be a draw in the battle royal.