It was 2,603 million viewers for Smackdown last week, meanwhile Raw had 3,092 million viewers.
I absolutely loved the segment between Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar this week. The segment showed a want from WWE to ensure Samoa seems more than a just a roadblock on a much larger journey for the Universal Champion. Of course Joe will likely be beaten in their title match next Sunday and Lesnar will move onto other challengers, but that is just part of the game of being a WWE superstar. The important part is making sure Joe still comes out of the match still credible enough to challenge for the title again somewhere down the line. So far the WWE are making an excellent job of doing this. Lesnar has been built up as such a massive threat and a complete badass over the years that the way Joe has gotten one over on him hasn’t hurt him. My hopes for this match are pretty high, so I am hoping we get a competitive match that we can talk about as having been a great match afterwards. Obviously there have been highly anticipated Lesnar matches in the past that have disappointed – the match at Wrestlemania with Dean Ambrose being a good example – but I really hope this isn’t the case here, as both Joe and Lesnar could present a really thrilling, hard hitting contest.
I predicted last week that Carmella would not regain the Money in the Bank briefcase in the rematch this week. While my prediction was wrong, I can’t say I’m not pleased to see the woman who I originally predicted to win the whole thing anyway being in possession of the first womens Money in the Bank briefcase. I’m looking forward to the games that will be played by both Carmella and Ellsworth as they look for opportunities for Carmella to cash in the case. I could quite easily see Carmella being the next champion via cashing in the case on current champion Naomi. However, that really could depend on how long they want to keep the title on Naomi. The way things are currently panning out, with the champion seemingly killing time with matches against Lana, I could see Carmella cashing in rather soon. Out of the current characters in the Smackdown womens division, Carmella’s seemed to be the one that would benefit most from the briefcase as herself and Ellsworth convey those villainous, looking for any shortcut characters that best serve the briefcase.
While I probably wouldn’t have wanted the Enzo and Cass split now if I had the choice, I can admit that so far it has been handled quite well. The segment on TV this week was well done and I think Enzo especially is showing a lot of range in his acting throughout this storyline. Having said that, I’m not particularly excited for a matchup between the two as a grudge match at the end of the storyline, and I’m not sure what they could do that could achieve that. Truthfully some type of stipulation match would probably be best for the two to fight it out over. The feud should really escalate to the point that it needs one. Also, I don’t think anyone really wants to see a competitive match between the two, instead I think many would prefer the drama of a prolonged beat down on Enzo from Cass, with brief moments of hope for Enzo before Cass eventually beats him – as it would certainly appear Cass will be the more pushed of the two. I truly do believe there are roles for both in the future. Cass can be a solid midcarder for the time being with obvious potential to eventually be in the main event scene should WWE not lose interest in focusing on him. Meanwhile Enzo has been touted as potentially working as a manager, which would suit him to the ground. If not that then I think Enzo could do well adding some more personality to the cruiserweight division on 205 Live.
The speculation of a possible Punjabi prison match between Randy Orton and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was confirmed this week. I myself have never actually watched a Punjabi prison match in full, which probably speaks volumes of a match that has been described as far too complicated and convoluted. It would make sense for Jinder Mahal to request this match if it wasn’t for the fact that Orton is the one with a personal issue against Mahal, and also a known anger problem, meanwhile Mahal looks intent on avoiding any violence from Orton by throwing the Singh brothers in front of him at any threat. With all this is would make little sense for Mahal to ask for this match, which would clearly give advantage to Orton, who can use its violent nature and also disadvantage Mahal as he can no longer make use of the Singh brothers. The only real reason to give for why Mahal would want this match type is “Well he is Indian so of course he’d want a Punjabi prison match”. I really can’t make much sense of the logic or reasoning but I’ll still accept it as I hope it helps to liven up an otherwise slightly uninspiring feud which most would assume with Mahal coming out the other end with his title reign still intact.
With Raw’s Great Balls of Fire coming up this next weekend (I still cannot believe they’ve named a pay per view that) the go home show to the pay per view could help to draw in more viewers. Meanwhile I think Smackdown will manage to mainly retain their viewers with no major movements either way.