Raw drew in 3,275 million viewers this week, while a Smackdown show headlined by a match between Shinsuke Nakamura and John Cena managed to draw a viewership of 2,569 million viewers.
We will start by talking about Smackdown this week – and it’s with praise for both the Uso’s and the New Day. I’ve talked before about how there is quite a lack of depth in the tag team division on Smackdown, but I really feel that I haven’t heaped enough praise on the two teams for the way their feud has played out. Not only have I enjoyed the matches, but generally, both teams have put together a lot of really good segments. The segment with the Uso’s this week was no exception – I liked the fake New Day entrance and of course the promo that followed. As I’ve said before, these two teams can’t just feud forever, but for the build up to Summerslam, this feud will still be fun to watch. The question is where does the focus of the division go after that. The fashion police – and in fairness the Ascension – have really made some magic with the weekly segments – but so far the WWE has shown no commitment to actually allow these teams to make stride in the ring. Whatever team is finally revealed to have been attacking the fashion police could probably end up being a player in the division, but I’m still interested in seeing Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens rekindle their tag team from their Ring Of Honor days – I sure most people can admit that it would be a hell of a lot better than what Zayn is doing right now.
The way Finn Balor interrupted Bray Wyatt this week, as small of a touch it may have been, actually really got me far more interested in their feud than I have been since it began. Wyatt is one superstar who I truly and unfortunately have lost a great deal of interest in – in truth since he debuted, but even more so in the last six months or so. I felt the storyline between Wyatt and Randy Orton, involving Luke Harper before Wrestlemania was really entertaining. Since then however, my interest in anything involving Wyatt has really trailed off. Balor on the other hands, it probably one of my favourites to watch, despite the fact that since he returned from injury, I don’t feel Balor has done much that can be looked at as memorable, in fact, I’d be hoping for a finish to the year for Balor that would leave any fans looking back at the 2017 Finn Balor has had and really just thinking about the last four or five months of his year – I’d be hopeful we can see Balor challenging and maybe even winning the Universal Championship before the close of 2017.
If I’m being completely honest, I am pretty surprised by the way the John Cena and Shinsuke Nakamura match turned out. Thinking back, there have been more guys – such as Kevin Owens and AJ Styles – that have been fortunate enough to be given wins such as these over John Cena in recent history. Of course ten years ago, even as little as five years ago, John Cena really didn’t get beaten a lot by guys in such a manner. It’s refreshing to see this happening more often because Cena doesn’t have to win all of his matches to be taken just as seriously as he has been before. However, I do have one concern from this. Nakamura is a fantastic athlete and I couldn’t be more excited to see him getting into big matches on the Smackdown brand with wrestlers like Cena, Styles, Owens and Zayn. Having said that, I’m not too sure I like the idea of Nakamura being the one to face Jinder Mahal one on one. I feel this slot actually fits Cena better. Cena can play up the American hero taking on the foreign villain role, but more importantly, I feel Cena can go and have a match with Mahal that doesn’t get fantastic review – because unfortunately with Mahal, that’s how most of his matches with Randy Orton played out – and not take too much flack for it or be hurt by it. Nakamura on the other hand is still in the early days of being on the main roster and I feel that if he was to have a match that didn’t go down well on a big stage like Summerslam it could really hurt him.
With it looking like the combination of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins – a combination I’ve wanted to see almost from the conclusion of their feud by the way – is set to challenge for the Raw tag team titles at Summerslam – or at least that’s where I’d assume the attack this week is going – I’ve got to say that is a match I am excited for. Not only are Ambrose and Rollins two guys I love to watch in the ring, but I’ve loved the combination of Sheamus and Cesaro and since their villainous turn, my love for that team has only grown. I really do think these two teams could have some fantastic match ups. Not only that, but if there are not big plans for either Ambrose or Rollins at the moment, I think this could be a really good spot for the two of them. They are very entertaining together in terms of their work on the microphone and in backstage segments and of course we all know how talented both are in the ring, not just individually, but also they have fantastic chemistry together as a team. I could see the duo winning the Raw tag teams titles at Summerslam for what would probably end up being a short reign, but one I would predict could be incredibly entertaining to watch.