Raw took a big jump up in ratings this week, from 1.75 to 1.92, which is still pretty low, although that is to be expected at this point of the year. Having said that, the show probably deserved a far greater rating. Smackdown however, did not have the same fortune, dropping from 1.69 to 1.58. Smackdown also had a good show; however it was not as much of a stand out as Raw.
This week on Raw, Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte to capture the Women’s Championship for the second time. Not only that, but it was in the main event. This isn’t the first time this happened, 12 years ago Lita and Trish Stratus managed to main event Raw. So, although WWE has made this main event out to be a big deal, it isn’t anything new. For this to truly be progress, this needs to continue. The women main eventing a Raw every 10 years or so, isn’t progress and it is far less than they deserve. The likes of Charlotte, Sasha and Bayley have the ability to main event Raw’s and Pay per Views also. They aren’t the only ones either, I’d love to see Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss main event a Smackdown soon.
I am really hopeful that the WWE continue to present opportunities like this. Not only that, but I’d love to see these opportunities presented to tag teams also. The likes of the New Day, Gallows and Anderson, the Uso’s and American Alpha would look perfectly at home in a main event. This doesn’t just stop with main events. There is no reason for the women not to be given matches with stipulations. There is the potential for Sasha to defend her title Vs Charlotte at Hell in a Cell, inside the steel structure. I’m not sure how that match will turn out, simply because no matter who is in it, it has been watered down since its inception. However, the ladies certainly deserve such an opportunity, plus the match fits the feud.
This Sunday, No Mercy is set to be main evented by AJ Styles defending his WWE Championship against John Cena and Dean Ambrose. What I’ve loved about Smackdown specifically over the past few weeks is the way so many of Smackdown’s roster feels like stars. These three are perfect examples. The match this Sunday feels big; it feels as though each guy has such passion, such a drive and that any one of them could win.
Additionally, it’s so hard to pick who you want to win. Cena is the 15 time Champion, looking to equal the record of Ric Flair’s, he is the wholesome, hardworking fan favourite – even some of the hardcore fans can’t help but appreciate Cena nowadays. AJ is the egotistic champion, who isn’t happy about having to defend his title against either opponent. Then Dean is somewhere in between, Ambrose isn’t against bending the rules sometimes, or attacking someone like Cena from behind. He is edgy, but that is part of his charm. Realistically, Styles would be the favourite to win here, yet really any of these guys could end up winning on Sunday. The match could be all kinds of chaos however; you just know all three of these guys will be determined to go out and have an entertaining match.
The cruiserweight division has routinely gotten two matches per show for the past few weeks. With the amount of talent jam packed into the division, that is no surprise. It isn’t just some flips and big moves from guys you hardly know either. There are some very charismatic characters in the division, such as Rich Swan, who are slowly building fan bases and more in depth characters. While many of the talents have impressed me thus far, Brian Kendrick remains, to me, the most fun to watch. Kendrick’s story is incredibly interesting, one that might actually lend itself to more of a good guy. However, Kendrick manages to play an excellent villain, while still managing to maintain the redemption story. Although it would result in a rather short TJP reign with the title, I’m currently really in favour in seeing Kendrick capture the title from Perkins. With so many great, young, athletic characters in the division for the fans to get behind, there would be no shortage of challengers for the biggest villain in the division, Kendrick.
Alexa Bliss is the first challenger for Becky Lynch and her Smackdown Live women’s title. While Alexa is fantastic, and I’d love to see her hold that title one day, I’m hoping for a successful Becky defence this Sunday. As I suggested earlier, I’d love to see the followed with a rematch, main eventing an episode of Smackdown. Following that, I’d love to see Carmella step up to face Becky. Giving Becky a Bayley NXT esc run sounds like a good plan to me. Becky takes on challenge after challenge, every time leaving you wondering if this is the time she loses. Although Becky will regularly come out proving she is the better wrestler, using her wrestling skills to overcome the mind games and cheating of her opponent. This is until her Asuka comes along – possibly Asuka herself – someone who can truly match her in the ring, getting the best of her. Even just tying this, the thought of an Asuka Vs Becky Lynch match has me excited at the prospect.
I’d expect and hope for some jumps in ratings for both shows next week. Raw will hopefully continue to rise in ratings, especially if it continues to put out stellar shows like this Monday. Smackdown really shouldn’t go much lower; the fallout of from No Mercy should in theory help boost the ratings next week.