Raw and especially Smackdown had reasons to be happy with their viewership this week. Raw managed 2.96 million viewers while Smackdown, thanks to the Undertaker and their 900th episode drew 2.725 million viewers.
This week was really about two things – Raw Vs Smackdown at Survivor Series and Goldberg Vs Lesnar. I must say, they have done a good job at building up to the event as I am extremely excited for both Survivor Series and NXT: Takeover. A large part of my excitement for both shows comes down to my love for tag team wrestling. Both of these shows will have a lot of tag team wrestling and that’s always an exciting prospect.
The build for the Survivor Series Raw vs Smackdown matches up until this week wasn’t exactly amazing. However, this week we started to see the T-shirts representing your brand and the big brawls: Always a favourite of mine. There will be a lot of contenders to “steal the show” and of course a lot of the time people want to suggest matches lower on the card. I’m not sure you could consider it show-stealing, as it’s very much expected to be a fantastic match, but I just cannot look past the men’s 5v5 match as being the best match of the show. The amount of talent packed into that match is quite incredible and we have the potential to see some brilliant 1v1 match ups within the match – probably the most anticipated being Rollins and AJ Styles. Of course Goldberg Vs Lesnar will be a spectacle but the men’s Survivor Series match has the potential to not only keeping fans guessing the entire time, but can really set up more future matches.
The return of the Undertaker on Smackdown had a large impact on the ratings this week and if he sticks around like it seems he could be doing, the ratings might have a constant boost. You cannot underestimate the power of someone like the Undertaker to draw viewers into a show and you also can’t underestimate his power to still have some really good matches and probably more importantly, elevate whoever he is working with. The thought of an AJ Styles Vs Undertaker match is very interesting, possibly more interesting at this point than an Undertaker Vs John Cena match, which I’m sure we will see before the Undertaker retires.
Goldberg and Lesnar as I said will be more of a spectacle than an amazing match. If those entrances really come off well, the promo package is as good as they normally are and the crowd is hot for the two of them – the atmosphere to start the match will have the feeling of a very big match. That atmosphere will then have to be maintained and I’d believe that keeping it short and having the action be quick would be the best way to do that. The fans will likely stay invested in the match and if not given a chance to really die down; the whole match will have that feeling of a spectacle. I’d say that Lesnar really should win here. Brock hasn’t been pinned in so long; it would seem quite a waste to have the man who finally defeats Lesnar be someone who seems to have suggested this will be his last match.
When looking at the rest of the card for Survivor Series I am sure we are set to have an exciting show. All of the 5v5 matches have potential and I’m looking forward to both the Miz Vs Sami Zayn and Kalisto Vs Brain Kendrick. Of course the show does have some things going against it. As seen with Summerslam, such a long show can tire the fans out and really put a damper on the atmosphere. Additionally, having NXT takeover the day before is always going to create issues. NXT shows normally deliver in a big way and that will of course lead to fans comparing both shows. Plus the crowd may still be tired from Takeover and that will also have a hand on making the atmosphere less interesting.
Next week’s episodes of both Raw and Smackdown could be interesting with the fallout from Survivor Series. I’d think that Smackdown will take a hit and drop in viewership as they won’t have the fact it’s the 900th episode to flaunt. I could see Raw possibly going up a little if Survivor Series delivers and has some big angles coming out of it.