This is a weekly look at the action in the WWE:
Roman Reigns opened Raw recounting his victory over Samoa Joe. Jason Jordan, who cannot seem to get a clue, came to the ring to congratulate Reigns, and to say that the two, along with Rollins, are the three most dominant men in WWE. This prompted a reunited Balor Club to come to the ring. Jordan and Balor exchanged words prompting Kurt Angle to schedule a six man tag between these men as the main event. Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville of Absolution after Banks trapped Rose in the Banks Statement. Broken Matt Hardy deleted Hurt Hawkins. After his win, Bray Wyatt appeared in the ring and the two shared a stare off where the two just laughed like the lunatics they are.
Elias performed a new song for the Memphis crowd to welcome back The Miz. The former Intercontinental Champion went on to talk about how Reigns is a bad champion, and how he made the championship what it was. Enzo Amore explained how Cedric Alexander tagging with Goldust was “the closest he is ever gonna get to Gold.” Sure enough, his statement proved to be right as Amore was able to retain his Cruiserweight Championship over Alexander via a count out. Backstage, Amore was tended to by the medical staff. It appears he sustained a leg injury in his match against Alexander. The Bar confronted Kurt Angle. He has not given them their proper rematch against Rollins and Jordan. Angle then explained that they will get their rematch at the Royal Rumble. The Miz, then, asked Angle for the opportunity to challenge Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship at the 25-year anniversary edition of Raw in two weeks. Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews absolutely upset The Bar after O’Neil rolled up Sheamus.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar hyped up the Royal Rumble main event. As they were leaving the ring, Kane attacked Lesnar and dragged him backstage where Strowman was waiting for them. Strowman attempted to murder the two when he dragged down production towers on top of them, much to Heyman’s horror. Rhyno tried to teach his partner, Heath Slater, another lesson in “toughening up” when he challenged Samoa Joe. It did not end well, though, as Joe submitted him via the Coquina Clutch. After the match, Joe announced he will be entering the Royal Rumble. Alexa Bliss instigated a fight between Nia Jax and Asuka. This resulted in Jax attacking Asuka as she made her way to the ring for a match. Jason Jordan’s hot headedness cost his team the loss in the main event when he distracted the referee and prevented him from seeing a tag between Rollins and Reigns. Balor hit Rollins with a Coup De Grace to win the match. As the losing team tried to make sense of the loss, The Miz and The Mizterouge attacked them. The Miz hit Reigns with a Skull Crushing Finale, and they mocked him by hitting him with the Triple Power Bomb.
Highlight of the Night:
Braun’s attempted murder. Braun Strowman is a monster. Paul Heyman’s dramatics made Strowman’s attack that much better. It seems every polarizing attack is either by Strowman or it involves him somehow. The best part about it is that they seem to get better every time.
Renee Young interviewed AJ Styles to get his reaction to last week’s announcement that he will be facing both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Of course, he was interrupted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn who promised they will become the first Co-Champions. Shane McMahon came out and explained that since Styles will have to defend his title in a handicap match at The Royal Rumble, then Zayn and Owens can handle being in one themselves. Therefore, they will be taking on Nakamura, Orton, and Styles in the main event. Becky Lynch took on Ruby Riott in her first TV match since being written off in November. Her comeback would be a sweet one as she submitted Riott with a Disarmer. The Bludgeon Brothers absolutely destroyed the Ascension in their tag match. Mojo Rawley defeated his former partner, Zack Ryder, to advance in the United States Championship Tournament, where he will face Bobby Roode.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin came to the ring to talk about how they were robbed last week go the Tag Titles. Daniel Bryan addressed their concerns, and, eventually, Gable’s mouth got them put in a Two out of Three Falls match at the Royal Rumble. Aiden English announced him and Rusev will be entering the Royal Rumble. They would then go on to lose against Breezango after Fandango rolled up Rusev. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens tried to escape their Handicap Match by getting counted out. McMahon raced to the ring to restart the match, with the added stipulation of no count outs. Owens found another way around the match by using a chair to get them disqualified. McMahon came back out and restarted the match, now a no disqualifications match. Orton and Nakamura teamed up to take apart Zayn to pick up the win.
Highlight of the Night:
The Rusev Rumble! Rusev and Aiden English are two of the most creative talents on SmackDown. They showed that again when they announced their entrance in the Royal, I mean Rusev, Rumble.
How Do They Compare?
This week was not even close. Raw continues to show us why it is the better show. SmackDown feels like a rehash every week, and it is taking his toll. What was once the best show in the WWE is now damn near unwatchable. With Raw’s 25 Year Anniversary Show coming up, I do not see them giving up any of this momentum. I am not sure what SmackDown can do to get the momentum back. Not rehashing the same thing every week would be a good start, though.