Brian Damage and Craig Wilson
A welcome return for Crossfire today. It’s been a while but we return with, we think, a bang. In this latest instalment Brian and Craig go head to head with the discussion focusing on which show is better. Is it Monday Night Raw or Smackdown Live?
It’s very simple, Raw is the better show to watch over Smackdown. It is the flagship show for a reason and Vince McMahon more often than not treats it that way. The level of talent on the “red show” is also another factor in my decision.
Kevin Owens, Finn Balor (when healthy) Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Neville are just to name a few of the exceptional talents on the roster and can give a 5 star match at anytime. The tag team division is also very strong with entertaining teams like the New Day and Enzo and Big Cass. Smash mouth teams like the Club and aerial teams like the Shining Stars.
Speaking of aerial, the WWE has the cruiserweight division with talent like TJ Perkins, Gran Metalik, Noam Dar and countless others. The Women’s division is also much stronger than Smackdown’s version. Ladies like Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Bayley make it the division to watch.
Are there issues with Raw? Yes, the three hours at times can make the show drag on occasions, but for the most part, the shows are strong and have much more to offer than just 15 minute promos and 5 minute matches. Smackdown has vastly improved from what it use to be, but it will always be the B show in the universe of the WWE.
Even though I sit writing this as I watch Raw, for me, since the split, Smackdown has been the better show. At two hours it is also far more easily digestible than Raw.
I certainly take Brian’s point regarding the talents that are on show on Raw but the brand was always going to do better from the brand split than Smackdown thanks to having first pick and three choices for every two that Smackdown has.
Smackdown sounds better – in no small part down to Mauro Ranallo – and thanks to production and camera works, has managed to start to look a bit different. Baby steps, but Smackdown is well and truly starting to look and feel different to Raw, something many were always critical of in the past.
Brian’s reference to Raw talent is fine but there are few heels hotter on the roster at the moment than The Miz and I say that as someone who until recently has never been a fan of him. Throw in AJ Styles as WWE Champion and Becky Lynch with the women’s gold, then I think Smackdown wins that head to head. I’ve a well declared soft spot for the current tag team champions too…
For me, since the brand split Raw hasn’t really changed much. It still looks and feels the same and as such the problems of before are still there. It feels like a chore to watch at 3 hours and Roman Reigns is still front and centre.
Week in, week out it’s Smackdown for me.
There’s our take on the subject. What do you think? Why not leave your comments below on whether you prefer Raw or Smackdown.
You can read all previous ‘Crossfire’ pieces here.