This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 46

Craig Wilson and Brian Damage

It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition, Craig talks about Raw and Smackdown live as a live spectacle while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon this week. 

Raw and Smackdown as a Live Experience

bayleyLiving in Glasgow, this week I was fortunate enough to be able to see both Raw and Smackdown as a live product – something I never expected to experience.

And overall, I was pleased by it all.

Sure, there were a number of things I’d have changed and I’d have liked to have seen in action Cesaro, American Alpha as well as Heath Slater and Rhyno. But in the end, it hit the spot as a live experience.

Although it is fair to say that Raw didn’t meet the expectations of everyone with 411mania’s Larry Csonka giving the show a rating of 2/10. Harsh? Perhaps but while it was an enjoyable evening live.

Perhaps the most staggering thing, in fact, was that it didn’t drag.

Being a taped show, rather than a live one, meant that it didn’t go the full 3/3.5 hours that Raw does on a weekly basis and that certainly helped. Instead of sitting through the prolonged ad-breaks, we got shorter ones. Another bonus, from my perspective anyway, was the uniqueness of seeing it in person as I had never experienced Raw that way before.

Yes, the crowd left itself open to suggestions that it hijacked the show – the Bayley segment certainly – but it was fairly warm throughout. Perhaps the show wasn’t up to the standard of normal episodes of Raw but all in all, it was a decent enough show.

Then take Smackdown, it was awarded a 7/10 by Csonka but, for me, it was a much weaker show and I say that as someone that regularly prefers this show – as demonstrated here.

I totally take Csonka’s analysis and agree most weeks but this episode felt rushed and with a fairly poor set of matches. Yes, the crowd were much more alive than the night before but that didn’t carry the show as far as I am concerned.

Yes, James Ellsworth got a great pop as did Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan but it felt rushed. Perhaps it is interesting that normally I feel Raw drags on but was fine as a live show while Smackdown is usually well-paced but felt rushed.

All in all, a great experience to be able to see both Raw and Smackdown live, certainly something I never expected. Both shows had their highs and both had their lows, no doubt. One of the oddest bits, and certainly where house shows trump live Raw or Smackdown, is the impact that the ad breaks have. They totally kill the momentum. The crowd pops for wrestler making his or her way to the ring but is killed by the lights dimming as we hit an ad break. It’s an odd spectacle.

Perhaps I’m just not used to live TV tapings…

Picture Gallery

There was a time back in the 1960’s, that famed luchador El Santo had his name and face on milk cartons and no, he wasn’t missing.


Big Poppa Pump is hiring – apply if you hear me!


Dixie Carter just announced the signing of TNA’s newest Knockouts….err I mean Knockout!


Good Ol’ Jim Ross during his football playing days…


Brock Lesnar’s baby photo.


With the United States election finally over, we look back to how pro wrestling handled Election Night way back when.


So, who in the WWE gets the job of doing this to Eva Marie? Official boob tester?


Video Gallery

Last Week on the Blog

In last week’s Sunday Sermon we discussed Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg; on Monday we had part 89 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; Hideo Itami was on the receiving end of our ‘Book or Cook‘ treatment on Tuesday; we asked ‘Whatever Happened toLos Boricuas on Wednesday; Thursday saw us look at a series of wrestling firsts in ‘History in the Faking‘; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.

Next Week on the Blog

Tomorrow’s ‘Sunday Sermon‘ looks at the return of the old school format to Survivor Series, we have the next ‘Book or Cook‘, the latest instalment of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘, a Rocky Maivia themed ‘Top Five‘ and more.

All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.


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