Like the millions of wrestling fans around the world, I was super anxious to see how the first episodes of Raw and Smackdown would go after the draft. What made me even more anxious was that there was a pay per view on the Sunday before, titles and superstars were scattered all over the place. A lot of things could have gone wrong on the first episodes after the draft, and I mean a LOT of things. Sure, Smackdown got a few stars but their roster looked much weaker on paper. Raw got a better looking roster but they didn’t have a major title to anchor the show.
The atmosphere was just different on Raw and Smackdown this week.
We’re finally getting a shake-up of the title landscape after the same people getting chance after chance. While Raw currently doesn’t have a major title, Finn Balor is getting the chance to compete against Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship. He wasn’t placed in that match, he had to fight in two matches that night to earn that spot. He gave us two world-class matches in one night, that’s something that some wrestlers fail to do in two weeks. I’m not praising Finn because he’s the new kid on the block, he’s just that good. Finn Balor versus Seth Rollins is definitely a feud that I can get behind.
Another title change that we got to see was Sasha Banks defeating Charlotte for the Women’s Championship. To be totally honest, I figured Dana would interfere and allow Charlotte another ill-gotten victory. I had tears in my eyes when she hoisted that title above her head. It sounds silly but Sasha makes me feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to. When she made Charlotte tap, I just had flashbacks of her matches, specifically the Iron Man Match that she had with Bayley. It just makes me so proud to see her doing what she loves and representing what women are truly capable of in that ring. Even Charlotte gave a top-notch performance and I never really care for her matches that much anymore.
Raw really had a different feeling to it with their new roster, logo, and music. I’ve always enjoyed it before but it was still so refreshing. I even enjoyed Smackdown more than I normally do, I don’t always get to catch it during the week but I was glued to my tv set.
Initially, I was a little upset that Mauro Ranallo wasn’t placed on Raw. The man has talent out the wazoo but he’s what keeps Smackdown fresh and entertaining. He’s the reason I was starting to make the effort to actually catch the show. The moment that I want to talk about is Dolph Ziggler winning the chance to face Dean Ambrose for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The main event of Smackdown could have gone any way. I initially had my money on AJ Styles or John Cena.
Because god knows that John Cena needs another damn title shot…
When Dolph won, I thought I was going to fall off the couch. I wasn’t expecting him to win but now I’m even more excited for Smackdown each week and Summerslam at the end of August. Dolph is just so fantastic and I felt like he was stuck in some mid-card hell that he would never escape. He really is that damn good, all you have to is watch a few of his matches to know that.
Smackdown just felt like new life was breathed into it. I used to not care if I ever got to watch Smackdown because I just didn’t feel as though it was as ‘important’ as Raw, for lack of a better term. This past week changed all of that. The two shows can now actually compete against each other in all aspects; on television, in social media, and on pay per views. There’s also much more potential for talents to develop their current or new gimmicks, this is literally their time to shine. Just think of the potential for Twitter feuds…
I won’t be able to cover both programs every week but I will try my best and just enjoy this new era of wrestling. Not to rip off Big E but it’s a new day, yes it is!