Just going to post a quick blog about my thoughts on my experience from going to both Raw & Smackdown live.
Firstly, I will talk about the phenomenal one who easily had the biggest pop over both nights. From my experience of events the last time I heard a pop that loud was when the Undertaker made a surprise return on Monday Night Raw in Manchester. It is clear to see why AJ is popular. Technically probably the most gifted performer in the ring with the ability to play both heel and face without issue. His movement and fluidity in the ring makes everything he does look easy and currently in WWE only Nakamura and Balor come close to that quality. Finally, AJ is great on the microphone. He is able to react seamlessly with the crowd to get the desired reaction and he just seems to get better and better.
Roman is clearly in the eyes of younger generations and the WWE board the new John Cena. I have to give him credit, the boos and chants do not seem to affect him and is able to use them to give his matches a “big match feel”. With regards to his future I would personally love to see a heel turn with him turning on the fans for the boos. I also believe he would benefit from having more freedom in his promos so they seem less scripted.
The improvements in the Women’s division, with a lot of focus on the four horsewomen means some of the other women wrestlers coming up from NXT and improvements made by superstars on the main roster can be forgotten. Alexa bliss along with the Miz is the best heel in WWE right now. She interacts with the fans and is able to stop the “what” chants instantly. Her ring moves are improving and I honestly feel she has the potential to be one of if not the biggest stars in women’s wrestling ever to appear in WWE.
The four horsewomen are amazing as we have all come to suspect and Naomi is also a great in ring performer but would like to see more promo skills from her.
WWE has massive plans for Lana and based on the crowd reaction to the teaser of her return she could easily rival Alexa bliss & the four horsewomen as one of the biggest stars in WWE. I am extremely curious to see how she performs in the ring. She has the look and is great on the mic so I can only see her wrestling ability potentially holding her back.
In summary the two shows were great but Smackdown has the edge. The quality of matches and promos are just that much better. The run time for raw also has a negative effect on fans energy levels.
Finally, I think if creative are smart and use new stars such as Nakamura, Bliss and others correctly we are in for one hell of a talented roster in 5 years time. I honestly feel the roster will be as strong as it was at the peak of the attitude era. What WWE must do though is give stars the opportunity to cut unscripted promos and allow them the flourish in to heels and faces naturally rather than creating storylines that does not make sense.
My next post will be Thursday or Friday for Alien Covenant