Let me start off by saying that both RAW and SmackDown were much more enjoyable shows to watch than they have been in a very long time! With that being said, there was way too much of the same crap that we’ve been accustomed to tuning into every week. The point of wrestling is to suck the fan in enough to make them believe, or question, if what they’re watching is real. Sure, most people on earth know wrestling is “fake” like they know movies or sitcoms are fake, with fake characters that real people are portraying on screen. Do people stop watching movies after they’ve viewed a few duds? No! Do people stop watching shows because they suck, or do they just find a better show to invest their time in? No, they don’t stop watching altogether, they just find something on TV that’s better and will stimulate them!

This is the era of wrestling or WWE, in particular, where fans have to make the choice to turn away because it sucks or keep watching and hoping for something great to come! It’s as simple as that and, unfortunately, I find myself in the latter category. I will say this: Both RAW and SmackDown were exceptionally better in terms of the presentation. The camera angles were leaps and bounds better than they’ve been in as long as I can remember. I’ve noticed much less of the “shaky camera syndrome” in both of these shows. The announce teams were balanced more efficiently although it’s hard for anybody to even come close to Mauro Ranallo, he is on a whole other level people! I mean, most of the time, the guy sells the moves and the matches ten times better than the actual wrestlers in the match! Ranallo can make a simple wristlock look and feel completely devastating just based on his excitement and believability alone, but I digress.

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For every great camera cut or every great in-ring promo before or after a match, there was something that hurt the show! This is what my first Russo’s Brand article is all about: the problems with the first week of the “New Era” in WWE. I’m going to make this short and sweet!

First, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn fought each other in a full out war Sunday night at Battleground, right? Then why are they coming out on RAW looking fresher and more crisp than a stack of brand new twenties from the local 7-Eleven ATM? Why weren’t either one of them pinned by Finn Balor instead? WWE has been building Rusev again over the last two months. They’re making him look like an unstoppable, dominant U.S. Champ just as he was a year and a half ago. The guy that handedly dealt Zack Ryder a vicious “Bulgarian Beatdown” at Battleground—but he gets pinned by a 195 pound Finn Balor the very next night on RAW? As a very intelligent young man, how am I supposed to buy into that? Please, IWC tell me how I can buy into that! I am actually 195 pounds as well and I asked my girlfriend last night, “Could you see me in there pinning Rusev or Roman Reigns?” Her response was an emphatic “No!” She is a casual wrestling fan… get it? If WWE wants to put Balor over, fine, but do it logically! Would it have been so hard for him to have pinned Owens or Zayn instead of the mammoth U.S. Champ? I mean, those two were in a “war” at Battleground, right? They should not have been looking 100% on RAW, right? Am I just crazy? Would it have been that hard to have Roman beat the brakes off Balor after he lost to him? To me, that would’ve been the logical thing to do after a loss to a WWE newbie instead of having him cut this weak ass promo trying to put Balor over and walking to the back like a defeated, broken coward. This stuff literally makes zero sense in the world! This is not wrestling!

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Secondly, SmackDown most definitely edged RAW this week. The matches were better and more believable. The presentation was much better and the booking was far ahead of RAW’s booking. The two problems I had with SmackDown are the finish to the battle royal and the beginning of the Natalya and Becky Lynch match. Once the battle royal got to the last four participants it became very predictable, thumbs down! Becky and Natalya are supposed to have this wicked heat, yet they start their match off like two buds practicing who can do wrestling moves better in the spirit of friendly competition. That was inexcusably terrible! They should’ve started the match off by ripping each other’s hair out! That’s believability, not “let’s see who can do better wrestling moves, we’ll take turns.” Seriously, what in the world was that? Also, the “camera breaks of doom” during these matches has got to stop! Both shows were plagued with these wretched little bastards! Please, for the love of God, stop already!

Although these shows were better than usual and looked very different, that’s not enough! Not one single good story was created from either of these shows. That is a problem, HELLO! Instead of compelling new stories, we got Gallows and Anderson attacking The New Day from out of nowhere. Good story guys! My belly hurts from laughing so hard! Oh, lest we forget, we probably also have a feud brewing between The Shining Stars and The Golden Truth over Pokémon Go! Another great story! Only five-year-olds will love this stuff, get a grip WWE!

This week, SmackDown went over RAW! These are just my opinions! It was an all-around better show with better matches! We need stories to keep us invested! We need to feel like wrestling is great again! Until next time, you stay classy IWC! Feel free to post your thoughts below!

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