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OO BATTLE OF THE BRANDS  
RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins? 
Week Ending August 22, 2003

Featuring Many Current and Past OO Columnists
Ratings Compiled by Jeb Lund

 

OOficial Brand of the Week:
SmackDown!
RAW: 2.15 --/-- SD!: 3.48

RATING SYSTEM:
Rather than go with a tried-and-true 1-10 scale, we thought we'd mix things up a bit. Each show is evaluated on a scale of 0.0-5.0. Instead of just random numbers, those numbers reflect what sort of Nielsen rating we think the show deserves. Granted, we're operating on the assumption that 5.0 is about the best the WWE can hope for right now. But if someone goes for a 5.0, then that means it's time to celebrate at Titan. If someone picks 2.2, it's time to celebrate if you're putting on a Nitro in April 2000.


RAW (8/18/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (8/21/03)
OOFICIAL RATINGS

Erin Anderson
RAW: 1.0
Can you tell that the Eric/Linda bullshit pissed me off? I'm offended not only as a woman, but as a wrestling fan. Is rape supposed to be entertaining? It isn't.... Couple that with a total lack of basic logic, wooden "acting" from Linda, and the sheer pointlessness of the story, and you get a 1.0 from me.

I don't care anymore what happens to Stacy. I never cared about La Resistance. I thought that the Kane/RVD bit started out just fine, but Kane's "logic" for not burning RVD made me want to throw things at my television. Stupid.

The two saving graces of the show: the right man went over in the Hair v. Hair match, and the brilliant cap-off to set up the Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Rosey even managed to amuse me. Otherwise, this show bit the big one.

Smackdown!: 3.9
I cannot stress how much better Smackdown! was than RAW. We got a HOT opening promo from Kurt (who said he couldn't play the baby face?) and a great match from Hardy and Mysterio to start things up, so I was already happy.

Gunn/Noble v. the Bashams was passable, but it seemed secondary to setting Shaniqua up as a badass Amazon bitch. Eh. The Bashams did look sharp in the ring, though, and Gunn managed not to suck. About Brock and Zach... I'm very worried about Gowen's shelf life in WWE. This kid won't have a chance in hell with booking like this, and I think that the interview with his mother was unnecessary. Why schedule Zach for a pay-per-view when he obviously won't be on it after the beating he took? Scary Brock is a good thing, though, and Zach takes a good chairshot.

You know I'm going to love a Benoit/Tajiri v. Eddie/Rhyno match. Nice work from all four men, with a nice "every man for himself" message at the end from Eddie. Their match this Sunday should be terrific.

Both Taker and Big Show seem to be on a roll lately, and they shocked the hell outta me with a surprisingly good brawl last week. We got more of the same this week to set up Taker/A-train and Angle/Brock at Summerslam. Cena's rap was solid as usual, and Orlando Jones managed to not look green in the ring. Angle v. Show was an entertaining brawl to close the show.

Lots of good work in the ring all around here, with only Vince and Sable's presence souring the mood a little. Nothing completely blew me out of the water, but it was solid show to set up Summerslam.

Erin Anderson's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.0), SD! (3.4).


Matt Hocking

RAW: 3.4
JR:  Eric Bischoff and Linda had sex, by GAWD!
JL:  Uh... yeah. That segment needed younger puppies.
JR:  But the main-event story was good. And Kane and RVD are gonna have a slobberknocker by GAWD!
JL:  Plus, Chris Jericho got a BIG WIN! Speaking of, here he is.
CJ:  Hey, assclowns.
JR:  Damn that Jericho. What does assclown even mean?
HHH:  It means, jobs to HHH.
CJ:  Pretty much. Sigh.
JR:  Let's just get to rating.
JL:  Ok. The puppies rating could have been a lot better if they would have gone into the locker room with Lance Storm. As it is, Stacy, Trish... oh! 5!
JR:  Ugh... King. The Eric Bischoff stuff sucked, but I'm not going to let that one segment drag the whole show down. Especially when it wasn't the main event. 3.4.
CJ:  God, I don't know. I'm glad that I won. I'm going to beat HHH at SummerSlam. 4.5.
HHH:  Chris....
CJ:  Assclown.
HHH:  How can I job to myself?

Smackdown!: 3.5
MC:  Another day, another Smackdown!
TZ:  You got it, Cole. Brock is lookin' rocketbustas toward SummerSlam.
MC:  Smackdown is going full steam ahead!
TZ:  Uh... actually... just Brock. Smackdown has one match with good storytelling headed towards PPV. Again.
MC:  Oh boy! Our special guest has arrived! A-TRAIN is in the house.
TZ:  Oh crap....
AT:  My match with Undertaker is going to be a real brawl.
TZ:  Shut the hell up, A-Train.
UD:  But he's a Dragonriffic Hoss.
TZ:  You too, Hunter. I hate this show. Oh, whatever. 3.5.
AT:  Uh... what are we rating again? Me? 5.
MC:  SUMMERSLAM! ONLY ON PPV!! 5!!
TZ:  Shut up. Everybody.

Matt Hocking's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.7), SD! (3.4).


Jeb Tennyson Lund
RAW: 0.4
A good match between Jericho and Nash, a decent main-event and a good preview for the pay-per-view is all that kept this disgusting reprehensible cavalcade of barf from earning a clean 0.0. I won't repeat myself, here, so if you want to know the origins of this rating, read my RAW Recap or My Column.

Smackdown!: 3.6
Like many others, this show didn't do much for me. At least, when it wasn't doing much, it wasn't doing much badly or objectionably. This wasn't a bad show, it just came off as a kind of stop-gap measure, something more suitable for mid-month stuff.

Angle's promo was pretty interesting, and it put a little more mustard on the most-developed story going into the pay-per-view. His brawl with Show wasn't bad, either, but it underscored the limits of Brock v. Angle week after week and also poor Show's third-wheel status. Eddie/Rhyno v. Benoit/Tajiri was also some good stuff, as we've come to expect from these guys. And their story is definitely the second-best going into the pay-per-view. But that isn't saying much. Although Rhyno and Tajiri have a good vengeance motive, that's about it. No one has any idea what either of them would do with the belt once they got it.

Vince and Sable were remarkably quiet for this show, much more so than in the past. And everything else was pretty good. My only real problem was with Gowen and Lesnar. I like the attempts to make Lesnar more of a threatening badass, but I don't like the idea of using Gowen as a sort of prop. I don't want to make bum-leg jokes, but Gowen could all too easily become a storyline crutch for the Smackdown staff. Can't get some heel over?—have him destroy the cripple. I dunno... I can see why they did what they did. It just seemed a little much. Maybe having his mother there was the clincher for me.

Jeb Tennyson Lund's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.8), SD! (3.2).


"The Immolator" Calum Macbeth
RAW: 2.3
Sad. Very sad. Molly, Trish and Gail in the ring, Immo likes. Storm and Goldie, not as cool as usual (sexual assault and all that). Nash already dyeing his hair before it gets cut, bad. Sexual assault on Eric's part, bad and lame and irredeemable. 

Smackdown!: 3.2
Good stuff all 'round. But I'm wondering when people will get bored (or if they are already) with seeing the same iterations of Cena v. Undie, Benoit v. Eddie (heresy! But at least throw UD in there for a solid three-way. He's Dragon-riffic, you know), Angle v. Lesnar and so on. I expect huge turnover after Summerslam.

Immolator's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.0), SD! (3.4).

  
Big Danny T
RAW: 3.4
A good show, in my opinion. The setup for the Elimination chamber match was done nicely, and Nash kinda looks decent with the new do. As for the stuff in between, I'm going to go against type and say that I found that pretty entertaining as well. Call it a guilty pleasure, but Rosie getting into the fight with the cat had me laughing out loud. I really hope they don't decide to turn him heel in two months, but you know they will. Also, I liked the women's confrontation. Gail and Molly looked like they really wanted to kill each other. It's too bad they aren't giving them time on SummerSlam for this feud, but it'll probalby have a big match at the first RAW PPV. Down points for this show would have to be Goldust and Lance Storm not getting any follow-up (come on, would a quick 20 second clip later on in the show of the two of them being chased through the parking lot and driving off with some randon Diva's in hot pursuit hurt that much?), Kane's treatment of RVD (The way I would have worked it? Kane comes out and interferes in the match, only he does it to give RVD the win. That way, the match at Summerslam is for the IC title as well. The Reasoning? Kane is doing what he wants right? Well, he wants the IC title, but he only wants to beat RVD for it. Yeah, a bit convoluted, but no more goofy then expecting him to ask a bound and gagged RVD to squeal like a pig, and better than having the IC title just laying around for the second biggest PPV of the year), and the Eric/Linda segments. (Ugh.... Just ugh. I mean, Eric already has Shane pissed at him, now he just threw more fuel on the fire and gauranteed a major-league ass-whupping at SummerSlam. Let's not even get into the legal aspects of Eric's harassment either.) Pretty even show all around, some good, some bad, but at least the good entertained, and the bad will be forgotten next week.

Smackdown!: 3.0
Smackdown just didn't seem to groove with me this week. I dunno what it was, but nothing clicked, and I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I probably should have. It felt more like a mid-month filler show than a setup show for a major PPV.

Big Danny T's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.7), SD! (3.6).

Rick Scaia
RAW: 2.4
The good:  just about everything with the Elimination Chamber Six.  They wove that stuff together very well, even giving us the deliciously poetically just touch of having Goldberg spear Nash and Nash later losing the hair match to Jericho (remembering, Nash beat Jericho in the match that SUPRRED the hair vs. hair challenge, in part because Goldberg speared Jericho).  All that stuff was excellently conceived and well executed.  The bad, unfortunately: was a majority of the rest of the show.  I'm not anywhere near ready to go all "Katie Vick Bad" with regard to Linda and Eric, but that was certainly some embarrasingly bad TV.  The type of humor they're going for with Rosey and Hurricane is also not working for me, nor is the continued existance of La Resistance as essentially one trick, cheap heat getting ponies.  The mix of good and bad, to me, puts the final overall rating for this show just about dead center: not an average show by any means... just one that averages out as, ummm, average.

SmackDown!: 3.7
SD! just kept on doing what it usually does...  giving us talented workers in pretty interesting situations.  Also: this probably isn't a concidence, but my rating for SD! jumps up over half-a-point this week for a week in which Kurt Angle is back and Stephanie is gone again.  Hmmmm... intense Angle promo and very good main event match versus superfluous McMahon Family Soap Opera skits...  wonder if that formula would work all the time?  In addition to a very good main event brawl, SD! also had the great Rey/Matt opener, a Benoit/Tajiri vs. Eddie/Rhyno that was good but merely a tease of things to come, and perhaps my personal memorable moment of the night: Lesnar's utterly vicious beat down on Zach Gowen.  In a word: convincing.  Even UPN and Cole, who usually get nothing but mocking from me, contributed significantly to that angle coming out tremendously.  UPN's insistance on black-and-white to mask the bloodletting had the unintentional effect (to me, anyway) of making the attack seem even more brutal, and Cole's indignation seemed genuine and appropriate.  Really good show.

Rick's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.3), SD! (3.9).


FINAL OO RATINGS, WEEK ENDING 8/22/03

RAW average: 2.15 
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.2 (converted to broadcast rating)
RAW UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.48
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.3
SD!
OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

YEAR TO DATE TALLIES

Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.14
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.26
RAW is UNDERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.41
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.33
SD! is OVERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Rounds Won by RAW: 3
Rounds Won by SD!: 9
Current Streak: 1 by SD! (Since 8/22/03)
Longest Streak: 7 by SD! (6/27/03 thru 8/08/03)

BROWSE PAST WEEK'S BATTLES OF THE BRANDS
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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