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RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending October 17, 2003

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


OOficial Brand of the Week:

3.58 --/-- SD!: 2.63

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 (10/13/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (10/16/03)  

Canadian Bulldog 

RAW: 4.0 
The good: The one segment that had Goldberg, Mark Henry, Shawn Michaels, Tommy Dreamer, Ric Flair, and just about everyone on the roster was definitely overbooked, but in a good way. It really sold this whole $100,000 bounty angle, and hey look, they're trying something different with Goldberg, instead of sticking him in the tried and true 'feud with the boss' angle. If they keep on this route, it will continue to generate fan interest. I loved that segment. 

The Jericho-Austin angle took another interesting twist. It's starting to seem like Austin will be the heel and Jericho the face. I don't know it will end up that way, but I'm definitely intrigued. 

The Steiner push continues, and I like the fact that they disguised his weaknesses with a relatively short and painless match with RVD. The teased turn of Shawn Michaels has been teased before, sure, but when you don't pull that card out every month a la late-90's Raw and Nitro, it becomes a bit more effective. Flair's promo was another home run this week. 

Bottom line: I'm pumped for next week's Raw, which is what the show *should* be doing more often than not. 

The bad: Just a question: does YOUR hospital allow satellite-feed hookups? Especially if you were just upgraded to stable condition from critical? Probably not. You know, it is okay to leave Kane off the show. Just once in a blue moon. That's all I'm saying. A tip for the WWE creative team: Watch the Naked Gun movies, the original Police Squad TV series, or really any major Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker vehicle if you want to do the Rosey/phone booth scene right. Something like: (1) Rosey has to change in the phone booth, as per Hurricane's advice. (2) Much later, have another backstage scene in which Rosey is waaaaay, waaay off in the background but still visible. Show him still in the phone booth, trying to escape, but don't have anyone on camera mention it. (3) Near the end of the show, have the scene where Austin is leaving, notices Rosey still stuck in there, and then have him utter the line about needing a beer. MUCH more effective that way. 

Smackdown!: 2.5 
The good: Not much. Rhyno v. Guerrero was passable, though I still don't see Rhyno ever being more than mid-card fodder. I will say that the ending with Big Show destroying Guerrero on the low-rider made for a great visual. However, you have to wonder how durable that car is, what with Show being able to knock the rear view mirror off its hinges by TOUCHING IT. That kind of stuff used to happen when I'd build a model car and the glue hadn’t completely dried yet… Still, nice way to turn the angle away from sewage. Tajiri v. Noble was okay,  but nothing memorable. 

The bad:  WWE had two months -- two entire months -- to set up the matches for No Mercy, and this is the best they could do? I'm serious! Raw is better prepared to lead in to this PPV Sunday. Goldberg v. Michaels has more backstory than Undertaker v. Brock, a match that has already headlined two PPV's last year. Hell, the WWF's 'Tuesday In Texas' PPV in (I think) 1991 had more momentum going into it, and they had only had six days to tell fans about it! Using only their weekend syndicated shows at the time, no less. Think about that… 

The No Mercy lineup, really, is eerily reminiscent of the one at Vengeance. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It could have demonstrated solid storyline advancement had the SmackDown writing crew actually, you know, done some of that. I know by this point, I should be used to McMahon v. McMahon being billed as the top attraction. But it's not. There is very little fan interest in this match, despite the Barbara Walters-style interview they used to sell that to us this week. Yet, Vince McMahon v. Stephanie McMahon got more attention than any other angle. Again. 

What else have we got? I don't consider the lame exchange between Angle v. Cena this week a hard sell, and that's match with probably the most appeal on the show. They ruined a chance to promote Brock v. Undertaker (as the `main event' no less) by having Taker dominate the whole biker chain exchange. Even if Brock retains at No Mercy, which I'm guessing he will, it doesn't intrigue me at all. There's a belt at stake, fine, but you know what? Shawn Michaels-Goldberg has $100,000 at stake, and that won't cost me anything to watch. 

Since I first became hooked on WWF/WWE around 1986, I've only missed watching a handful of PPV events live; if I were to guess, I would say I've skipped four or five in the last decade for various reasons. So it's safe to assume I'm pretty open to watching whatever the company feeds me. I've sat through such atrocities as Bodydonna  Skip v. Barry Horowitz and Kaientai v. Bradshaw & TAKA Michinoku, and saying nary a word. I'm pretty sure at this point that I won't be watching No Mercy this weekend. What does that say? 

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

Matt Hocking  

RAW: 3.6 
JR:  No reason to watch the World Series now, folks! 
JL:  That's right, hey, RAW isn't cursed is it? 
VV:  Cursed by not having the big Valbowski on it. 
HHH:  You know, I was watching RAW, and I noticed that everybody was on the show, what the hell was up with that? 
JR:  Good writing and big hot matches, Mr. Assassin, sir.  By Gawd.
JL:  Yeah, but what is up with Jericho and Austin?  They're not going to ever wrestle are they? 
HHH:  Nah.  You know what is great though?  Religious feuds that aren't meant to be religious feuds. 
VV:  Hello!  Isn't anybody going to talk about me?  The special guest? 
JR:  Quiet down, Val. 
JL:  5.0!  RAW is back, baby! 
JR:  I concur. 
HHH:  I don't know.  Needed more me.  Uh...2. 
VV:  Well...I enjoyed it.  From BACKSTAGE.  3.8. 

Smackdown!: 3.0 
MC:  Smackdown is AWESOME, Tazz. 
TZ:  Well, that was certainly an improvement from last week, Cole. 
MC:  You bet.  Now here's this week's guest, Tajiri! 
TJ:  .... 
TZ:  Who booked the guest? 
MC:  Not me, Tazz!! 
UD:  I did.  I think Tajiri should get some promo time to build his feud.  It's Dragontacular. 
TJ:  .... 
MC:  BRILLIANT, Tajiri!  Great matches...bad promos and angles.  THIS IS SMACKDOWN!!!  5.0!! 
TZ:  I'm not so sure about that score, but the rest is all right.  Uh...3. 
TJ:  I'm going to lose to Rey, huh? 
UD:  Probably. 
TJ:  Dammit.  1. 

Matt Hocking's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.7), SD! (3.3).  

The Immolator, Calum Macbeth  

RAW: 2.9 
Almost back to respectable. Excellent speechifying by Ric Flair to start the show. He's right, you know – it gets in your blood like a virus. It's a disease... Wait, that's another guy's speech. Anyway, awesome work by Flair the whole night. Even if those off-kilter back body drops scare the holy hell out of me. Airing the footage from the house show where Test gets his foot broken was instructive. His feet definitely weren't where they were supposed to be. But don't jump to conclusions about where to place blame. It takes two to tango and all that. Austin stunnering Stacy... I dunno. Solid tables match. Lame skit with Shane-O and Kane. Decent women's match, intersting twist with Jericho at the end, yet... again, I dunno. Heels are heels and faces are faces, and never the twain shall meet. At least, I wish that were the case. This from a guy who was told right from the start he'd end up a 'tweener. 

Smackdown!: 2.1 
An aside, if I may... After I wrestled Thursday, I was at a bar when I saw the Yankees come back against Boston to tie Game 7 at five apiece. The CD at the bar was Neil Young's _Decade_, Disc 2. The song: "For the Turnstiles." "All the bush league batters/Are left to die on the diamond/In the stands, the home crowd scatters/For the turnstiles." You'd think it was a sign that the Yankees fans would go home disappointed. Not so, as it turned out. Which just goes to show. As for SD!, it was less feces-ridden than last time. I think the show is just a little askew because most of the new pairings are taking a while to flesh out, plus there's too much emphasis on non-wrestling matters. I think we'll be okay after No Mercy. Show gets an extra-low rating based on last week's crapfest and the itchy remote finger/Game 7 combo. This episode would have been the one to bust out an Ironman match or some such free-per-view gimmick.

The Immolator's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.8), SD! (3.5).

Rick Scaia  

RAW: 3.8 
There were only limited opportunities to bitch about this week's RAW...  the Kane via satellite thing was mondo cheesy, for instance.  But beyond that, you had a show that was less predictable and more exciting than anything RAW's done in a while.  Injuries to two key performers forced the creative team's hand, and what they came up with to replace Rodney Mack in the main event (with Flair/Orton) was outstanding, and had a trickle-down effect.  Since Flair had to move up to the main event, they had him fake his way out of his match with Maven; now, when those two do face off, it'll be that much bigger a deal.  A real win/win.  A final extra special honorable mention to the Jericho/Christian/Conway/Dupree vs. Shane/Booker/Dudleys tables match, which was very close to 20 minutes of outstanding action, and was the match of the week.

SmackDown!: 2.9 
Even after I got the chance to dedicate a bit more time to SD! (after a failed attempt to focus on it in the drunken wake of the Yankee's Game 7 win), there was little there to adequately hook me in.  This was not, mind you, a show as insultingly underachieving as the week before.  It didn't sink to any depths nearly that awful.  But especially heading into a PPV, I'd like to see an effort that deserves better than the faint praise of "Well, at least it didn't totally suck."  Tajiri/Noble and Rhyno/Eddie were pretty good; just about everything with the McMahons was pretty bad; most of the rest of the show rates as pretty pointless.  In the end, it all averaged out, well, about average.  Here's hoping that, with the PPV past, SD! can get back to the formula that had them rolling so nicely throughout the late summer...

Rick's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.2), SD! (3.8).


RAW average: 3.58  
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.0 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 2.63 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.3 
SD! UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.


Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.09 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.17 

RAW is UNDERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.42 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.29 

SD! is OVERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Rounds Won by RAW: 6 
Rounds Won by SD!: 14  
Current Streak: 3 by RAW (Since 10/03/03) 
Longest Streak: 7 by SD! (6/27/03 thru 8/08/03)


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
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
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
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
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
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?
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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