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OO BATTLE OF THE BRANDS   
RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending October 24, 2003

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

 

OOficial Brand of the Week:
RAW 

RAW:
3.69 --/-- SD!: 3.20

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 (10/20/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (10/23/03)  
OOFICIAL RATINGS

Canadian Bulldog
RAW: 3.5
The good: Character and storyline development continues to be rock-solid. The guys who couldn't wrestle (Mark Henry, HHH, Austin) didn't, but still had prominent roles; folks like Booker, Flair and Michaels made their opponents look relatively decent through short matches; The Dudleyz did a classy tribute to Legion of Doom, and the return of Batista to Evolution actually paid off the bounty storyline. In fact, the only thing to complain about was....

The bad:... THERE WERE NO DECENT MATCHES! I mean, they don't have to bust out the ***** classics every week, but at least something that's longer than 10 minutes, and that one will remember two months from now. Okay, one other thing: can we please, please, PLEASSSSSSSE get Jericho out of wrestling at 10 p.m. (Eastern time)? How many months now has the poor guy had what seems like the same freaking match in the same freaking time slot. Especially with this Austin push he's getting, it would be nice to see Y2J pretty much anywhere but in the half-way slot.

Smackdown!: 3.0
Hallelujah. I suspected Smackdown would return to it's usual kick-ass self after the PPV, and it looks like we're just one step away now after the intoduction of some potentially awesome stuff. Primarily, thank you, thank you, thank you WWE for putting Paul Heyman back on my television screen. Although the main was one of those predictable Bischoff-style heel-GM matches, I like the hot ending with the Buried Alive match. Bashams are impressing, the Worm is always fun, and I can't wait to see some Yang Time.

The Bulldog's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.1), SD! (3.0).

Matt Hocking
RAW: 4.0
JR:  Crawling up from mediocrity, it's time for RAW!
JL:  Triple H is back, and he's wasting no time in holding down those pesky midcarders!
JR:  But, let's not forget, King, the really important thing here is the return of Dave Davidson to RAW and the great Survivor Series match we've got coming up.
TL:  No, Playa. The real issue is that whitey is holdin' us down.
JL:  It's special guest Teddy Long!
TL:  Buleedat, playa. Did you know Ric Flair had us kicked off a plane? Now he'll only talk to us on the phone!
JR:  That was pretty funny, in my view.
TL:  That's because you're a tool of the man.
RF:  The MAN? THE MAN?! WOOOO! To be the man, you've got to beat the man, and I'm the man. WOOO!
JL:  Look, it's Ric Flair!
CJ:  Can I just say that I'm still the best guy on RAW?
HHH:  No.
TL:  This show deserves a 0, buleeedat, playas.
JL:  Are you kidding? Trish's PUPPIES! 5!!
CJ:  I'm with King.
JR:  Uh, good show. 4.

Smackdown!: 3.7
MC:  Smackdown is the greatest show in the history of television.
TZ:  I don't know about that, but it was certainly a lot better this week!
PH:  Do you think so? I tried.
TZ:  Sure, Paul. Sure. It was pretty good.
MC:  PRETTY GOOD? Are the eyes of Tazz decieving him? Lookit all those cruiserweights!!
TZ:  Yeah. They're great....
PH:  What did you think of the main event?
TZ:  Did Undertaker REALLY need to beat all the champions? Why not throw Tajiri and the Bashams out there too?
MC:  That'd have been great! The Undertaker overcoming the odds!!!!
UD:  Undertaker doesn't know anything about holding down a Dragon.
TZ:  RAW hasn't been half bad lately.  I wonder if I can request a trade.
MC:  Smackdown is the BEST! I don't care what Tazz says! 5.0 just for my soul patch!
TL:  Whitey, ain't nothin' on you got soul.
SM:  I disagree.
PH:  An EXTREEEEEME 4.0. It was only my first day after all.
TZ:  Fine. Minus .1 for the McMahon/Sable thing and minus .1 for the main event.

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


The Immolator, Calum Macbeth
RAW: 3.3
Continued improvment from The Mothership. Both tributes were handled well. I mark for proper Survivor Series matches. Stacy appears to have been detached from Steiner, which should be good in the long run for Steiner the heel. Sweet tag match with Lance-RVD and Jericho-Steiner, I'd love to see both these teams actually become teams, since the tag division is such a mess. Remember when Rick and Scott kicked all sorts of ass? Speaking of blasts from the past, some good heel commentary by Lawler with the "legitimate bounty" references and the anti-Canada remarks. The women were awesome as usual. Strong interview by Kane, although the fact that he's in the ring talking humanizes him. Main event was a bit of an anticlimax.

Smackdown!: 3.1
Hallelujah. I suspected Smackdown would return to it's usual kick-ass self after the PPV, and it looks like we're just one step away now after the intoduction of some potentially awesome stuff. Primarily, thank you, thank you, thank you WWE for putting Paul Heyman back on my television screen. Although the main was one of those predictable Bischoff-style heel-GM matches, I like the hot ending with the Buried Alive match. Bashams are impressing, the Worm is always fun, and I can't wait to see some Yang Time.

The Immolator's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.9), SD! (3.4).


Jeb Tennyson Lund
RAW: 4.0
A couple of things occurred to me while watching this show. One, Steiner and Jericho are representing the essentially pay-per-view-winless Bischoff against a man whom everyone wants to see regain the right to kick ass in the ring. I mean, does anyone else think that it's guaranteed jobbing time? (The only way I see Jericho coming out of this as less than Mr. Perennial PPV Jobber is if he takes a dive in order to please Trish.) Two, Stacy drank beer with Stone Cold because Stone Cold stunnered her last week. The lessons: good people can beat women for pointless reasons and still be "good people"; when you beat women, they learn.

I love family programming.

Best moments during the show both go to Jericho, yet again. His tag match with Steiner was fantastic. He made his partner look great, and the cheating antics and rapid-fire pace made the match simply a joy to watch. As is often the case, Jericho's mid-show tag match overshadowed the main event. Also, his moment with Trish backstage just added to so many intriguing possibilities that I am begging the WWE not to fuck this up. You hear me?I'm begging!

Christian and Lita added to the dynamic and the fun. Batista was good and effective, even if he looked a bit sloppy. Cade, Jindrak, Naitch and The Talentless Boob Who Must Not Be Named were all amusing at points. The only real downer of the night was Kane's promo.

Smackdown!: 3.0
This show seemed to be treading water, like many recent Smackdown's. The reintroduction of Paul Heyman is exciting and neat, but it promises more for the future. In terms of this show, it brought little. Eddie and Chavo were fun as always. Scotty 2 Hotty was pretty amusing. Vince and 'Taker were passable, given that they were already a foregone conclusion. Tajiri and Zack did a good job. On the whole, nothing went wrong or seemed wrong. It's just that so little seemed cool or great. The show didn't punish you for watching it, but it didn't do much to reward you.

Jeb Tennyson Lund's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.8), SD! (3.0).


Big Danny T
RAW: 3.7
Altogether, a solid show, top to bottom. My favorite part was Jericho showing us more of that tweener side, and Christian following in his footsteps. We'll see how it turns out. Also the return of Batista was handled just right: he got to show off what a monster he is by taking out Goldberg. Granted, this was after he had already been put down once by Mark Henry and just been through a match with HBK, but it sets up what could be an entertaining big-man feud later on. The little parts worked well as well, with Test keeping himself fresh in our minds, Booker T running Randy Orton off, Randy freaking out when Cade and Jindrak stole the money, and HHH's cameo. The only thing that really had me scratching my head: why would Bischoff even offer this chance to Stone Cold? Surely the sight of Stone Cold going more and more crazy because he can't touch the superstars unless provoked must be a touchstone of secret joy for Bischoff, so why give Stone Cold the chance to win the right to whip ass indiscriminately back? And another thing, is it even Bischoff's right to make that stipulation? Oh, well, as long as we get an entertaining match at Survivor Series, what does it matter the excuse? Although, you do have to admit, the reason for the big match is kind of a let down from Survivor Series 2001 (fighting for survival of the then WWF) to now (fighting over whether the boss gets to beat people up again or not).  RAW keeps getting better, and this is a good thing.

Smackdown!: 3.7
It's a tie! Check the recap for full thoughts.

Big Danny T's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.5), SD! (3.6).


Brad Smoley
RAW: 4.2
The show really built on last week's strong performance and put emphasis in all the right areas. The writing team seems to be a LOT more focused on developing storylines that entertain and enhance the characters. It's like they figured out that they're putting on a television show or something. The Kane promo was the low-point of the show but was far from the horrible crap they've been shoveling at us in regards to Taker's little brother. I really liked the bit with Jindrak and Cade stealing the bounty loot, but I have to admit that the most intriguing part of the show for me was the whole Y2J/Trish interaction. Add in the Christian/Lita factor and you've got possibilities for tons of great character interactions and story lines.

As far as the, you know, wrestling goes... solid mid and main events along with the Hawk tribute from the Duds and the Flair/Maven match (which will hopefully lead to an extended feud between the two) were all very watchable and fun. It's good to see Batista back too. Dropping a few redundant minutes out of some promos and adding them to the matches, while keeping up the current storytelling formula, will help edge RAW closer to the 5.0 range.

Smackdown!: 3.5
I personally don't get to see Smackdown all that often, but I did get to check it out, in full, this week. The show was entertaining but nothing really blew my socks off like it did on RAW. The wrestling was very good. A Benoit/Angle feud is 100% money. You have to be looking forward to that. The return of Scotty 2 Hotty helped give the show an element of the unexpected, which is always a plus when the little surprises are logical and not too over-the-top. The storytelling never got too retarded even if the show-long build to the Vince/Undertaker match at Survivor Series was telegraphed from close to 50 miles away. With that said, I still enjoyed the stacked-deck dynamic in main event a lot. The reason: Paul Heyman. There's something I really enjoy about Vince naming the former leaders of his competition to the General Manager spots on BOTH of his main shows. Is he friggin' nuts? Seriously, really.

Brad Smoley's year-to-date averages: RAW (4.2), SD! (3.5).


sayeitan
RAW: 3.0
Okay, RAW was actually decent this week. How can I complain when they're pushing the hell out of Lance Storm and serving up so-bizarre-its-good fare like Maven/Flair and HBK/Goldberg. I mean, seriously, could we have seen a card like that coming a few years ago? Plus it's fun watching the women inch closer towards achieving Trish Stratus' permanent paralysis. Oh, and Shane/Kane was limited. This made me happy like The Scotsman's dad in a mental health facility.

Smackdown!: 2.0
First Big Show becomes US champion (wasn't that supposed to be a "wrestling" title?), then the Bashams grab the tag straps and completely ruin the elite Smackdown tag title lineage. Then they go ahead and frame the Cruiserweight title in what will likely become a Kaientai V2.0 comedy angle. Then the main event is Big Old v. The Big Boring v. Jolly Green Giant. Smackdown, you are no longer my sexy wrestling bitch. You're a tired old wench. Best part of the show: BOB HOLLY~! His segment gets 5.0.

sayeitan's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.4), SD! (2.9).

Rick Scaia  

RAW: 3.8 
No great in-ring action, really, but this was a show that hit on all cylinders from an entertainment perspective.  The introduction of the 5-on-5 match concept not only breaths life into the GM feud, but also gives water-treading angles like Jericho's tormenting of Austin an in-ring outlet and a chance to develop into actual wrestling feuds.  If they get the right 10 guys involved in that, it could be gold.  Batista as Goldberg's bounty hunter is less likely to be gold, but it was a mild surprise, albeit it one that makes perfect sense.  And lump me in with everyone else who is liking the Jericho/Trish/Christian/Lita thing so far, but who also has reservations that WWE can handle the end game responsibly.  Another very enjoyable RAW.

SmackDown!: 3.6 
Paul Heyman is back, and he brought our old pal SmackDown! along with him.  Thanks, Paul.  After a month of toying with nonsense that would make RAW's writing team blush with shame and over-pushing a Vince/Stephanie storyline that didn't really need the extra shove, SD! got back to doing what it does best: finding the balance between wrestling and proven pro wrestling-style storytelling, while leaving the soap opera to someone else.  Heyman's return as GM makes him a perfect straw to stir the drink; the start of another phase of Benoit vs. Angle is extremely promising; the main event match was another great outing for Taker; and on top of all that, the surprises/turns/returns all gave SD! the feel of a brand in a state of flux and change, which is kind of exciting.  Only complaint: Eddie Guerrero's fall from Two Title Glory was handled poorly, and has left Eddie essentially back at square one.

Rick's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.3), SD! (3.8).

FINAL OO RATINGS, WEEK ENDING 10/24/03

RAW average: 3.69  
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.1 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.20 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.6 
SD! UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

YEAR TO DATE TALLIES

Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.12 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.17 

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

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.43 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.30 

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

Rounds Won by RAW: 7 
Rounds Won by SD!: 14  
Current Streak: 4 by RAW (Since 10/03/03) 
Longest Streak: 7 by SD! (6/27/03 thru 8/08/03)

BROWSE PAST WEEK'S BATTLES OF THE BRANDS   Shop at Amazon.com


  
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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