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RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending October 31, 2003

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


OOficial Brand of the Week:

3.28 --/-- SD!: 2.62
(FINAL! All Precincts who are gonna report have reported.)

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 (10/27/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (10/30/03)  

Erin Anderson
: 3.8
Another solid show to follow up last week's effort, which was slightly better. Austin's opening promo with Flair was gold. "Settle down before you blow your pacemaker, kid." I love it. Batista's obviously worked hard on his mic skills, and he came off as a natural in his part of the promo.

The Trish/Jericho/Lita/Christian saga continues, and I'm glad that WWE isn't rushing on this one. They've got another three weeks to build on it, and the news that Matt Hardy might be moving to RAW could make things even more interesting than they already are. Lita wasn't nearly as good as Trish was in her "Um, I gotta go" bit with Christian, but she pulled it off better than I thought she would. The ladies put on yet another good match, and establishing a women's title feud three weeks before the PPV is terrific: there is now adequate time to properly build up the feud and make the match mean something to the fans, who are used to seeing these things thrown together on Heat before the PPV.

John Heidenreich's tryout match looked all right, and letting Hurricane do the majority of the work was a smart move on WWE's part. La Resistance is infinitely better with Rob Conway replacing Sylvan Grenier. I also like giving Cade, Jindrak, and Maven a meaningful storyline, including the opening Evolution beatdown and cheat-to-win tag match.

The Jericho/RVD main event was predicatbly good, and the post-match beatdown that established the teams for Survivor Series was even better. We were treated to Air Booker and a great visual in a bloody Jericho smiling atop the cage to wrap up the show.

What I didn't like: Lance Storm being made cannon fodder for Mark Henry when he's supposed to be building his character. I don't care for next week's HBK/Henry match, but Teddy Long continues to make me laugh in his promos. The Test/Shane match was perfectly fine, but Test's repeated pleas for Kane to show up and Shane's lengthy post-match promo were like pulling teeth.

Overall, a very well-planned, well-executed show with only a few sour notes.

Smackdown!: 2.0
Editing ruined this one; it was much better live. Read the column for my thoughts. Eddie, Angle, Benoit, and Cena are still the possible saviors of Smackdown!, though, so not all hope is lost.

Erin Anderson's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.9), SD! (3.2).

Canadian Bulldog

RAW: 3.0
The good: the Survivor Series team is starting to take shape, which is a sign to me they actually give a damn about putting together a strong main event this time round.... RVD v. Jericho was a decent-quality match, even though I could have lived without the "only slightly less overused than a Dusty Finish" finish.... I was amazed that Test was able to hang as long as he did with the Almighty Shane O' Mac with his foot injury.... The women's four-way was on the shortish side, but served its purpose.
Nothing jumped out at me this week as it had in recent weeks, but nothing too offensive, either.

The bad: I don't want to see Goldberg v. HHH again; I just don't. We all know who's going to win that one, and I think it's waaaaay too early for that to happen. Guys.. put the belt back on Triple H; I know that's what you're going to do anyway, and it may be better in the long run for business (prepares for barrage of hate mail). I'm just saying hold off until at least Royal Rumble. Goldberg has done well enough so far as the World Champion. Let me go just a little bit further, that's all I'm saying.

Smackdown!: 2.0:
The bad: I'm going to break with tradition and start with the negative points here, lest this web page look unevenly weighed down near the bottom with a long paragraph on criticism. Smackdown has the better actual wrestlers on its show. They have the advantage of pretaping their shows to edit out the crap. They have Paul Heyman in a position of (faux) power. What more could you ask for?

To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum is Jurassic Park (geez, I'm stretching here): "Are we going to see any actual... wrestling on the... wrestling show?" I mean, what the hell? You have Rey Misterio and Ultimo Dragon, arguably the greatest cruiserweights off all time (though admittedly, Dragon's skills have gone south since he entered WWE) and you give them a couple of lousy minutes? Then the biggest stars of the show Angle, Cena, Benoit, Brock, Show they're all stuck in meaningless, painfully short tag-team matches. Did I miss any other matches? Anything at all?

Here's a tip from your friendly neighborhood Bulldog: next time, cut out some of the backstage crap. Lose The Undertaker monologue, or the Cat promo, or the Hardcore Holly news. Any of them (preferably all of them) will do. Then, if they want to push these guys like Matt Morgan and Nathan Jones put them in an actual match. I seriously would rather see THEM against The APA instead of Brock and Show. Nothing against the World and U.S. champions, but they had nothing to gain from that match. Morgan and Jones would have exposure. And if these two hosses can't actually work a match, then... uh. please don't put them in the Survivor Series main event.

The good: Dawn Marie in a vat of chocolate. And that's it.

Canadian Bulldog's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.1), SD! (2.9).

Matt Hocking

RAW: 3.0
JR:  Where did we go wrong, King?
JL:  Three years ago?
JR:  I meant on Monday.
JL:  Giving Shane/Test ten minutes too many?
JR:  Oh. Right.
SM:  Yo, yo, yo. I don't know what segment you were watching, I was off the hizzy fo sheezy.
JR:  You huh?
SM:  Yeah. Where the show went wrong was not featuring Goldberg or HHH. Jericho/RVD, who wants to see that?
JR:  I think Austin should be in the main event.
JL:  I dunno. Lita and Trish were in their bras. PUPPIES! 5!!
JR:  A solid show with definite room for improvement. 3.
SM:  5. Booyah.

Smackdown!: 3.1
MC:  The Paul Heyman Era of Smackdown continues!!!
TZ:  Seriously, though, John Hnnrnnr, Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan are all the same guy right?
JNM:  We sure are. Thanks to the wonders of television though, there are three of us.
MC:  Thank God for that, eh? Look at the size of these guys.
TZ:  Yeah yeah. Whatever. It was nice to see Ultimo Dragon get some time. And the mid-card storylines are coming together nicely. Heyman is doing wonders on the mic for these.
UD:  Yeah! More Dragontacular action!
TZ:  Go on your damn honeymone already!
MC:  Plus we got to see a CHOCOLATE BATH TO TAZZ!!
JNM:  That was great the way that the blonde girl and the Asian guy totally tricked you.
TZ:  Shut up.
MC:  Let's RATE! 5!!
JNM:  We're big. A big 5 like us. Big.
TZ:  Things are improving, but we still need some serious help. 3.1

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

Big Danny T.  

RAW: 3.5 
Lets see: Reintroduce Batista with an overlong promo and make the mistake of giving him the mic: Check! Booker T going over Rico: Check! Fill out Stone Colds side of the team with the Dudleys and RVD: Check! Squash Lance Storm: Check! John Heidenrich makes his "impressive" debut at the expense of Hurricane bumping around like a pinball for La Resistance(Tangent #1: Since when does Rob Conway hail from Paris? Tangent #2: and anyone say SUPER-WEDGIE? Tangent #3: How dissapointing is Little Johnny going to be when we finally meet him?): Check! Have Shane and Test have a meaningless, dissapointing, and lackluster match (Hey Shane, quick question; Why is Kane supposed to care that Test got further abused? Kane really didn't (or at least SHOULDN'T) care one way or another about you re-breaking Test's ankle) to set up an annoying gimmick match at Survivor series: Check! Give Lita the "Just back push" to the title with a decent 4-Way womens match: Check! Put Coach on my TV, making me want to throw things at it: Check! Set up HBK vs. Mizzark Henry for next week, a match I'll probably sleep through: Check! Evolution VS. the new job squad, Have the job squad win, yet still not develop a single joule of heat because they get beaten down afterwards by Evolution: Check!(I would have had Maven screw Ric over, and then have everyone scatter just beyond Batista's reach as the faces win. As Maven, Jindrak, and Cade walk away, Maven locks eyes with Ric, gives a little smirk, and points to his temple and Ric goes berzerk in the ring How much more over would at least the feud between Maven and Flair been with that?) Save the whole damn show with a good RVD/Jericho match, then Dusty Finish it into a better RVD/Jericho CAGE match: Check!

SmackDown!: 3.0 
Without the benefit of knowing about all the cuts and edits they made (I steadfastly avoid the spoilers every week,) I thought this was a pretty good show. The storylines needed that little push, so it's understandable that they give the in ring action an off week. But from the sounds of it, they took too much away, and with the benefit of hindsight, I can't give the show any higher than this. Awesome promo from Eddie, tho. Check the Recap!

Danny's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.5), SD! (3.6).

Rick Scaia

RAW: 3.1 
RAW had its moments, but was flat for the entire second hour due to the miscalculation with the extended Shane/Test/Kane segment... not even RVD/Jericho was good enough to really spark the show back up to memorable status.  I'm loving the Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff possibilities and intertwined storylines, but am less keen so far on the other two locked-in matches for Survivor Series.  Monday seemed a not-too-spectacular use for Batista and Evolution, while, as mentioned, Kane/Shane was the buzz killer of the night.  Too many high points to be dismissed, but still lacking the same electricity as the two previous outings for RAW.

SmackDown!: 3.0 
This was a week when I basically thought that RAW and SD! were equals: they put on the same kind of show.  Both had high points, but both were mostly defined by frustrating wastes of time.  For SD!, it was overkill on the Vince/Taker issue when time could have been better spent on other things.  SD!'s own five-on-five match supplied most of the night's best stuff, including the best match (opener) and best storytelling (Cena/Train implode, but Angle/Benoit deal with differences to co-exist... plus Heyman did a credible job building up Morgan and Jones while leaving the #5 spot on that team open).  Also, Project Eddie is back on; after a shitty past several weeks, they let Eddie perform to his strengths, namely conveying real emotion instead of playing with sewage.  It's good to have you back, Eddie.  In a week when I felt similarly towards both shows, I give RAW the 0.1 point margin of victory, though, mostly because I felt slighted by the presentation of Dragon/Mysterio, which was reportedly much longer and better live than it was once edited for TV.  Boo, SD!, boo.

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


RAW average: 3.28
Actual Nielsen Rating: 2.9 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 2.62 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.6  
SD! UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.


Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.13 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.15 

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

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.37 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.31 

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

Rounds Won by RAW: 8 
Rounds Won by SD!: 14  
Current Streak: 5 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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